J.B. Hunt Transport Services (Nasdaq: JBHT) came in right in line with the Street's expectations last quarter, but investors are hoping that it will beat them this quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, October 13. J.B. Hunt Transport Services is the wholesale distributor of specialty technology products, providing value-added distribution sales to resellers in the specialty technology markets.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back J.B. Hunt Transport Services, with 21 of 24 rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like J.B. Hunt Transport Services better than competitor Old Dominion Freight Line 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 $1.17 billion in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 18.7% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of 57 cents per share. Estimates range from 54 cents to 62 cents.

What our community says:
The majority of CAPS All Stars see JBHT as a good bet, with 72.7% assigning it an "outperform" rating. The majority of the Fools are in agreement with the All Stars as 74.1% give it an "outperform" rating. Fools are gung-ho about J.B. Hunt Transport Services, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 97 posts in the past 30 days. J.B. Hunt Transport Services' bearish CAPS rating of two out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.

Management:
J.B. Hunt Transport Services' profit has risen year over year by an average of 32.3% over the past five quarters. The company's gross margin shrank by 3.1 percentage points in the last quarter. Revenue rose 22% while cost of sales rose 28.6% to $697.9 million from a year earlier.

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

39.3%

40.1%

40.9%

42.1%

Operating Margin

9.9%

9%

9.5%

9.3%

Net Margin

5.7%

5%

5.7%

5.3%

One final thing: If you want to keep tabs on J.B. Hunt Transport Services movements, and for more analysis on the company, make sure you add it to your Watchlist.

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