|Bid||75.99 x 900|
|Ask||75.93 x 900|
|Day's range||75.59 - 77.24|
|52-week range||55.39 - 77.24|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.38|
|PE ratio (TTM)||20.48|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.00 (2.60%)|
|1y target est||N/A|
Emerson Electric (EMR) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Deere & Co. results show the trouble with reading the economic tea leaves.The maker of tractors and construction equipment slumped on Wednesday after announcing a depressed outlook for fiscal 2020 that caught investors off guard. Deere expects net income to be no higher than $3.1 billion next year, a decline relative to 2019 and well below the $3.46 billion analysts had been modeling. Here was investors’ response:The root of the disappointment is Deere’s expectation that global agricultural and turf equipment sales will slump 5% to 10% next year. Heading into earnings, there was optimism that Deere might even see growth in that division, should the prospect of a trade deal and the Trump administration’s plans to pump financial support into the farming industry incentivize growers to finally swap out aging equipment. Indeed, data released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed that capital spending excluding aircraft increased in October by the most since the start of the year, adding credence to the idea that the slowdown in industrial growth is bottoming out.With the trade war still lingering in the background, though, it appears Deere CEO John May isn’t banking on much of anything. That seems the prudent path to take. For one, May only just ascended to the CEO role this month and is likely disinclined to set goals he can’t guarantee in such an uncertain environment (3M Co.’s Michael Roman, who’s cut guidance an absurd number of times in his short tenure, should probably take note). But even CEOs who have been around for a while would have trouble predicting how their customers will act six to nine months down the road. This industrial downturn has been different from others in that it’s not a function of supply-and-demand dynamics but of political uncertainty. Manufacturing data can naturally be lumpy given the volatile timing of big projects, or in the case of this year, the General Motors Co. labor strike. But the unpredictable nature of trade negotiations makes the trajectory of any recovery particularly difficult to predict.The tariffs that China and the U.S. have levied against each other have made inventory management something more akin to an Olympic sport as companies try to get ahead of the levies but also guard against getting stuck with a bunch of unwanted goods. That challenge was reflected in Deere’s outlook. Looking at the broader market, Deere expects demand for agricultural equipment to drop 5% in the U.S. and Canada, while the European, South American and Asian markets are seen remaining flat. That’s not as severe as Deere’s forecast for its own business, a dynamic which Jefferies analyst Stephen Volkmann says likely reflects an expectation that dealers are still sitting on too much inventory and will work through that before placing new orders. An upwardly revised GDP figure released Wednesday of 2.1% for the third quarter also reflected inventory accumulation. Point being, no one really knows anything, and everyone is afraid of moving in the wrong direction. One reason Deere’s lackluster guidance hit its stock particularly hard is that the forecast wasn’t accompanied by much detail on restructuring that the company had previously indicated would be forthcoming. The company will implement a voluntary separation program for some employees that should save about $150 million annually when combined with 2019 cost-cutting efforts. If the outlook is really as bad as Deere claims, though, you would think we would see something more substantive on cost cuts. But to get aggressive with restructuring, Deere also has to be confident that this market isn’t going to turn around on a dime if there is in fact a legitimate trade deal, lest it end up short-staffed. The Trump administration is quickly running out of ways to describe the trade talks and proximity to a “phase-one” agreement. One day we were down to the “short strokes,” the next we’re in the rather morbid sounding “final throes.” But while investors are more than happy to price in those words as a done deal, CEOs are thinking differently. Deere’s downbeat guidance follows similar outlooks from Caterpillar Inc. and Emerson Electric Co. that in certain lights could be construed as conservative. Or they might just be accurate.To contact the author of this story: Brooke Sutherland at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brooke Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Emerson Electric Co. may have dodged a proxy fight, but it can’t avoid an earnings slump.The maker of air-conditioner components and automation equipment said Tuesday that it would add the former chief executive officer of Flowserve Corp. to its board and pledged to complete a review of its operations by February. The moves are meant to be a balm for activist investor D.E. Shaw & Co., which has called for more aggressive cost cuts, corporate governance improvements and a breakup. A lack of tangible commitments and deadlines in Emerson’s agreement to consider the activist’s recommendations likely contributed to a notably feisty letter from D.E. Shaw last month that blasted what it described as a bloated budget, including a corporate aviation department with no fewer than eight jets, a helicopter and its own intern.Emerson’s new board member, Mark Blinn, was CEO of Flowserve from 2009 to 2017. He’s not a household name, and Flowserve underperformed the S&P 500 Index during his tenure, but he was one of four candidates D.E. Shaw recommended, according to Bloomberg News. As such, the activist said Tuesday that it would back the company’s slate. According to D.E. Shaw, Emerson has also committed to reviewing how it pays its executives and will seek shareholder approval to amend its charter so that directors are elected annually. There was no update on those corporate jets in the earnings materials released Tuesday morning, although a conference call is scheduled for later this afternoon.Emerson’s concessions to D.E. Shaw are wise; it’s not in a position to pick a fight now. Also on Tuesday, the company released disappointing guidance for its 2020 fiscal year and predicted the coming U.S. presidential election, continued trade tensions and increased restructuring by manufacturers would leave investment decisions stalled. “We are planning for a challenging economic environment,” CEO David Farr said in the news release. This was a notably more downbeat outlook on the economy than other industrial companies have given this earnings season and contrasts with Parker-Hannifin Corp.’s prediction last week that its own sales slump would bottom out in the middle of its 2020 fiscal year. Emerson’s guidance for $3.48 to $3.72 in adjusted earnings per share implies a decline compared with last year’s numbers on the same basis. Sales may slump as much as 2%, excluding the impact of currency swings and M&A. With numbers like that, Emerson’s goal of achieving $4.50 in EPS by 2021 would be a significant stretch. Emerson said it will “reset” its long-term guidance as part of its February update. What’s troubling is that Emerson’s 2020 outlook doesn’t appear to reflect many benefits from the $95 million it spent cutting costs over the past year to adjust its operations to the downturn, Gordon Haskett analyst John Inch wrote in a report on Tuesday. That’s key because cost cuts sit at the crux of D.E. Shaw’s argument for a higher stock price. Analysts have pushed back on D.E. Shaw’s estimate of more than $1 billion in excess costs at Emerson, noting that some of the activist investor’s margin comparisons are unfair because many of the company’s rivals strip out restructuring, pension expenses and other expenses. In response, Emerson provided additional details about its pension and stock compensation costs for its most recent results. But it also moved to an adjusted earnings outlook after previously giving its forecast on a GAAP basis except in certain circumstances. The company says this is because 2020 restructuring actions will be determined as part of the board’s review and the guidance will be updated in February to reflect that. Let’s hope that’s true and that D.E. Shaw’s push doesn’t have the unfortunate side effect of yet another industrial company becoming addicted to earnings adjustments.To contact the author of this story: Brooke Sutherland at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brooke Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Emerson's (EMR) fiscal Q4 earnings are likely to have gained from strong prospects in the Automation Solutions segment. Weak global discrete manufacturing market might have been a concern.
