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What's in the Offing for J.B.Hunt (JBHT) in Q1 Earnings?

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J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. JBHT is scheduled to report first-quarter 2021 results on Apr 15, after market close.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter earnings has been revised 2.5% downward to $1.19 per share in the past 60 days. The company has an average record with respect to earnings surprise. Its earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the last four quarters, while missing in the remaining two. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 9.7%, on average.

With this, let’s discuss the factors that might have impacted J.B. Hunt’s performance in the March quarter.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. price-eps-surprise | J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Quote

J.B. Hunt’s first-quarter performance is likely to have been dented by coronavirus-induced low volumes. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues in the Truckload and Intermodal segment indicates a 16.4% and 6% decline, respectively, on a sequential basis.

Escalating operating expenses stemming from high wages for drivers and increased rail purchased transportation costs are expected to have affected J.B. Hunt’s bottom line. Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for operating income in the Truckload segment plunged 31.4% on a sequential basis.

Meanwhile, the Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS) segment is likely to have performed well during the quarter under review. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues in the ICS segment suggests an increase of 34.6% from the year-ago quarter’s levels. Per the consensus mark, revenues in the Dedicated Contract Services suggest an increase of 5% from the year-ago reported figure.

Earnings Whispers

The proven Zacks model does not predict an earnings beat for J.B. Hunt this time around. Notably, the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of a positive earnings surprise as elaborated below. However, this is not the case here as elaborated below. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings ESP: J.B. Hunt has an Earnings ESP of -8.93% as the Most Accurate Estimate is pegged at $1.09, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.19. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: J.B. Hunt carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Highlights of Q4 Earnings

J.B. Hunt's earnings of $1.44 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.27. The bottom line also increased 6.7% year over year owing to higher revenues across most segments. Total operating revenues of $2,737.7 million surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,514.3 million and also climbed 11.7% year over year. Total operating revenues, excluding fuel surcharge revenues, increased approximately 18% year over year.

Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector may consider Canadian Pacific Railway Limited CP, Herc Holdings Inc. HRI and Alaska Air Group, Inc. ALK as these stocks possess the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this reporting cycle.

Canadian Pacific has an Earnings ESP of +5.41% and is Zacks #3 Ranked, presently. The company will release first-quarter 2021 results on Apr 21.

Herc Holdings has an Earnings ESP of +18.81% and sports a Zacks Rank of 1, at present. The company will release first-quarter 2021 results on Apr 22.

Alaska Air Group has an Earnings ESP of +7.64% and is currently a Zacks #3 Ranked player. The company will release first-quarter 2021 results on Apr 22.

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