HEICO Corporation Makes up for So-So Earnings With Sky-High Guidance

The still-solid results and even better outlook bode well for the future.

Aug 27, 2014 at 9:22AM

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HEICO Corporation (NYSE:HEI) reported its fiscal third quarter on Tuesday. Results were in-line with the average analyst estimate for adjusted EPS of $0.44 but came in a tad light on the revenue side with $291 million versus an expectation of $296 million.

Despite the somewhat disappointing numbers, revenue was still up 8% on a year-over-year basis while adjusted EPS was still up a penny. CEO Laurans A. Mendelson stated:

We are very pleased to report yet another strong quarter highlighted by record consolidated net sales and net income. These results principally reflect record quarterly net sales within the Electronic Technologies Group, continued growth in net sales within the Flight Support Group and a year-over-year increase in our quarterly consolidated operating income.

More importantly, HEICO raised its full year fiscal guidance. Revenue outlook growth for the full year remained the same at between 12% and 14% but net income growth outlook was raised from between 12% and 14% to between 14% and 16%.

What does this translate to?

Based on $1.01 billion in sales last fiscal year, that puts guidance for sales at between $1.13 billion and $1.15 billion this year. In the first nine months, HEICO had net sales of $840 million, so if you back out that figure from the full year guided numbers it comes to fiscal fourth quarter guidance essentially of between $290 million and $310 million. This range is a bit shy of the $314 million average analyst estimate.

On the adjusted earnings side, I'll do the same calculation but spare you the math this time. Fiscal adjusted earnings are forecasted by HEICO to come in at between $1.74 and $1.77 per share which comes out to between $0.52 and $0.55 per share for just the fourth quarter. Analysts were expecting $0.49 per share on average with a range of between $0.44 and $0.52. This puts the adjusted EPS guidance range above all of the estimates.

In a perfect world, revenue guidance would beat analyst estimates too but in the end earnings are most important.

Strengths and weaknesses

HEICO has two main segments of its business under one umbrella. The earnings release was short on specifics beyond numbers, but those numbers do help tell the tale. The Flight Support Group experienced a 6% increase in net sales with 4% of it coming from an acquisition and the other 2% being organic.

The Electronic Technologies Group saw record sales with a growth of 17%. 9% of that was organic and 8% was from an acquisition. Going forward, HEICO actually expects softer demand in this segment's defense products that is only partially offset by other products.

The Specialty Products Group also expects softness in defense products but believes it will be more than offset by "commercial aerospace aftermarket replacement parts and repair and overhaul services product lines." Apparently that is where the growth is anticipated to come from, and the segment has higher profit margins than defense products on average. This favorable product mix is why there is a positive surprise earnings outlook despite a negative surprise on sales.

All forward-looking statements by HEICO are based on its "economic visibility." You know how that goes. HEICO long term is to a large degree subject to the budgets of others outside of its control such as airlines, defense contractors, manufacturers, and military agencies.

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Nickey Friedman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Heico. 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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