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J.B. Hunt (JBHT) to Report Q2 Earnings: What's in Store?

J.B. Hunt Transport Services JBHT is scheduled to report second-quarter 2021 results on Jul 19, after market close.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for second-quarter earnings has been revised 1.9% downward to $1.55 per share in the past 90 days. Yet, the company has an encouraging surprise record. Its earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters and missed the mark in the remaining one. 

Against this backdrop, let’s discuss the factors that might have impacted J.B. Hunt’s performance in the June quarter.

Notwithstanding the recent improvement, volumes at the company’s Intermodal and Integrated Capacity Solutions segments are likely to have been below the pre-pandemic levels. This downside is likely to have dented the performance of its key segments as well.

Operating expenses in the to-be-reported quarter are expected to have been high due to escalated costs pertaining to purchased transportation and increased investments in technology. This is again likely to have hurt bottom-line growth.

On the flip side, we expect the company’s performance in the June quarter to have been aided by its efforts to expand the Final Mile network (delivery of goods at customers’ doorstep). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues in the Final Mile Services segment suggests an increase of 42.9% from the year-ago quarter’s reported levels.

Earnings Whispers

The proven Zacks model does not predict a beat for J.B. Hunt 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 earnings surprise. However, this is not the case here as elaborated below. You can see  the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings ESP: J.B. Hunt has an Earnings ESP of -1.22% as the Most Accurate Estimate is pegged at $1.53, 2 cents lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our  Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: J.B. Hunt carries a Zacks Rank #3, currently.

Highlights of Q1 Earnings

J.B. Hunt's earnings of $1.37 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.18. The bottom line also increased 39.8% year over year on higher revenues across most segments.

Total operating revenues of $2,618.1 million surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,486.9 million and increased 14.8% year over year.

Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the broader  Transportation   sector may consider  Southwest Airlines LUV, Herc Holdings HRI and   Alaska Air Group ALK  as these stocks possess the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this reporting cycle.

Southwest Airlines has an Earnings ESP of +59.91% and is Zacks #3 Ranked, presently. The company will release second-quarter 2021 results on Jul 22.

Herc Holdings has an Earnings ESP of +1.85% and a Zacks Rank #2 at present. The company will release second-quarter 2021 results on Jul 22.

Alaska Air has an Earnings ESP of +39.75% and is currently a #3 Ranked player. The company will release second-quarter 2021 results on Jul 22.

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