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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Leidos (LDOS). Shares were flat in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.
But investors have to be wondering, will the recent trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Leidos due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.
Leidos Holdings Q1 Earnings Beat, Revenues Rise Y/Y
Leidos Holdings, Inc.’s first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $1.73 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.49 by 16.1%. Moreover, the bottom line grew 45.4% from $1.19 per share registered a year ago.
The company’s GAAP earnings of $1.42 per share improved from the year-ago quarter’s 80 cents.
Leidos Holdings generated total revenues of $3,315 million in the quarter under consideration, which exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,213 million by 3.2%. The top line also improved 14.7% year over year. This increase in revenues is primarily attributable to program wins and a net increase in volumes on certain programs.
At the end of the reported quarter, the company’s total backlog was $32.6 billion compared with $31.9 billion at 2020-end. Of this, $7 billion was funded.
Total cost of revenues in the quarter increased 14.2% to $2,848 million. Operating income totaled $308 million compared with the year-ago quarter’s income of $192 million.
Non-GAAP operating income margin for the quarter was 11.1% compared with 8.5% in the prior-year quarter, primarily attributable to a net increase in higher-margin program volumes and program wins.
Interest expenses summed $45 million compared with $48 million in the prior-year quarter.
Defense Solutions: Net revenues at this segment improved 14.8% to $1,958 million from the prior-year quarter’s $1,705 million. This upside can be primarily attributed to program wins, a net increase in volumes on certain programs and a benefit in exchange rate movements.
The segment’s operating income escalated to $152 million from the year-ago quarter’s $95 million, with the operating margin expanding 220 basis points (bps) to 7.8%.
Health: The segment recorded revenues of $591 million in the first quarter, up 11.5% year over year. The revenue increase was primarily attributable to a net increase in volumes on certain programs and program wins.
Operating income surged 39.7% to $102 million, while operating margin expanded 350 bps to 173%.
Civil: Revenues at this segment amounted to $766 million, up 17.1%. This uptick was primarily attributable to the acquisition of the SD&A businesses in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 and a net increase in program volumes.
While operating income rose 25.4% to $74 million, operating margin contracted 70 bps to 9.7%.
Cash and cash equivalents as of Apr 2, 2021, were $377 million compared with $524 million as of Jan 1, 2021.
Long-term debt, net of current portion, amounted to $4,663 million as of Apr 2, 2021, compared with $4,644 million as of Jan 1, 2021.
Net cash provided by operating activities in the first quarter of 2021 was $237 million compared with $372 million a year ago.
Leidos Holdings revised its view for 2021. The company currently expects adjusted earnings in the $6.35-$6.65 range, up from $6.15-$6.45 per share anticipated earlier. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings, pegged at $6.35 per share, is below the midpoint of the company’s projected view.
Leidos Holdings expects revenues of $13.7-$14.1 billion this year, unchanged from the previous guidance. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 revenues, pegged at $13.87 billion, is below the midpoint of the company-guided range.
The company’s cash flow from operating activities is anticipated to be at or above $875 million.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
It turns out, fresh estimates have trended downward during the past month.
Currently, Leidos has a strong Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a C. However, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top 20% for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Leidos has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.
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