AvalonBay Communities Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE:AVB) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. AvalonBay Communities develops, acquires, and operates multifamily communities in barrier-to-entry markets in the United States.

AvalonBay Communities, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.21 per share, a rise of 19.8% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.26. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.21 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 15% versus last year to $4.60.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is hoping to beat estimates after missing the mark for two straight quarters. Last quarter, it reported net income of $1.17 per share against an estimate of profit of $1.18 per share. The quarter before that, it missed forecasts by 72 cents.

Investing Insights: Will the iPad 3 Be the Next Catalyst for Apple’s Stock?

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $255.1 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 11% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $980.8 million for the year, a rise of 10.4% from last year’s revenue of $888.2 million.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on AvalonBay Communities as eight analysts rate it as a buy, two rate it as a sell and seven rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 81.8% to $44.8 million (49 cents a share) from $24.7 million (29 cents a share) the year earlier, but fell short analyst expectations. Revenue rose 17.7% to $267.4 million from $227.3 million.

Key Stats:

The increase in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit decreases. Net income dropped 15.2% in the second quarter, 58.2% in the first quarter and 16.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 11% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 9.5% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 18.7% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: UDR, Inc. (NYSE:UDR), Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR), Apartment Investment and Management Co. (NYSE:AIV), Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ESS), Camden Property Trust (NYSE:CPT), Mid-America Apartment (NYSE:MAA), Post Properties, Inc. (NYSE:PPS), Colonial Properties Trust (NYSE:CLP), BRE Properties, Inc. (NYSE:BRE), and Home Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HME).

Stock Price Performance: During November 28, 2011 to January 26, 2012, the stock price had risen $16.27 (13.7%) from $118.62 to $134.89. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 24, 2011 and July 7, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 8.6% (+$10.78) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 29, 2011 and August 8, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 13.3% (-$17.59) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

Investing Insights: Will the iPad 3 Be the Next Catalyst for Apple’s Stock?