Automatic Data Processing First Quarter Earnings on Deck

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 26, 2011. Automatic Data Processing offers human resource, payroll, tax, and benefits administration solutions to a wide range of clients.

Automatic Data Processing Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 61 cents per share, a rise of 8.9% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 60 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at 61 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 8.7% versus last year to $2.74.

Past Earnings Performance: The company met estimates last quarter after beating the forecasts in the prior two. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company reported profit of 48 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 48 cents per share. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company beat estimates by 0 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 9.4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.44 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Automatic Data Processing with 11 of 21 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 16.3% to $241.8 million (49 cents a share) from $207.9 million (41 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 15.6% to $2.37 billion from $2.05 billion.

Key Stats:

Revenue has gone up for three straight quarters. It rose 12.8% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier and 9.6% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company has now been profitable for the last eight quarters, and for the last four, profit has risen year over year by an average of 4.4%. The quarter with the biggest boost was the most recent quarter, which saw a 16.3% surge.

Competitors to Watch: Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX), CBIZ, Inc. (NYSE:CBZ), Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX), McMillan Shakespeare Ltd. (NYSE:MMS), Blue Tax Group SA (NYSE:BTG), Colliers SA Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:COL).

Stock Price Performance: During September 22, 2011 to October 20, 2011, the stock price had risen $3.77 (8%) from $47.39 to $51.16. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 3, 2011 and October 12, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 10.2% (+$4.75) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 7, 2011 and July 18, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 4.9% (-$2.66) over that span. Shares are up $5.86 (+12.9%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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