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3 Earnings Reports That Caught My Attention Last Week

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/05/21/3-earnings-reports-that-caught-my-attention-last-.aspx

Sean Williams
May 21, 2012

After wrapping up an incredibly strong first quarter of earnings reports, we're halfway through the second quarter, with many reports still coming in better than expected. With so many companies reporting during the weeks that comprise earnings season, it's easy for some earnings reports to fall through the cracks.

Each week this year, I've taken a look at three companies that could be worth further research after either beating or missing their profit expectations. Today we'll take a gander at three more companies that reported earnings last week. If they slid under your radar, they deserve a look:

Company

Consensus EPS

Reported EPS

Surprise

VimpelCom (NYSE: VIP  ) $0.23 $0.20 (13%)
Jack in the Box (Nasdaq: JACK  ) $0.32 $0.48 50%
InterOil (NYSE: IOC  ) $0.05 $0.19 280%

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

VimpelCom
Being handed a fourth consecutive earnings miss was not what shareholders of Russian mobile provider VimpelCom had in mind. The Russian mobile phone market has really matured within the past couple of years, which means VimpelCom and rival Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE: MBT  ) have had to focus less on subscriber growth and more on growing its profit from existing subscribers.

Although the market has been nothing short of challenging, VimpelCom is successfully making this transition. In the first quarter, revenue grew 3%, while EBITDA jumped 9%. The company noted during the quarter that it would focus less on subscriber growth and instead boost its EBITDA growth by controlling expenses. Ultimately, this should result in improved profitability.

It's also worth keeping in mind that some of the reasons for the earnings shortfall included smaller currency gains, higher tax rates, and debt amortization -- nothing that materially affects the company's growth. As VimpelCom expands internationally and focuses on improving EBITDA growth, expect its stock to rebound accordingly.

Jack in the Box
It's really amazing how quickly results change if you refresh a company's image. We're beginning to see those results translate into better-than-expected profits for Jack in the Box, which spent years remodeling the inside of many of its restaurants.

In the second quarter, Jack in the Box reported a profit that blew analyst estimates out of the water. True, some of that was due to a $14.1 million gain received from selling 37 of its restaurants, but much of it resulted from healthier menu choices, catering to a wider audience, and restaurants with a friendlier appearance. It also expects same-store sales to grow between 3.5% and 4.5% in the upcoming quarter.

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