The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), US Ecology beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew significantly and GAAP earnings per share contracted.
Margins shrank across the board.
US Ecology reported revenue of $50.4 million. The one analyst polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted a top line of $43.7 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 21% higher than the prior-year quarter's $41.6 million.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $0.36. The two earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.31 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.33 for Q4 were 11% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.37 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 36.3%, 230 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 21.5%, 350 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 12.1%, 400 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $38.4 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.27.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $176.9 million. The average EPS estimate is $1.46.
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 495 members out of 508 rating the stock outperform, and 13 members rating it underperform. Among 148 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 147 give US Ecology a green thumbs-up, and one give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on US Ecology is buy, with an average price target of $23.80.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.