Badger Meter (NYSE: BMI) didn't hit the Street's expectations last quarter, but investors hope that it will rebound this quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, July 20. Badger Meter is a manufacturer and marketer of products incorporating liquid flow measurement and control technologies.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on Badger Meter, with five of seven analysts rating it a hold. Analysts don't like Badger Meter as much as competitor Itron overall. Fifteen out of 26 analysts rate Itron a buy, compared with two of seven for Badger Meter. Analysts still rate the stock a hold, but they are a bit more wary about it compared with three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $72.7 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 2.1% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.46 per share. Estimates range from $0.38 to $0.53.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock, with 96.6% awarding it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars, with 91.8% assigning it a rating of "outperform." Fools have embraced Badger Meter, though the message boards have been quiet lately, with only 66 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of Badger Meter, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Management:
Badger Meter's income has fallen year over year by an average of 12.4%. A year-over-year revenue decrease last quarter snaps a streak of three consecutive quarters of revenue increases.

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 35.6% 38% 36.9% 36.4%
Operating Margin 9.1% 14.9% 17.7% 17.5%
Net Margin 5.7% 9.7% 11.9% 10.8%
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