Rockwell Automation First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) will unveil its latest earnings tomorrow, Wednesday, January 30, 2013. Rockwell Automation provides industrial automation power, control and information solutions to customers in the manufacturing sector.

Rockwell Automation Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.26 per share, a decline of 0.8% 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 $1.27. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has risen from $1.25 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 8.4% versus last year to $5.56.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to top estimates for the third straight quarter. Last quarter, it reported net income of $1.38 per share against a mean estimate of profit of $1.32, and the quarter before, the company exceeded forecasts by 2 cents with net income of $1.33 versus a mean estimate of profit of $1.31.

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Here’s how Rockwell Automation traded following its last earnings report 3 months ago and leading up to its upcoming earnings report this week:

rok

Stock Price Performance: Between October 26, 2012 and January 24, 2013, the stock price rose $19.79 (28.5%), from $69.36 to $89.15. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 10, 2012 and October 18, 2012, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 5% (+$3.44) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between June 19, 2012 and June 26, 2012 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 7.9% (-$5.49) over that span.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 4.34 last quarter. Having a ratio above 2:1 is usually considered a good indicator of a company’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit fell 3.3% to $195.2 million ($1.37 a share) from $201.8 million ($1.40 a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 0.6% to $1.66 billion from $1.65 billion.

Key Stats:

The company is looking to get back on track with this earnings announcement after a profit drop last quarter snapped a positive string of results. Net income rose 22.1% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 0.8% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 6.2% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before declining in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 7.9% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 6.6% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 2.9% 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.

Analyst Ratings: There are seven out of 13 analysts surveyed (53.8%) rating Rockwell Automation a buy.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.48 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 0.7% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $6.48 billion for the year, a rise of 3.5% from last year’s revenue of $6.26 billion.

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