Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. LW is likely to register improvement in the top and the bottom line when it reports fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 numbers on Jul 27.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for quarterly earnings, which has remained unchanged in the past 30 days at 43 cents per share, suggests significant improvement against a loss of 1 cent reported in the year-ago quarter. For fiscal 2021, the consensus mark for earnings is pegged at $2.14 per share, calling for 14.4% decline from the year-ago period’s reported figure.
The producer, distributor and marketer of value-added frozen potato products has a trailing four-quarter negative earnings surprise of 2.6%, on average. In the last reported quarter, the bottom line underperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11.8%.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal fourth-quarter revenues is pegged at $940.1 million, which suggests growth of 11% from the figure reported in the prior-year quarter. For fiscal 2021, the consensus mark for revenues is pegged at $3,604 million, suggesting a decline of almost 5% from the year-ago period’s reported figure.
Lamb Weston Holdings Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
Things to Note
Lamb Weston is seeing shipment trend improvement to large chain restaurant customers as well as customers served by the company’s Foodservice segment, courtesy of relaxation ingovernment restrictions.
On its last earnings call, the company had provided an update on the shipping trends for the first four weeks of fiscal fourth quarter, until Mar 28, 2021. Management had offered a comparison with shipments during fourth-quarter fiscal 2019, since it serves as a more meaningful base. Lamb Weston’s shipments in the United States were nearly 90% of fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 level, driven by shipments to QSR, large full-service chain restaurants as well as customers served by the Foodservice and Retail units. Shipments to customers served by the Retail segment were about 110% of fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 level during the said period. However, the company did hint that this rate might steadily decline through fiscal fourth quarter as consumers tend to increase purchases away from home.
For the aforementioned period, shipments to other core markets in Asia, Latin America and Oceania were nearly 75% of fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 levels. Management had notified that it expects shipment rates to gradually improve in the rest of the quarter under review in markets where social restrictions are being eased by governments. Shipments in Europe were nearly 85% of the base period. However, the company had stated that this rate may decline through fiscal fourth quarter, given stricter government restrictions in Europe stemming from the resurgence of coronavirus cases.
High COVID-19-related costs have been exerting pressure on Lamb Weston’s gross margin for the past few quarters now. On its last earnings call, management highlighted that it expects the operating environment to remain tough due to the pandemic. It is likely to keep incurring elevated supply-chain costs in the near term. The company expects incremental pandemic-led costs to persist at its manufacturing, commercial, functional and distribution operations. These include costs related to ensuring sanitization, improved health and safety for employees, increased transportation and warehousing expenses as well as reduced overall factory utilization and shutdown-related costs, among others. Nevertheless, it is undertaking strong measures to optimizethe cost structure and expand efficiencies in manufacturing as well as commercial operations.
What the Zacks Model Unveils
Our proven model doesn’t conclusively predict an earnings beat for Lamb Weston 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 an earnings beat. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
Lamb Weston carries a Zacks Rank #2 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%.
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