Jabil Circuit, Inc. (JBL), FutureFuel Corp. (FF): 3 Earnings Reports That Caught My Attention Last Week

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As first-quarter earnings creep to a close, I can’t help but point out that the majority of earnings reports we’ve covered over the past year have been better than expected. With so many companies reporting during the weeks that comprise earnings season, it’s easy for some earnings reports to fall through the cracks.

Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:JBL)

Each week for the past year, I’ve taken a look at three companies that could be worth further research after either beating or missing their profit expectations. Today, we’ll take a gander at three more companies that reported earnings last week. They may have slid under your radar, but they deserve a look.

Company Consensus EPS Reported EPS Surprise
Guess? $0.87 $0.95 9%
Jabil Circuit (NYSE:JBL) $0.54 $0.53 (2%)
FutureFuel (NYSE:FF) $0.19 $0.15 (21%)

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES)
It’s a name that aptly fits the apparel and accessories company that wooed analysts with a better-than-expected fourth quarter but offered underwhelming first-quarter guidance of just $0.05 to $0.10 per share when Wall Street had been expecting $0.08.

Unfortunately for Guess?, its fourth-quarter report isn’t the peaches ‘n’ cream that its earnings beat would make it out to be. Overall, adjusted net earnings fell 15% from the year-ago quarter amid a shrinking margin environment in North America, where it generates a majority of its business. Like other apparel retailers, Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES) has taken to expanding to emerging markets in order to boost its bottom line, but the amount it derives in sales from these regions just isn’t enough to counteract the negative effects it received from a 6.3% decline in North American same-store sales.

As dire as the outlook might appear for Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES), I feel it could have a decent chance of stabilizing in North America if it limits its promotional activity and keeps its inventory level relatively low. Whether or not that happens is up to management, but Guess? offers an attractive dividend and a history of profitability that would make it an intriguing buy candidate if it were to fall further.

Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:JBL)
It’s actually quite a shame that Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) and Jabil reported within one minute of each other on Wednesday, as Oracle’s mammoth earnings miss would have given Jabil shareholders some time to prepare for what was bound to be a similarly miserable report. Oracle, which operates in both the hardware and software side of the business, missed revenue expectations by more than 4%, and noted that hardware sales in the upcoming quarter could fall by 12% to 22%.

Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:JBL), a company focused mostly on the hardware side of the business, would clearly not be expected to fare well after the news from Oracle — and not surprisingly, the report wasn’t very encouraging. Looking toward the third quarter, Jabil forecast just $0.50 to $0.58 in EPS versus an existing $0.61 EPS estimate. Part of Jabil’s reduced forecast has to do with its recent purchase of Nypro for $655 million in February. Nypro, a plastics manufacturer for the health care and consumer electronics sectors, will help expand Jabil’s product line, but the costs of integrating the company into its fold are damaging Jabil’s margins.

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