Paychex Meets on the Top Line, Misses Where it Counts

Paychex (Nasdaq: PAYX  ) reported earnings on June 26. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended May 31 (Q4), Paychex met expectations on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded. GAAP earnings per share stayed the same.

Gross margins grew, operating margins grew, net margins shrank.

Revenue details
Paychex logged revenue of $585.3 million. The 20 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected revenue of $586.4 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 6.1% higher than the prior-year quarter's $551.5 million.

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

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.34. The 23 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.37 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.34 were the same as the prior-year quarter.

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 70.8%, 190 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 36.2%, 70 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 21.1%, 130 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $611.1 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.45.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $2.47 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.71.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,443 members out of 1,515 rating the stock outperform, and 72 members rating it underperform. Among 553 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 542 give Paychex a green thumbs-up, and 11 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Paychex is hold, with an average price target of $33.94.

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Seth Jayson owned shares of the following at the time of publication: Paychex. 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. The Motley Fool recommends Paychex. 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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