Stewart Information Services Outruns Estimates Again

Stewart Information Services (NYSE: STC  ) reported earnings on Feb. 16. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Stewart Information Services beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue shrank slightly and GAAP earnings per share dropped significantly.

Margins dropped across the board.

Revenue details
Stewart Information Services booked revenue of $445.1 million. The two analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected revenue of $378.4 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 1.0% lower than the prior-year quarter's $449.5 million.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.14. The one earnings estimate compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.12 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.11 for Q4 were 74% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.43 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 46.0%, 140 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 2.8%, 50 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 0.5%, 170 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $416.7 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.47.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.78 billion. The average EPS estimate is $0.90.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 149 members out of 168 rating the stock outperform, and 19 members rating it underperform. Among 71 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 66 give Stewart Information Services a green thumbs-up, and five give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Stewart Information Services is hold, with an average price target of $12.00.

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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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