Investors are on the edge of their collective seats, hoping that Stein Mart (Nasdaq: SMRT) will top analyst expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, August 18. Stein Mart is a national retailer offering the fashion merchandise, service and presentation of a better department or specialty store at prices competitive with off-price retail chains.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back Stein Mart, with three of four rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like Stein Mart better than competitor Citi Trends overall. Analysts still rate the stock a Moderate buy, but they are a bit more wary about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $273.3 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 1% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of 6 cents per share. Estimates range from 3 cents to 7 cents.

What our community says:
The majority of CAPS All Stars see SMRT as a good bet, with 61.4% giving it an "outperform" rating. The majority of the Fools are in agreement with the All Stars as 60.1% give it an "outperform" rating. Fools are keen on Stein Mart and haven't been shy with their opinions lately, logging 104 posts in the past 30 days. Stein Mart's bearish CAPS rating of one out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.

Management:
Stein Mart's profit has risen year over year by an average of more than fourfold over the past five 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

29.6%

26%

25.4%

25%

Operating Margin

8.6%

4.7%

1%

4.9%

Net Margin

5.2%

5.6%

1.6%

4.1%

One final thing: If you want to keep tabs on Stein Mart movements, and for more analysis on the company, make sure you add it to your Watchlist.

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