Earnings Preview: Harman

Zacks

Harman International Industries Inc. (HAR) is scheduled to release its fiscal fourth quarter 2012 results before the opening bell on August 10, 2012. In the run up to the earnings release we do not notice any significant estimates revision by the analysts covering the stock.

Harman has outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the preceding four quarters by 10.07%. We expect this trend to continue in the current quarter.

Previous Quarter Highlights

Harman reported third quarter 2012 earnings of 74 cents per share, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents.

Revenues increased 15.6% year over year to $1.09 billion in the third quarter of 2012. Revenue also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.06 billion. The year-over-year growth was driven by growth in all business segments, particularly the Infotainment division.

For further details please read: Harman Surpasses Estimates

Estimate Revision Trend

In the last 30 days, one upward and one downward revision was noticed from the four analysts covering the stock. However, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter increased by a penny to 65 cents over the same period.

Analysts expect strong order backlog of $14 billion to act as a positive catalyst for the company. Expansions in the high-growth Brazil, Russia, India, China (:BRIC) countries coupled with incremental demand in the luxury car segment are the other positive factors.

However, Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) recent unveiling of its Siri integrated voice car navigational, mapping and information system could act as the headwind for the company. The Infotainment segment, which includes in-car dashboard entertainment and information systems, accounts for the majority of revenue share.

Recommendation

Harman boasts a solid product pipeline that is supported by more than 4000 patents, and the company intends to roll out new infotainment products in order to further drive sales. The Infotainment segment has done particularly well in garnering new orders from automakers. The company’s expansion in the BRIC countries is expected to pave the way for achieving the projected revenue of $1.5 billion over the next three years from the region.

However, Harman continues to face tough competition from Panasonic Corp. (PC) and Sony Corp. (SNE), which may hurt its profitability going forward.

We maintain our Neutral recommendation on a long-term basis (6-12 months). Currently, Harman has a Zacks #3 Rank, which implies a Hold rating on a short-term basis (1-3 months).

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