Investors never know what to expect for Bob Evans Farms (Nasdaq: BOBE), as it has wavered between topping and missing analysts estimates during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, Aug. 16. Bob Evans Farms is a full-service restaurant company that operates two distinct restaurant concepts -- Bob Evans Restaurants and Mimi's Cafes.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back Bob Evans Farms, with four of seven rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like Bob Evans Farms better than competitor CBRL Group overall. 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 $415.6 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 0.7% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.50 per share. Estimates range from $0.46 to $0.53.

What our community says:
The majority of CAPS All-Stars see Bob Evans Farms as a good bet, with 71.1% assigning it an "outperform" rating. The majority of the Fools are in agreement with the All-Stars, as 67.2% give it an "outperform" rating. Fools are bullish on Bob Evans Farms, though the message boards have been quiet lately, with only 59 posts in the past 30 days. Bob Evans Farms' bearish CAPS rating of two out of five stars falls short of the Fool community's sentiment.

Management:
Bob Evans Farms' income has fallen year over year by an average of 24.3% over the past five quarters. Revenue has fallen for the past three 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 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1
Gross Margin 69.3% 68.5% 70.2% 70.4%
Operating Margin 6.6% 5.9% 3.3% 5.2%
Net Margin 4.4% 3.6% 1.9% 3%
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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.