MICROS Systems (Nasdaq: MCRS) only managed to meet estimates last quarter, but investors hope that it will surpass expectations this quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, Jan. 26. MICROS Systems is a worldwide designer, manufacturer, marketer, and servicer of enterprise information solutions for the global hospitality and retail industries.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back MICROS Systems, with 10 of 11 rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like MICROS Systems better than competitor VeriFone Systems overall. While analysts still rate the stock a moderate buy, they are a little more optimistic about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $270.1 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 9.3% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.48 per share. Estimates range from $0.45 to $0.52.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 97.2% assigning it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars with 93.9% giving it a rating of "outperform." Fools have embraced MICROS Systems, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 34 posts in the past 30 days. MICROS Systems has a bullish CAPS rating of five out of five stars that is about on par with the Fool community assessment.

Management:
MICROS Systems' profit has risen year over year by an average of 23% over the past five quarters. Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters. The company boosted its gross margin by 2.1 percentage points in the last quarter. Revenue rose 9.9% while cost of sales rose 4.8% to $112.1 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 Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2
Gross Margin 56.3% 56.5% 55.8% 55.6%
Operating Margin 20.8% 23.7% 20.5% 18.9%
Net Margin 14.5% 15.2% 15.2% 13.1%
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