Cummins Inc. (CMI): Can The Company Still Grow in a Sluggish Economy?

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Cummins Sales GuidanceOn Tuesday, Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) has long been a go-to provider of engines and related components for a variety of industrial purposes, especially heavy-duty trucks, buses, and other heavy equipment. The company has gotten a lot of attention lately for its natural-gas-powered engine technology, which aims to help its customers take advantage of low nat-gas prices. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on Cummins

Analyst EPS Estimate $1.86
Change From Year-Ago EPS (22%)
Revenue Estimate $3.97 billion
Change From Year-Ago Revenue (11.3%)
Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters 4

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

How will Cummins keep growing this quarter? Analysts have gotten less optimistic about Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI)' earnings prospects in recent months, cutting a dime off their earnings-per-share call for the just-ended quarter and reducing full-year 2013 estimates by $0.25 per share. That has helped contribute to a 3% drop for the stock since late January despite a broad rise in the overall stock market.

The Motley Fool named Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) the best company in America based on its focus on engine solutions that balance the needs of its customers against the good of society. Cummins has made a viable business model out of developing high-performance engines that nevertheless provide fuel efficiency and reliability while producing less pollution. Just last month, Cummins announced a deal with Eaton Corporation, PLC Ordinary Shares (NYSE:ETN) to produce a heavy-truck powertrain package to improve fuel economy by 3% to 6%.

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