It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Reliance Steel (RS). Shares have lost about 7% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Reliance Steel due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.
Reliance Steel’s Earnings Top, Sales Miss Estimates in Q1
Reliance Steel posted profit of $190.1 million or $2.80 per share in the first quarter of 2019, up roughly 13% from $169 million or $2.30 in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share also topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.38.
Reliance Steel recorded net sales of $2,956.6 million, up around 7% year over year. It, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,977.1 million. The company witnessed a healthy demand environment and favorable metal pricing conditions during the quarter.
Volumes and Pricing
Overall sales volume went down 5.9% year over year to around 1.5 million tons in the reported quarter. Average prices per ton sold for the quarter rose around 14% year over year to $1,958.
Reliance Steel ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $133.6 million, down roughly 8% year over year. Long-term debt was $2,122.2 million, up around 9% year over year. Cash flow from operations was $117.2 million for the first quarter.
The company did not repurchase any shares during the quarter. It had roughly 7 million shares available for repurchase under its share repurchase program as of Mar 31, 2019.
Moving ahead, Reliance Steel is optimistic about business conditions for the second quarter of 2019. It expects steady demand and pricing in the quarter. The company also expects some pressure on gross margins on a sequential comparison basis in the second quarter.
Reliance Steel projects tons sold to be down 1% to up 2% sequentially in the second quarter. It also expects average selling price per ton for the second quarter to be flat to down 1% compared with first-quarter tally. The company expects adjusted earnings per share in the band of $2.60 to $2.70 for the second quarter.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in fresh estimates.
Currently, Reliance Steel has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a bit 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 trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of this revision indicates a downward shift. It comes with little surprise Reliance Steel has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.
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