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Why HollyFrontier (HFC) is Poised to Beat Earnings Estimates Again

Zacks Equity Research

Have you been searching for a stock that might be well-positioned to maintain its earnings-beat streak in its upcoming report? It is worth considering HollyFrontier (HFC), which belongs to the Zacks Oil and Gas - Refining and Marketing industry.

This independent energy company has an established record of topping earnings estimates, especially when looking at the previous two reports. The company boasts an average surprise for the past two quarters of 40.27%.

For the most recent quarter, HollyFrontier was expected to post earnings of $1.67 per share, but it reported $2.18 per share instead, representing a surprise of 30.54%. For the previous quarter, the consensus estimate was $0.36 per share, while it actually produced $0.54 per share, a surprise of 50%.

Price and EPS Surprise

Thanks in part to this history, there has been a favorable change in earnings estimates for HollyFrontier lately. In fact, the Zacks Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction) for the stock is positive, which is a great indicator of an earnings beat, particularly when combined with its solid Zacks Rank.

Our research shows that stocks with the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better produce a positive surprise nearly 70% of the time. In other words, if you have 10 stocks with this combination, the number of stocks that beat the consensus estimate could be as high as seven.

The Zacks Earnings ESP compares the Most Accurate Estimate to the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter; the Most Accurate Estimate is a version of the Zacks Consensus whose definition is related to change. The idea here is that analysts revising their estimates right before an earnings release have the latest information, which could potentially be more accurate than what they and others contributing to the consensus had predicted earlier.

HollyFrontier currently has an Earnings ESP of +2.53%, which suggests that analysts have recently become bullish on the company's earnings prospects. This positive Earnings ESP when combined with the stock's Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) indicates that another beat is possibly around the corner. We expect the company's next earnings report to be released on October 31, 2019.

With the Earnings ESP metric, it's important to note that a negative value reduces its predictive power; however, a negative Earnings ESP does not indicate an earnings miss.

Many companies end up beating the consensus EPS estimate, though this is not the only reason why their shares gain. Additionally, some stocks may remain stable even if they end up missing the consensus estimate.

Because of this, it's really important to check a company's Earnings ESP ahead of its quarterly release to increase the odds of success. Make sure to utilize our Earnings ESP Filter to uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they've reported.


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