U.S. markets closed

ABB Q1 Earnings and Revenues Decline Y/Y, Orders Decrease

Zacks Equity Research

ABB Ltd. ABB reported disappointing first-quarter 2020 results, wherein both earnings and revenues declined on a year-over-year basis.

Operational earnings were 30 cents per share, which recorded a decline of 2% on a year-over-year basis.

Top-Line Details

ABB’s first-quarter revenues totaled $6,216 million, down 9.2% from the year-ago quarter. The downside can be attributed to a decline at all of its segments. On a comparable basis, revenues were down 7%.

Total orders were $7,346 million, decreasing 4% year over year. The metric increased 1% on a comparable basis, backed by strong orders in Industrial Automation and Motion segments, largely offset by weakness in Robotics & Discrete Automation. Order backlog decreased 1% on a year over year basis.

ABB Ltd Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


ABB Ltd Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

ABB Ltd price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | ABB Ltd Quote

Segmental Details

ABB reports revenues under four segments as discussed below:

Electrification: Revenues totaled $2,773 million, decreasing 9% year over year. Orders were down 7% year over year to $3,121 million, owing to lower short-cycle industrial demand in the Americas and AMEA regions.

Industrial Automation: Revenues were $1,462 million, declining 4% year over year. Orders increased 5% year over year to $1,757 million. The upside was owing to robust orders in the mining, pulp and paper, and ports segments across all regions.

Motion: Revenues amounted to $1,510 million, down 6% from the year-ago quarter. Orders rose 6% year over year to $1,901 million on account of robust orders for rail and water applications in Europe and AMEA.

Robotics & Discrete Automation: Revenues were $671 million, declining 21% year over year. Also, orders decreased 16% to $811 million. The decline was owing to softness in general and automotive sector-related markets.

Operational EBITA Margin

In the reported quarter, ABB’s total cost of sales decreased 7.2% year over year to $4,306 million. It represented 69.3% of first-quarter revenues compared with 67.7% a year ago. Gross margin was 30.7%, down from 32.3% in the year-ago quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses declined 7.6% year over year to $1,252 million.

Operational earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) in the quarter decreased 17% to $636 million. Operational EBITA margin decreased 100 basis points to 10.2%.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

Exiting the first quarter, ABB had cash and cash equivalents of $5,971 million, up from $3,544 million recorded in the previous quarter. Long-term debt was $6,830 million, higher than $6,772 million at the end of 2019.

In the first three months of 2020, net cash used in operating activities totaled $577 million compared with $256 million used in the year-ago comparable period.


ABB believes that the coronavirus outbreak-led market downturn and the volatile oil market will adversely impact its near-term results. Also, foreign currency translation might affect the company. In fact, it anticipates orders and revenues to decline in the second quarter on a sequential basis.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks are Intellicheck, Inc. IDN, Berry Global Group, Inc. BERY and Acco Brands Corporation ACCO. All the companies presently carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Intellicheck delivered a positive earnings surprise of 36.91%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Berry Global delivered a positive earnings surprise of 0.26%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Acco Brands delivered a positive earnings surprise of 19.04%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2020

In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 finest buy-and-hold tickers for the entirety of 2020?

Last year's 2019 Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolio returned gains as high as +102.7%. Now a brand-new portfolio has been handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these long-term buys.

Access Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2020 today >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
ABB Ltd (ABB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Acco Brands Corporation (ACCO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Berry Global Group, Inc. (BERY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Intellicheck Mobilisa, Inc. (IDN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.