H.J. Heinz Company Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, May 24, 2012. HJ Heinz manufactures food products, including ketchup, condiments and sauces, frozen food, soups, beans and pasta meals, infant nutrition and other food products.

H.J. Heinz Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 79 cents per share, a rise of 11.3% 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 80 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 79 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 8.1% compared to last year’s $3.33.

Past Earnings Performance: The company’s quarterly results have come in above estimates for the last three quarters. Last quarter, the company booked net income of 95 cents per share versus a mean estimate of profit of 85 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $3.07 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 6.2% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $11.65 billion for the year, a rise of 8.8% from last year’s revenue of $10.71 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Optimism surrounds H.J. Heinz Company, as seven analysts rate it as a buy, one rates it as a sell, and seven rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 4% to $284.7 million (88 cents a share) from $273.8 million (84 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 7.2% to $2.92 billion from $2.72 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 fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 14.9% in the first quarter and 8.3% in the second quarter before increasing again in the third quarter.

Heading into this earnings announcement, the company is trying build on some positive momentum from last quarter’s income increase. After net income declines in the first quarter and second quarter, profit rose in the third quarter.

Stock Price Performance: Between March 22, 2012 and May 18, 2012, the stock price had risen $1.17 (2.2%), from $52.93 to $54.10. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 23, 2012 and May 1, 2012, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 3% (+$1.54) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between April 2, 2012 and April 10, 2012 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 1.8% (-99 cents) over that span.

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

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