Laser-maker Rofin-Sinar (NASDAQ:RSTI) reports fiscal Q3 2006 earnings results tomorrow morning. Want to know what Wall Street expects to see? Read on. Want to know what really matters? Read on a bit more.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or waffle? Half a dozen analysts don shades to track this laser's progress. Half of them say buy, and the other half hold.
  • Revenues and earnings. The analysts are keeping mum on what sales they expect to see in tomorrow's news, but one brave soul has posited an earnings number: $0.80 per share, a 48% improvement over last year.

What management says:
Reviewing last quarter's performance, CEO Gunther Braun pronounced himself "very pleased" with the firm's "record level of order entry and sales" in fiscal Q2. With plenty of backlogged business to work on, sales of CO2 lasers and welding-function lasers gaining "steady momentum," and micro and marking products benefiting from what he saw as a positive business environment, Braun said the firm would "proceed confidently" into fiscal Q3. He also hinted that the firm would be making special efforts to expand its business in Asian markets this quarter.

What management does:
Sales aren't the only things hitting record levels. Rofin-Sinar's rolling gross, operating, and net margins are stronger than they've been in the last 18 months.

Margins %

12/04

3/05

6/05

9/05

12/05

3/06

Gross

41.0

41.1

41.2

40.8

41.6

42.6

Op.

15.9

16.3

16.5

15.7

17.0

18.2

Net

10.4

10.7

10.8

10.1

10.8

11.4

All data courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data reflects trailing-12-month performance for the quarters ended in the named months.

The Fool says:
Those rising margins haven't gone unnoticed at the top levels of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, either. In his latest twice-yearly roundup of all Hidden Gems picks, Gems co-analyst Bill Mann singled out Rofin-Sinar for commendation on its "rising gross and net margins" and noted that the firm's semiconductors and electronics business is "booming." Bill also agrees that Rofin-Sinar can do well in Asia, noting that business there grew more than 60% year over year in the past 12 months.

All of these are pretty general statements. But the great thing about Hidden Gems, for those of us who like hard and fast metrics (such as yours Fool-y), is that twice a year, our co-analysts give us precise "buy below" prices on which to fix our laser-sights. Find out what price Bill thinks is fair for Rofin-Sinar -- and a few dozen other companies to boot -- by clicking here and taking a free trial of the service.

Competitors:

  • Coherent (NASDAQ:COHR)
  • Cymer (NASDAQ:CYMI)
  • Excel Technology (NASDAQ:XLTC)
  • GSI Group (NASDAQ:GSIG)
  • Newport (NASDAQ:NEWP)

Suppliers:

  • II-VI (NASDAQ:IIVI)

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above.