I'm feeling daring this morning, and so I'm going to go out on a bit of limb here with my prediction for tomorrow's earnings report for Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick CNS
When the maker of "Breathe Right" nose strips reports earnings tomorrow, I expect it to disappoint the Street. I've got nothing against the company, mind you. On the contrary, I admire its past performance, and I think it's a wonderful business -- small, fast-growing, with an easy-to-understand business model, and producing piles of cash quarter after quarter.
That said, the quartet of analysts who follow this company appear tired of being made to look silly. Over each of the past four quarters, CNS has put its earnings predictions to shame -- twice earning double what the analysts had told investors to expect. So this time, the analysts have set the bar so high that I suspect CNS will fail to clear it.
The analysts currently predict that CNS will report just under $25 million in sales and $0.28 in earnings per diluted share for its fiscal second quarter 2006. Last quarter, CNS reported that it grew revenues by 42% over fiscal Q1 2005, raking in $23.5 million in sales for the quarter. The company went on to predict that, in H1 2006, it would grow revenues by 25% to 30%, which should come to somewhere between $45.6 million to $47.4 million. If you subtract the $23.5 million in sales already booked, from even the top company-originated estimate, you're still looking at sales of just $23.9 million for the quarter.
In other words, analysts have set CNS up for a fall tomorrow. Unless the company beats its own best expectations by $1 million, Wall Street can declare it to have "missed estimates."
Still, there is some hope for CNS to pull a rabbit out of its hat. On the earnings front, by hitting its own top-revenue estimate ($23.9 million), CNS can conceivably earn as much as $0.29 per share if it repeats last quarter's stellar 17% net margin -- beating the consensus earnings estimate by $0.01. On the other hand, if it manages only the 16% margin it has maintained over the past year, its earnings could fall short of analyst expectations by a penny.
So the stakes are high for CNS shareholders tomorrow. In order to "meet expectations," the company really has to do everything right. If it falls short on either sales or margins, CNS' stock could be headed for a fall.
Whatever news tomorrow brings, CNS has already richly rewarded Motley Fool Hidden Gems subscribers.Since it was recommendedtwo years ago, it has returned more than 150% in profits to long-term holders -- and it's not even our best pick! To see the rest of our stellar small-cap stock performers, click here and start your free trial subscription today.
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Fool contributor Rich Smithhas no position in CNS.