Rockwell Automation Inc. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE:ROK) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. Rockwell Automation provides industrial automation power, control and information solutions to customers in the manufacturing sector.

Rockwell Automation Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.21 per share, a rise of 16.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $1.17. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has risen from $1.19 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $5.29 per share, a rise of 10.4% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 17 cents, coming in at profit of $1.39 a share versus the estimate of net income of $1.22 a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 10.2% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1.51 billion.

Analyst Ratings: five out of nine analysts surveyed (55.6%) have a buy rating on Rockwell Automation.. This is below the mean analyst rating of 10 competitors, which average 67.6% buy ratings.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 53.7% to $201.8 million ($1.40 a share) from $131.3 million (91 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 21.9% to $1.65 billion from $1.36 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 23.8%, with the biggest boost coming in the first quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 27.9% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 50.3% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 21.5% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), AMETEK, Inc. (NYSE:AME), Parker-Hannifin Corp. (NYSE:PH), Honeywell Intl. Inc. (NYSE:HON), Perceptron, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCP), Aspen Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AZPN), Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE:EMR), Baldwin Technology Co. (AMEX:BLD), Hollysys Automation Tech. Ltd (NASDAQ:HOLI), and Newport Corporation (NASDAQ:NEWP).

Stock Price Performance: During October 21, 2011 to January 19, 2012, the stock price had risen $15.59 (23.6%) from $66.16 to $81.75. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 6, 2012 and January 18, 2012 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 13.2% (+$9.54) 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, falling 19.3% (-$15.95) over that span.

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

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