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What's in the Offing for Old Dominion (ODFL) in Q4 Earnings?

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Zacks Equity Research
·4 min read
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Old Dominion Freight Line ODFL is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2020 results on Feb 4, before market open.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s fourth-quarter earnings has been revised upward by 2.6% in the last 60 days. Moreover, the company has an impressive earnings history, having outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for this earnings season.

Factors to Note

Gradual recovery in the freight environment is anticipated to have aided Old Dominion’s fourth-quarter performance. This is expected to get reflected in LTL revenue per hundredweight. Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for LTL revenue per hundredweight in the fourth quarter suggests a marginal improvement from the year-ago reported number and a 1.1% rise from third-quarter 2020’s reported figure. The anticipated improvement in LTL revenue per hundredweight is likely to reflect in revenues from LTL services, the company’s major revenue-generating segment.

Despite having improved, freight demand is still weak when compared with 2019 levels as coronavirus-led disruptions continue. Consequently, LTL shipments are likely to have been low in the fourth quarter.

However, Old Dominion’s bottom line is expected to have benefited from an anticipated reduction in operating expenses owing to decrease in salaries, wages & benefits expenses, as was the case in the last-reported quarter. The apprehended decline in operating expenses should reflect in the operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for operating ratio stands at 77%, indicating an improvement from 81% reported in the fourth quarter of 2019. Notably, lower the value of this key measure of efficiency, the better.

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Quote

What Does the Zacks Model Say?

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Old Dominion this time around. This is because a stock needs to have a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. However, that is not the case here. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings ESP: Old Dominion has an Earnings ESP of -1.64% as the Most Accurate Estimate is pegged at $1.54, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.57. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Old Dominion carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Highlights of Q3 Earnings

In the last-reported quarter, the company delivered an earnings surprise of 13.2%. Total revenues also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. While the bottom line surged 24.8% year over year primarily owing to reduction in operating expenses, the top line increased marginally due to 1.3% rise in LTL tons per day.

Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector may consider Air Lease Corporation AL, Copa Holdings, S.A. CPA and SkyWest, Inc. SKYW, as these stocks possess the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this reporting cycle.

Air Lease has an Earnings ESP of +6.11% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will release fourth-quarter earnings numbers on Feb 22.

Copa Holdings has an Earnings ESP of +14.39% and a Zacks Rank of 3. The company will announce fourth-quarter results on Feb 10.

SkyWest has an Earnings ESP of +18.63% and a Zacks Rank #1. The company is scheduled to release fourth-quarter earnings figures on Feb 4.

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