Ecolab Inc First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Ecolab Inc (NYSE:ECL) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Ecolab develops and markets cleaning and sanitizing products and programs, pest elimination, maintenance, and repair services for the hospitality, foodservice, healthcare and industrial markets.

Ecolab Inc Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 48 cents per share, a rise of 6.7% 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 54 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 48 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 18.9% versus last year to $3.02.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company reported profit of 70 cents per share, in line with the mean estimate. It was the third straight quarter of meeting expectations.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts predict a rise of 78.9% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.72 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are high on the stock, with 11 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and four rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit fell 32.4% to $88.7 million (33 cents a share) from $131.3 million (55 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 17.1% to $1.85 billion from $1.58 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 6% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 11.7% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 11.2% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Heading into this earnings announcement, net income has dropped 12.1% on average for the last four quarters.

Stock Price Performance: Between January 30, 2012 and April 25, 2012, the stock price rose $2.62 (4.4%), from $60.07 to $62.69. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 28, 2011 and January 12, 2012, when shares rose for 11 straight days, increasing 5.8% (+$3.26) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 21, 2011 and August 2, 2011 when shares fell for nine straight days, dropping 8.8% (-$4.62) over that span.

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

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