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What: Shares of ARAMARK Holdings Corporation (NYSE:ARMK) were looking fresher today, gaining as much 18% on its first earnings report as a publicly traded company.
So what: The institutional hospitality company said sales improved 7% to $3.8 billion ahead of estimates at $3.7 billion, while adjusted earnings improved to $0.52 per share on an 18% improvement in operating income, topping expectations of $0.43 a share. Management said some of the improvement came from lapping the quarter a year ago that was affected by Hurricane Sandy and the NHL lockout. CEO Eric Foss said that the company's positive momentum has continued as the company keeps winning new business and achieving high client-retention rates.
Now what: Today's jump seemed to come mostly from low expectations. In its full-year outlook, Aramark said it expected revenue growth of just 3% to 5%, so even this quarter's modest growth is expected to slow. The company also sees earnings per of share at $1.30 to $1.40, with the range of estimates at $1.31, which would give it a P/E near 20. Given those modest growth prospects and stable business, I wouldn't expect too many more days like this for Aramark shareholders.
Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. 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.