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Last week, you might have seen that Marten Transport, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRTN) released its full-year result to the market. The early response was not positive, with shares down 8.2% to US$19.87 in the past week. Results were roughly in line with estimates, with revenues of US$843m and statutory earnings per share of US$1.11. Earnings are an important time for investors, as they can track a company's performance, look at what top analysts are forecasting for next year, and see if there's been a change in sentiment towards the company. So we collected the latest post-earnings statutory consensus estimates to see what could be in store for next year.
Following the latest results, Marten Transport's three analysts are now forecasting revenues of US$891.4m in 2020. This would be a credible 5.7% improvement in sales compared to the last 12 months. Statutory earnings per share are expected to accumulate 2.7% to US$1.15. Before this earnings report, analysts had been forecasting revenues of US$875.6m and earnings per share (EPS) of US$1.17 in 2020. The consensus analysts don't seem to have seen anything in these results that would have changed their view on the business, given there's been no major change to their estimates.
It will come as no surprise then, to learn that the consensus price target is largely unchanged at US$23.00. There's another way to think about price targets though, and that's to look at the range of price targets put forward by analysts, because a wide range of estimates could suggest a diverse view on possible outcomes for the business. There are some variant perceptions on Marten Transport, with the most bullish analyst valuing it at US$25.00 and the most bearish at US$21.00 per share. Still, with such a tight range of estimates, it suggests analysts have a pretty good idea of what they think the company is worth.
Zooming out to look at the bigger picture now, one of the ways we can make sense of these forecasts is to see how they measure up both against past performance, and against industry growth estimates. We can infer from the latest estimates that analysts are expecting a continuation of Marten Transport's historical trends, as next year's forecast 5.7% revenue growth is roughly in line with 5.0% annual revenue growth over the past five years. Compare this with the wider market, which analyst estimates (in aggregate) suggest will see revenues grow 6.4% next year. It's clear that while Marten Transport's revenue growth is expected to continue on its current trajectory, it's only expected to grow in line with the market itself.
The Bottom Line
The most important thing to take away is that there's been no major change in sentiment, with analysts reconfirming that earnings per share are expected to continue performing in line with their prior expectations. They also reconfirmed their revenue estimates, with the company predicted to grow at about the same rate as the wider market. The consensus price target held steady at US$23.00, with the latest estimates not enough to have an impact on analysts' estimated valuations.
Still, the long-term prospects of the business are much more relevant than next year's earnings. We have estimates - from multiple Marten Transport analysts - going out to 2021, and you can see them free on our platform here.
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