A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Bruker (BRKR). Shares have added about 1.1% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Bruker 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.
Bruker Q4 Earningsin Line, Margins Expand
Bruker delivered adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 54 cents in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 5.9% from the year-ago figure. Meanwhile, the metric came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
On a reported basis, earnings were 50 cents a share against the year-earlier loss of 2 cents. The number also matched the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Full-year adjusted EPS totaled $1.40, reflecting an increase of 15.7% from the prior-year period.
Revenues in Detail
Bruker registered revenues of $553.6 million in the fourth quarter, up 4.4% year over year. The top line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $544.5 million.
Excluding a positive effect of 3.2% from acquisitions and a 2.2% negative impact from changes in foreign currency rates, Bruker generated higher organic revenues of 3.4% year over year.
The company’s organic revenue growth was driven by the strength in Bruker Scientific Instruments (BSI) and BEST segments.
Geographically, the United States registered 19% growth in the reported quarter. Meanwhile, European revenues dipped 1.6% year over year. Asia Pacific revenues also slipped 0.2%. In Other category, the revenue uptick was 11.9%.
Bruker’s BioSpin Group revenues were 0.7% above the year-ago quarter’s level. Revenues in the NANO group rose 5.2%, fueled by a strong uptrend in academic research and industrial research markets. CALID revenues were up 4.5% year over year.
Gross margin in the quarter under review expanded 98 basis points (bps) to 49.3%. While selling, general & administrative expenses climbed 4.8% to $117.3 million. Research and development expenses ascended 3.9% year over year to $44.8 million. Overall, adjusted operating margin grew 92 bps to 19.9%.
Bruker exited 2018 with cash and cash equivalents plus short-term investments of $322.4 million, down from $439.2 million at the end of 2017. Full-year operating cashflow was $239.7 million in comparison to $154.4 million in the year-ago period.
Bruker has provided a preliminary 2019 guidance. For the full year, the company projects approximately 6-7% revenue growth including nearly 4-5% of organic revenue rise and an estimated 2% headwind from adverse foreign currency translation. The company envisions a year-over-year expansion of 70-100 bps in adjusted operating margin.
For 2019, Bruker expects its adjusted EPS view in the range of $1.54-$1.58, up 10-13% from the previous year’s figure. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.56 remains within this guided range.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates. The consensus estimate has shifted -9.66% due to these changes.
At this time, Bruker has a great Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a C. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. 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 indicates a downward shift. Notably, Bruker has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.
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