Investors hope MKS Instruments (Nasdaq: MKSI) will top analyst estimates once again after it beat predictions by $0.02 in the previous quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, July 20. MKS Instruments is a provider of instruments, subsystems, and process control solutions that measure, control, power, monitor, and analyze critical parameters to improve process performance and productivity of advanced manufacturing processes.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts are bullish on this stock, with two analysts rating it as a buy and only one rating it as a sell. Analysts don't like MKS Instruments as much as competitor Cognex overall. Analysts' rating of MKS Instruments has stayed constant from three months prior.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $220.5 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 0.1% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.63 per share. Estimates range from $0.63 to $0.64.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock, with 97.3% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large backs the All-Stars, with 95.3% granting it a rating of "outperform." Fools are keen on MKS Instruments, though the message boards have been quiet lately, with only 56 posts in the past 30 days. Even with a robust four out of five stars, MKS Instruments' CAPS rating falls a little short of the community's upbeat outlook.

Management:
MKS Instruments' income has fallen year over year by an average of more than threefold.

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 45.9% 44.4% 44.5% 44.1%
Operating Margin 24.4% 22.1% 24.8% 22.6%
Net Margin 16.4% 16.4% 17.5% 17.6%
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