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Philip van Doorn

Feb. 24, 2020, 8:53 a.m. EST

Wall Street has slashed these S&P 500 companies’ estimates by as much as 70%

Analysts still love half of the companies with the greatest cuts in sales estimates

By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch


Bloomberg
Pedestrians walk past the Michigan Avenue Under Armour storefront in Chicago. Analysts have cut the company's 2020 consensus sales estimate has by 7% and its earnings-per-share estimate by 70% since the end of 2019.

Wall Street analysts tend to accentuate the positive — after all, their broker colleagues have stocks to sell. Indeed, there currently is not a single company within the S&P 500 with majority “sell” or equivalent ratings among analysts polled by FactSet, and that’s hardly unusual.

Analysts will lower their revenue and earnings estimates for various reasons, including poor financial quarters, negative guidance from companies, legal challenges or sales and supply disruptions from world events, such as the coronavirus. But a sharp decline in consensus may not be bad news, as it might not mean analysts have soured on a company’s prospects. It may reflect an accounting change, the sale of a business unit or other events. So it’s important to do your own research on any company listed below that interests you.

Severe estimate cuts may be particularly alarming now, because stock valuations have risen so much. The weighted aggregate forward price-to-earnings ratio for the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX)  has increased to 19 from 16.3 over the past 12 months, according to FactSet.

Also see: Wall Street has boosted 2020 estimates for these S&P 500 companies the most

Still, focusing on negative events can provide insight into industry developments and may even highlight investment opportunities if you can become confident, through your own research, that a company is likely to improve from its current distress.

So here are lists of companies whose consensus revenue or earnings estimates for this calendar year have been cut the most since the end of 2019.

Largest sales estimate cuts

Here are the 10 S&P 500 companies with the largest declines in consensus 2020 revenue estimates since the end of 2019:

Company Ticker Industry Decline in sales estimate from Dec. 31 to Feb. 20 Change in EPS estimate from Dec 31 to Feb. 20
Boeing Co. (NYS:BA) Aerospace & Defense -20.0% -70.1%
Global Payments Inc. (NYS:GPN) Data Processing Services -16.1% 0.3%
Danaher Corp. (NYS:DHR) Medical Specialties -13.7% -4.7%
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYS:COG) Integrated Oil -12.2% -31.4%
eBay Inc. (NAS:EBAY) Other Consumer Services -11.4% 4.0%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NAS:WYNN) Casinos/Gaming -10.4% -50.3%
Abiomed Inc. (NAS:ABMD) Medical Specialties -7.5% -6.3%
CF Industries Holdings Inc. (NYS:CF) Chemicals: Agricultural -7.2% -25.1%
Under Armour Inc. Class A (NYS:UAA) Apparel/Footwear -7.0% -69.9%
Hologic Inc. (NAS:HOLX) Medical Specialties -6.9% 0.5%
Source: FactSet

You can click on the tickers for more about each company.

The consensus 2020 sales estimate for Global Payments (NYS:GPN)  declined 16% between Dec. 31 and Feb. 20. The company explained that this reflected a change in how it calculates adjusted net revenue.

Global Payments completed its merger with Total System Services on Sep. 18. Global Payments Chief Operating Officer Cameron Bready said during the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call Oct. 31 that “based on feedback from the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission],” the company expected, going forward, “to report on an adjusted net revenue basis excluding the addition of network fees,” according to a transcript provided by FactSet.

Bready further explained: “Although we believe adjusted net revenue plus network fees provides useful insight into the economics of our business in a manner consistent with how the company assesses and measures performance, the SEC has requested we discontinue its use. As a result, we’ll report without the addition of network fees in the future, consistent with how TSYS [Total System Services] has reflected this item historically.”

Here’s a link to the company’s third-quarter earnings press release , which further explains the accounting changes. For all of 2019, Global Payments reported GAAP revenue of $4.92 billion, increasing 46% from $3.37 billion in 2018. Adjusted net revenue for 2019 rose 48% to $4.59 billion from $3.10 billion in 2018. The adjusted revenue numbers excluded $1.05 billion in network fees in 2019 and $0.87 billion in 2018. Here’s a link to the fourth-quarter earnings release .

