Equifax Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Equifax, Inc. (NYSE:EFX) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. Equifax provides information solutions, employment and income verification, and human resources business process outsourcing services.

Equifax, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 67 cents per share, a rise of 8.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $2.52 per share, a rise of 9.1% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last two quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped the forecasts by one cent, reporting net income of 65 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 64 cents. In the second quarter, the company exceeded forecasts by one cent with net income of 61 cents versus a mean estimate of profit of 60 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $501.5 million.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Equifax with six of 11 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 12.8% to $66.7 million (54 cents a share) from $76.5 million (61 cents a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 3.5% to $490.4 million from $473.8 million.

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 5.7% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 2.4% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 3.8% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company has seen net income fall in each of the last two quarters. Net income dropped 51.6% in the second quarter.

Stock Price Performance: During November 4, 2011 to February 2, 2012, the stock price had risen $3.52 (9.9%) from $35.58 to $39.10. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 22, 2011 and April 4, 2011 when shares rose for 10-straight days, rising 8.5% (+$3.07) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between April 4, 2011 and April 13, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 6.4% (-$2.50) over that span.

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

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com