ESCO Technologies (NYSE: ESE) will try to beat its earnings estimates for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, Nov. 8. ESCO Technologies is a producer of engineered products and systems sold to customers worldwide. It operates in three segments: utility solutions, test, and filtration/fluid flow.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back ESCO Technologies, with seven of 11 rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like ESCO Technologies better than competitor Cognex 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 $190.6 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 8.3% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.57 per share. Estimates range from $0.48 to $0.82.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 89.7% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars with 89.9% assigning it a rating of "outperform." Fools are gung-ho about ESCO Technologies, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 23 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of ESCO Technologies, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Management:
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 Q3 Q2 Q1 Q4
Gross Margin 40.2% 40.9% 39.0% 40.8%
Operating Margin 11.8% 13.0% 10.0% 15.3%
Net Margin 7.4% 7.9% 6.8% 11.5%

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