Although Eaton's (ETN) Q3 earnings are better than expected, decline in organic sales growth and negative currency translation have forced the company to lower earnings expectation for 2019.
Emerson Electric (EMR) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The activist investors are on the tarmac at Emerson Electric Co.D.E. Shaw Group on Tuesday released a letter calling for the $42 billion industrial company to spin off its climate division and make productivity and corporate-governance improvements, including culling its fleet of eight corporate jets and a helicopter. The public pressure follows reports late last month that D.E. Shaw was seeking a breakup of the company and Emerson’s subsequent announcement that it would review its operations.In its letter, D.E. Shaw takes issue with the lack of tangible commitments and deadlines for Emerson’s strategic review and stresses that some of its recommendations – such as making all board directors subject to annual elections – shouldn’t require that much deliberation in this day and age.D.E. Shaw is justified in its wariness of Emerson kicking the can down the road. CEO David Farr has been in his role for 19 years and, according to analysts, he’s signaled he will retire in fiscal 2021 or 2022 and would prefer to leave any decision on a breakup to his successor. RBC analyst Deane Dray speculated earlier this month that a preliminary update on the outcome of Emerson’s strategic review may not come until the company’s annual analyst meeting in February. Emerson is 129 years old and on track to generate $18.5 billion in revenue this year; change doesn’t happen quickly at companies like that. But in a way, that reinforces the activist investor’s argument.Emerson needs to reckon with its remaining vestiges of crusty corporate habits and old-school sprawl. Examples include the high personal usage by the CEO of that corporate jet fleet (which is managed by 40-plus employees and an intern, apparently), guaranteed three-year and staggered terms for board directors, and a jaw-dropping 18 separate office and factory buildings in the Houston area. Let's hope none of those corporate jets fly empty behind Farr’s plane, in the vein of the reported practices of former General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt.Calling attention to those practices is a smart tactic that will resonate with fellow shareholders irked by Emerson’s lackluster returns, and should ramp up pressure on management to make changes more quickly. I would add to D.E. Shaw’s list of grievances a bias toward less transparency: Emerson is the only major industrial company I cover that declines to routinely webcast its presentations at major conferences.The biggest change advocated by D.E. Shaw is a breakup of Emerson. It’s an idea that’s long been bandied about because the Emerson division that sells air-conditioner controls and food-disposal systems has little to do with the unit purveying automation equipment. The company has slimmed down already, divesting about $6 billion of revenue, including the network power business it cobbled together through billions of dollars worth of disappointing acquisitions. Analysts aren’t convinced that a bigger split would pay off in the stock price.Emerson should be valued at about $73 a share based on the sum of its parts, according to the average of three analysts’ estimates. That’s just 3% higher than where Wall Street on average expected Emerson’s stock to rise over the next year before reports of D.E. Shaw’s involvement. The hedge fund, for its part, estimates Emerson could be valued at $77 if its parts were valued comparably to the average of its peers, a meaningful improvement but not a knock-your-socks-off game-changer. The real value comes through the combination of a breakup with the cost-cutting initiatives. In that scenario, D.E. Shaw sees the potential for Emerson’s valuation to rise to $101 a share. Analysts have long recognized that typical sum-of-the-parts estimates tend to underestimate the efficiency gains that come from more focused management teams, so there may be something to this kind of analysis. The prospect of a deepening downturn in the industrial sector should add to the sense of urgency for the cost-cutting opportunities D.E. Shaw has identified. Emerson in August warned that $350 million of projects planned for 2019 had been pushed to next year, while $450 million of 2020 projects had been delayed to 2021. Analysts are bracing for those numbers to get worse when the company reports its fiscal-fourth-quarter results in November, and for its 2021 earnings goals to slip out of reach. D.E. Shaw estimates Emerson can cut more than $1 billion of costs by streamlining corporate functions and improving margins in its automation division. In response to the activist investor’s letter, Farr pointed out that Emerson was “one of the first industrial companies to address the concerning trends in the macroeconomic environment.” That’s true to an extent, but its own plan calls for $100 million in restructuring spending this year, less drastic than what D.E. Shaw is proposing.I remain concerned that the industrial breakup craze is going too far and we don’t properly understand the longer-term implications of it. But the corporate-governance and cost-management shortcomings highlighted by D.E. Shaw will make it harder for Emerson’s management team to resist it.To contact the author of this story: Brooke Sutherland at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brooke Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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