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What's in Store for Canadian National's (CNI) Q4 Earnings?

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·4 min read
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Canadian National Railway Company CNI is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2020 results on Jan 26, after market close.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s fourth-quarter earnings has been revised 1.8% downward to $1.08 per share in the past 60 days. The company has moderate earnings history. Its earnings outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the preceding four quarters, while matching in one and missing in the other. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 4.9%, on average.

With this, let’s discuss the factors that might have impacted the company’s December-quarter performance.

Canadian National Railway Company Price and EPS Surprise

 

Canadian National Railway Company Price and EPS Surprise
Canadian National Railway Company Price and EPS Surprise

Canadian National Railway Company price-eps-surprise | Canadian National Railway Company Quote

 

We expect freight volumes to have been considerably weak during the December-end quarter. Consequently, the company’s fourth-quarter 2020 performance is likely to have been affected by weakness in freight revenues, mainly due to coronavirus-led disruptions. 

Deterioration in operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) due to soft revenues is likely to have had hurt the company’s bottom-line performance in the quarter under review.

However, record Canadian grain movement in the fourth quarter is expected to have bolstered the company’s top line. In October and November, 3 million metric tonnes (MMT) of Canadian grains were moved, while more than 2.84 MMT were moved in December). Moreover, the company's cost-control measures are likely to have been reflected in the company's bottom line performance.

What the Zacks Model Unveils

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Canadian National this time around. 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 surprise. But that is not the case here. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings ESP: Canadian National has an Earnings ESP of -0.23%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank:  Canadian National carries a Zacks Rank #3, currently.

Highlights of Q3 Earnings

Canadian National’s third-quarter 2020 earnings of $1.04 per share (C$1.38) missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents. Moreover, the bottom line declined 17.5% year over year. Quarterly revenues of $2,558.6 million (C$3,409 million) missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,661 million and declined 11.8% year over year. The downside was primarily caused by COVID-19-induced weaker volumes across most commodity groups and lower fuel surcharge rates.

Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector may consider C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. CHRW, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. KNX and Landstar System, Inc. LSTR, as these stocks possess the right combination of elements to beat estimates this reporting cycle.

C.H. Robinson has an Earnings ESP of +0.12% and is Zacks #3 Ranked, presently. The company will release fourth-quarter 2020 results on Jan 26.

Knight-Swift has an Earnings ESP of +1.10% and a Zacks Rank of 3 at present. The company will release fourth-quarter 2020 results on Jan 27.

Landstar System has an Earnings ESP of +0.57% and is currently a #3 Ranked player. The company will release fourth-quarter 2020 results on Jan 27.

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Canadian National Railway Company (CNI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
KnightSwift Transportation Holdings Inc. (KNX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Landstar System, Inc. (LSTR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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