Investors are on the edges of their seats, hoping that Snap-on (NYSE: SNA) will top analyst expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, Oct. 20. Snap-on is a global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics, equipment, software, and service solutions.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts are very bullish on this stock, unanimously backing it as a buy. Snap-on's rating hasn't changed over the past three months.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $720 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 10.2% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $1.01 per share. Estimates range from $0.96 to $1.07.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 91.5% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars, with 92% awarding it a rating of "outperform." Fools have embraced Snap-on, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 87 posts in the past 30 days. Snap-on has a bullish CAPS rating of five out of five stars that is about on par with the Fool community assessment.

Management:
Snap-on's profit has risen year over year by an average of 66.5% 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 Q2 Q1 Q4 Q3
Gross Margin 47.5% 47.7% 45.6% 45.7%
Operating Margin 17.7% 13.9% 13.5% 12.5%
Net Margin 10.3% 7.8% 8.1% 6.9%
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