Equifax Inc. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Equifax, Inc. (NYSE:EFX) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 26, 2011. 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 profit of 64 cents per share, a rise of 6.7% 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. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 7.8% versus last year to $2.49.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped forecasts last quarter after being in line with estimates the quarter prior. In the second quarter, it reported net income of 61 cents per share versus a mean estimate of 60 cents. Two quarters ago, it reported profit of 58 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 3% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $487.9 million.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with seven analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and four rating it as a hold. Over the past 90 days, the average rating for the stock has moved up from hold to moderate buy.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit fell 51.6% to $34.5 million (28 cents a share) from $71.3 million (56 cents a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 5.7% to $487.1 million from $460.7 million.

Key Stats:

The decrease in profit in the second quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 1.1% in the first quarter, 3.3% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 28.1% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 2.4% in the first quarter from the year earlier, climbed 3.8% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 4.8% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO), The Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (NYSE:DNB), Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX), McGraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP), and Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP).

Stock Price Performance: During September 22, 2011 to October 20, 2011, the stock price had risen $3.39 (11.3%) from $29.92 to $33.31. 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% (+$3.08) 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% (-$2.52) over that span. Shares are down $1.79 (-5.1%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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