Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of U-Haul parent AMERCO
So what: It's really pretty simple to explain AMERCO's gains today. Wall Street analysts expected the company to report certain numbers for the third quarter, and AMERCO absolutely trounced those expectations. Third-quarter earnings per share came in at $0.80, as compared to $0.02 for the third quarter of 2009 and the $0.30 that analysts had estimated. Revenue was also impressive, as the $530 million AMERCO reported -- a 14% increase year over year -- easily bested the $480 million analysts expected.
Now what: As the company noted in its report, inclement weather tends to discourage people from moving at this time of year. This will more than likely show up in the company's fiscal fourth-quarter numbers; it's typical for revenue to decline and the company to report a loss during its final quarter. Of course, I'd seriously question whether we'll see the $0.39 loss that analysts are expecting. Based on the results of the past year, Wall Street seems to continually underestimate this company.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. 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 Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.