Exponent (Nasdaq: EXPO) will try to beat its earnings estimates for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, July 20. Exponent is a science and engineering consulting firm, which provides high-quality engineering and scientific consulting services to clients around the world.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on Exponent, with three of four analysts rating it a hold. Analysts don't like Exponent as much as competitor Navigant Consulting overall. Four out of eight analysts rate Navigant Consulting a buy, compared with one of four for Exponent. Exponent's rating hasn't changed over the past three months.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $60.3 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 9.5% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.51 per share. Estimates range from $0.50 to $0.52.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock, with 98.6% assigning it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars, with 97.4% awarding it a rating of "outperform." Fools are gung-ho about Exponent, though the message boards have been quiet lately, with only 56 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of Exponent, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Management:
Exponent's profit has risen year over year by an average of 30.1%. Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters. 

Quarter Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2
Gross Margin 87.4% 29.7% 30.1% 34.9%
Operating Margin 16.8% 15% 17.4% 21.1%
Net Margin 10.9% 9.9% 11.8% 12%
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