With Chinese stocks crashing another 6% and oil pushing $40 a barrel, sometimes we need to be reminded that good things still happen in the corporate world. And indeed they do, as the past few days have brought their share of upside earnings surprises, even in the hated energy sector with global sentiment as black as night. No crisis or semicrisis brings down absolutely everyone, and there are always bright spots.
24/7 Wall St. wanted to take a closer look at five companies which have beat their earnings expectations.
To begin with one of the more underwhelming surprises though still encouraging, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) only lost $0.41, beating the consensus estimate by seven cents, or 14.6%. Shares are up 12% since the news. More encouraging than the final earnings numbers is that the retailer has increased its gross profit margins steadily since 2013 while bringing down its administrative expenses. Not enough to save it yet, but headed in the right direction.
Fossil Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FOSL) had a very good quarter, earning $1.12 a share, beating consensus by 37% or 30 cents a share. The watchmaker’s shareholders have had a pretty bad year, down 43% year to date. Perhaps the good news can stop the slide and at least stabilize its shrinking market cap. The problem from a technical perspective is that long-term support at $68 a share has long since been breached. It is a risky bottom pick, but if you’re looking for something undervalued, price to earnings is still below 10.
Leasing aircraft is still a good business. Aercap Holdings N.V. (NYSE: AER) beat estimates by 31%, earning $1.73 per share. Shares have not responded much to the good news and continue to meander. This has not deterred Wells Fargo from saying nice things about the company and adding it to their Priority Stock List. Aercap has not joined the buyback mob, and perhaps investors are looking for something racier than aircraft and a responsible, undervalued company that just makes money. How boring in today’s world.
This development stage biotech blew away estimates of $0.09 a share, earning $0.42 and beating by 367%. Ardelyx, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARDX) has a price to earnings ratio in the nosebleed section, but that is normal with smaller biotechs making their first profits, and shares are still off their highs. Ardelyx is still quite risky fundamentally because its lead candidate tenapanor, which clears excess sodium from the gastrointestinal tract, may not make it past the FDA. The company was confident enough in its drug to buy it back from AstraZeneca though, and is bringing it forward to Phase 3 despite Phase 2 setbacks from “alarming rates of diarrhea” on dialysis patients.
Some good news in the energy sector. Talen Energy Corp. (NYSE: TLN), a new kid on the energy block, earned $0.26 a share over the consensus $0.02 loss, beating by 1,400%. The company primarily sells wholesale energy to power plants, nuclear, coal and natural gas based. Its profits are not much in an absolute sense, but any small energy company without the advantage of the economies of scale of the majors that can manage to pull any kind of profit in this environment is doing something right.