Earnings Calendar for Basic Materials Small-Cap Stars

Michael Teague  |

Readers by now are, or at least should be familiar with Equities.com’s Small-Cap Stars index. Based on proprietary methodology developed in house by our team on analysts, Small-Cap stars is designed to help the lone investor locate some of the best growth-plays currently on the market.

With materials stocks performing better and better as 2014 wears on, those companies on our list are largely no exception. Here are the 4 companies who will be reporting their financial results for the remaining week of April, and who investors may otherwise not notice under the deluge of major corporate earnings reports that is to be expected for the next week or two:


Friday, April 25

Westmoreland Coal Co. (WLB)

Industry: Nonmetallic Mineral Mining

Market-Cap/Price: $448.47 million/$29.93

P/E Ratio & Forward P/E: n/a

52-Week High/Low: $32/$10.77

Operating Margin: 4.50 percent

Institutional Ownership/Transactions (3-Month Increase): 46.80 percent/+7.77 percent

2014 performance: +56.56 percent

Expectations for Q1 2014: -$0.09 per share on revenue of $171.90 million

Westmoreland has been by far and away the best coal play of the past year, far surpassing its peers in the declining US coal industry, and looking like any other normal, healthy stock on a steady upward trajectory. Considering the nonmetallic minerals mining industry as a whole has dropped over 2.5 percent so far in 2014, the company is vastly outperforming, despite the fact that analysts expect another quarter of losses for the recently-ended period.


Monday, April 28

Eagle Rock Energy Partners (EROC)

Industry: Oil & Gas Refining and Marketing

Market-Cap/Price: $773.09 million

P/E Ratio & Forward P/E Ratio: n/a / 23.10

52-Week High/Low: $10.52/$3.97

Operating Margin: 0.10 percent

Institutional Ownership/Transactions (3-Month Increase): 49.70 percent/+0.20 percent

2014 performance: -16.09 percent

Expectations for Q1 2014: -0.04 per share on revenue of $314.75 million

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Eagle Rock has been lagging behind in terms of earnings, missing estimates by a wide margin for 3 of the last 4 quarters, and the stock has been in a downtrend since last August. Next week’s report will likely attest to more of the same, as the company is still in the midst of selling off its pipeline assets as part of its transition to a pure upstream play, and just last night announced that it had to suspend distribution to save money while it waits for the Federal Trade Commission to approve the sale of its midstream business to Regency Energy Partners (RGP). Institutions haven’t by any means given up on the stock, however, and the forward P/E being at twice the industry average serves as an indication that there is good reason for this.


Gastar Exploration (GST)

Industry: Independent Oil & Gas

Market-Cap/Price: $404.76 million/$6.54

P/E Ratio & Forward P/E Ratio: 9.08/9.55

52-Week High/Low: $7.13/$2.17

Operating Margin: 25.20 percent

Institutional Ownership/Transactions (3-Month Increase): 33.20 percent/+2.20 percent

2014 performance: -5.49 percent

Expectations for Q1 2014: $0.04 per share on revenue of $31.83 million

After far surpassing expectations in the year-prior period, Gastar has been short of them in every subsequent quarter, though never by much, and never at a loss. EPS should at least remain in the positive for Q1, as a recent pipeline rupture that interrupted Marcellus Shale production for some 4 days earlier this month, and that has resulted in reduced output ever since, will not figure into the results.


Tuesday, April 29

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. (GPRE)

Industry: Specialty Chemicals

Market-Cap/Price: $1.14 billion/$29.70

P/E Ratio & Forward P/E Ratio: 26.56/14.23

52-Week High/Low: $32.60/$11.92

Operating Margin: 3.50 percent

Institutional Ownership/Transactions (3-Month Increase): 90.30 percent/+7.43 percent

2014 performance: +57.83 percent

Expectations for Q1 2014: $0.75 per share on revenue of $775.76 million

Despite some turbulence for the relatively young ethanol markets in recent weeks, Green Plains remains on top of its gain. The last four fiscal quarters have seen the company beating expectations on EPS more or less handily, especially during Q4 2013, when it posted a substantial increase in both sequential and year-over-year terms. The stock has been on a sharp uptrend since late last year, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that might get in its path aside from perhaps a 17.4 percent short float.

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