Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLXP) will try to beat its earnings estimates for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Salix Pharmaceuticals is a specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to acquiring, developing and commercializing prescription drugs used in the treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal diseases.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back Salix Pharmaceuticals, with 12 of 15 rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like Salix Pharmaceuticals better than competitor Progenics Pharmaceuticals 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 $139.9 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 73.6% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.58 per share.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 88.2% assigning it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars with 84.3% awarding it a rating of "outperform." Fools have embraced Salix Pharmaceuticals, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 77 posts in the past 30 days. Salix Pharmaceuticals' bearish CAPS rating of two out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.

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 Q2 Q1 Q4 Q3
Gross Margin 81.0% 82.4% 77.0% 82.0%
Operating Margin 23.2% 7.0% 28.0% 5.6%
Net Margin 14.5% 0.3% 20.7% (3.4%)

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