Universal Forest Products (Nasdaq: UFPI) beat estimates by $0.07 last quarter and investors are hoping it can beat them again. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday. Universal Forest Products provides capital, management and administrative resources to subsidiaries that design, manufacture, and market wood and wood-alternative products for retail home centers and other retailers.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on Universal Forest Products with three of four analysts rating it hold. Analysts like Universal Forest Products better than competitor Louisiana-Pacific overall. Two out of 12 analysts rate Louisiana-Pacific a buy compared to one of four for Universal Forest Products. Analysts' rating of Universal Forest Products has stayed constant from three months prior.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $473.8 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 1.4% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.37 per share. Estimates range from $0.26 to $0.50.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 78.1% granting it an outperform rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars with 80.2% assigning it a rating of outperform. Fools have embraced Universal Forest Products, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 65 posts in the past 30 days. Universal Forest Products' bearish CAPS rating of two out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.

Revenue has fallen in the past two 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 Q2 Q1 Q4 Q3
Gross Margin 10.4% 10.7% 12.2% 11.3%
Operating Margin 1.4% (1.3%) (0.6%) 1.2%
Net Margin 0.8% (0.9%) 0% 0.5%
One final thing: If you want to keep tabs on Universal Forest Products movements, and for more analysis on the company, make sure you add it to your watchlist.