W.R. Grace & Co. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. W.R. Grace & Company is engaged in the production and sale of specialty chemicals and specialty materials on a global basis through its two operating segments, Grace Davison and Grace Construction Products.

W.R. Grace & Co. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 87 cents per share, a rise of 40.3% 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 $3.93 per share, a rise of 49.4% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 10 cents, coming in at net income of $1.16 a share versus the estimate of profit of $1.06 a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Analyst Ratings: The limited number of analysts covering the stock seem bullish with three analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and none rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 48.1% to $81.3 million ($1.07 a share) from $54.9 million (74 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 26.7% to $864.2 million from $682.1 million.

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 20.6% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 13.1% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 2.2% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company has now been profitable for the last eight quarters, and for the last four, profit has risen year over year by an average of 22.4%. The quarter with the biggest boost was the second quarter, which saw a 48.6% surge.

Competitors to Watch: The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW), Innospec Inc. (NASDAQ:IOSP), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ROC), Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (NASDAQ:SIAL), Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE), Ferro Corporation (NYSE:FOE), Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN), and Lubrizol Corporation (NYSE:LZ).

Stock Price Performance: During November 28, 2011 to January 26, 2012, the stock price had risen $13.92 (36.7%) from $37.94 to $51.86. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 24, 2011 and July 6, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 13% (+$5.54) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 15, 2011 and November 25, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 13.6% (-$5.75) over that span.

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

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