Here’s a summary of current analyst opinion for all the companies on the list above, which includes changes in consensus price targets:

Company Ticker share 'buy' ratings Share neutral ratings Share 'sell' ratings Closing price - Feb. 20 Cons. price target Implied 12-month upside potential Change in price target since Dec. 31
Boeing Co. (NYS:BA) 31% 65% 4% $336.28 $352.05 5% -9%
Global Payments Inc. (NYS:GPN) 81% 16% 3% $208.47 $223.43 7% 14%
Danaher Corp. (NYS:DHR) 79% 16% 5% $160.26 $175.76 10% 9%
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYS:COG) 52% 41% 7% $15.35 $19.33 26% -11%
eBay Inc. (NAS:EBAY) 27% 64% 9% $37.69 $39.20 4% -2%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NAS:WYNN) 67% 33% 0% $133.33 $149.88 12% 10%
Abiomed Inc. (NAS:ABMD) 56% 33% 11% $168.08 $216.00 29% -5%
CF Industries Holdings Inc. (NYS:CF) 47% 47% 6% $39.48 $47.78 21% -9%
Under Armour Inc. Class A (NYS:UAA) 21% 64% 15% $16.50 $17.96 9% -14%
Hologic Inc. (NAS:HOLX) 47% 42% 11% $52.70 $56.89 8% 5%
Source: FactSet

It’s interesting to see that half of these companies have majority “buy” or equivalent ratings from the same analysts that cut their sales estimates so severely.

Here’s a different list showing the 10 S&P 500 companies with the largest decreases in consensus 2020 earnings-per-share estimates since the end of 2019:

Company Ticker Industry Cons. EPS estimate - Feb. 20 Cons. EPS estimate - Dec. 31 Decline in EPS estimate from Dec. 31 to Feb. 20 Change in sales estimate from Dec. 31 to Feb. 20
Hess Corp. (NYS:HES) Integrated Oil -$0.26 $0.29 N/A 2.6%
Apache Corp. (NYS:APA) Integrated Oil -$0.01 $0.04 N/A 0.0%
Boeing Co. (NYS:BA) Aerospace & Defense $5.43 $18.20 -70.1% -20.0%
Under Armour Inc. Class A (NYS:UAA) Apparel/Footwear $0.14 $0.48 -69.9% -7.0%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NAS:WYNN) Casinos/Gaming $2.89 $5.81 -50.3% -10.4%
Mosaic Co. (NYS:MOS) Chemicals: Agricultural $0.68 $1.27 -46.7% -5.7%
MGM Resorts International (NYS:MGM) Casinos/Gaming $0.86 $1.42 -39.3% -4.8%
UDR Inc. (NYS:UDR) Real-estate investment Trusts $0.22 $0.34 -34.9% 2.4%
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYS:COG) Integrated Oil $0.89 $1.30 -31.4% -12.2%
IPG Photonics Corp. (NAS:IPGP) Semiconductors $3.47 $4.86 -28.5% -6.3%
Source: FactSet

Here’s a summary of current analyst opinion for the group, which includes changes in consensus price targets:

Company Ticker share 'buy' ratings Share neutral ratings Share 'sell' ratings Closing price - Feb. 20 Cons. price target Implied 12-month upside potential
Hess Corp. (NYS:HES) 42% 58% 0% $64.72 $73.70 14%
Apache Corp. (NYS:APA) 29% 65% 6% $28.58 $31.34 10%
Boeing Co. (NYS:BA) 31% 65% 4% $336.28 $352.05 5%
Under Armour Inc. Class A (NYS:UAA) 21% 64% 15% $16.50 $17.96 9%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NAS:WYNN) 67% 33% 0% $133.33 $149.88 12%
Mosaic Co. (NYS:MOS) 58% 37% 5% $18.47 $24.78 34%
MGM Resorts International (NYS:MGM) 53% 42% 5% $32.34 $35.88 11%
UDR Inc. (NYS:UDR) 33% 62% 5% $50.73 $51.00 1%
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYS:COG) 52% 41% 7% $15.35 $19.33 26%
IPG Photonics Corp. (NAS:IPGP) 31% 69% 0% $140.87 $158.23 12%
Source: FactSet

Now read: Wall Street has boosted 2020 estimates for these S&P 500 companies the most

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