Providing Earnings and Guidance Update for Two of our Value Authority Companies

Significant news about two of our holdings has surfaced in the past two days, so I want to give you an update.

Emcor Group’s (EME) stock is steady today, despite the rough market initially after it reported fourth-quarter financial results earlier today.

The company’s earnings per share (EPS) of $1.38 vs. $0.90 was $0.03 ahead of expectations, fueled by an increase in revenue of 10.8% to $2.23 billion. There was strength across both building services and construction businesses.

Its management was optimistic about the outlook for 2019, as the company’s leading indicators are strong. Emcor Group’s projected revenues for the year of $8.3-$8.4 billion, up around 4%, are better than estimates of $8.2 billion. The company was conservative on EPS guidance, giving a wide range of $4.70 to $5.40. versus expectations of $5.25. However, I feel management is giving itself some room for error if contract performance is not good.

Emcor has come a long way off its December lows, but I am somewhat concerned about the potential impact of a weakening economy. Hold EME, given the stock’s current momentum, but I am lowering my target to $75 and my buy-under price to $65.

In other news, J.M. Smuckers (SJM) has been performing well following its presentation at the consumer analyst group of New York (CAGNY) conference yesterday. The company re-affirmed guidance for the April 2019 fiscal year and gave preliminary guidance of sales growth of 1% to 2% for fiscal 2020, with operating profit up 3% to 4%. While these numbers are not that much above estimates, the guidance showed that profitability is stabilizing, which is good enough to give a stock lift from the current depressed levels. We will know more when the company reports fiscal third-quarter earnings next week. For now, buy SJM under $108. My price target is $120.