Ultratech (Nasdaq: UTEK) beat estimates by $0.04 last quarter, and investors are hoping it can beat them again. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, July 21. The company develops, manufactures, and markets photolithography and laser thermal processing equipment for manufacturers of semiconductor and nanotechnology components located throughout North America, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and the rest of Asia.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back Ultratech, with three of four rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like Ultratech better than competitor Cymer overall. Analysts still rate the stock a moderate buy, but they are a bit more wary about it compared with three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $52.1 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 65% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.35 per share. Estimates range from $0.33 to $0.37.

What our community says:
Most CAPS All Stars are skeptical of Ultratech's prospects, with 70.2% assigning it an "underperform" rating. The community is divided on the stock, with 49.3% Fools giving it an "outperform" rating and 50.7% an "underperform" rating. The message boards have been quiet lately, with only 71 posts in the past 30 days. Ultratech's bearish CAPS rating of one out of five stars falls short of the Fool community's sentiment.

Management:
Ultratech's profit has risen year over year by an average of 47.1%.

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 50% 51.4% 48.8% 52.8%
Operating Margin 17.2% 16.1% 12.9% 11.9%
Net Margin 16.6% 14.5% 12.9% 11.5%
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