After beating estimates last quarter by $0.04, TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) has set the standard for itself. The company will unveil its latest earnings Wednesday. TrueBlue is a provider of temporary blue-collar staffing with four brands, namely Labor Ready brand, Spartan Staffing brand, CLP brand and PlaneTechs brand.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back TrueBlue, with eight of nine rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like TrueBlue better than competitor Spherion 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 $320 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 12.4% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.18 per share. Estimates range from $0.16 to $0.20.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock, with 92.3% assigning it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars, with 91.6% awarding it a rating of "outperform." Fools are keen on TrueBlue, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 68 posts in the past 30 days. Even with a robust four out of five stars, TrueBlue's CAPS rating falls a little short of the community's upbeat outlook.

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 25.5% 26.3% 27% 26.6%
Operating Margin 0.3% 1.8% 5.2% 3.7%
Net Margin 0.3% 1.3% 3.3% 2.8%

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