Coinstar (NASDAQ:OUTR) is set to report earnings after the market closes on Thursday. Here's what you need to watch for in the results.
The first question that tends to dominate right after an earnings release is: Did the company meet expectations? For Coinstar, that means booking at least $0.73 per share in profits on $580 million in revenue. Hitting those numbers would mark a 27% fall in earnings and a 12% bump in sales.
The outlook that Coinstar gives here will be important, too. Analysts expect full-year earnings of about $5.15 per share in 2013, on roughly $2.5 billion in revenue. Guidance that disagrees significantly with those figures could spark big moves in the stock.
The long, slow decline of DVDs
Coinstar's revenue growth has been powered by its Redbox division, which delivers DVDs to consumers through more than 40,000 kiosks across the country. The company is a leader in the DVD rental space, which will eventually be replaced by instant streaming. Still, DVD is far from dead, as CEO Paul Davis told investors last quarter, "We believe it will have vitality for years to come."
In that last quarter, Coinstar boasted that it increased market share over DVD-by-mail by more than 9 percentage points. However, this holiday quarter saw DVD subscriber losses shrink at Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), removing one tailwind that Coinstar has enjoyed for over a year. We'll learn on Thursday whether Coinstar managed to keep up Redbox growth during a time when Netflix's DVD members largely stayed put.
An instant success?
And finally, investors will get an update on the progress of Coinstar's joint venture with Verizon (NYSE:VZ), called Redbox Instant. After multiple delays, that service is finally in beta, providing subscribers a mix of instant streaming content and overnight rentals from kiosks for one monthly fee. While streaming titles can be expensive, don't expect Coinstar's books to be hit with huge content costs. Redbox Instant pays for online content on a per-subscriber basis.
That setup will effectively limit costs, especially while the service ramps up. But it will also keep Coinstar's profits from the joint venture in check.