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Why Zebra Technologies Hit an All-Time High Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Zebra Technologies  (ZBRA) hit an all-time high of $64.57 as of noon on Wednesday after the barcode printing company reported record highs in sales and earnings per share in its fourth-quarter report.

Zebra reported diluted EPS of 82 cents, which included exit, restructuring and acquisition costs that reduced earnings by nine cents a share. This marked an increase from 68 cents a share in the same quarter in 2012. Net sales also increased 12.4% to a record $284,539,000, up from $253,179,000 in the same period one year earlier. 

The 82 cents a share surpassed the Capital IQ consensus estimate of 78 cents a share, while the net sales total of $284.5 million beat the consensus of $267.81 million.

Zebra also issued guidance for the first quarter of 77 to 87 cents a share, compared to the consensus estimate of 65 cents, and revenue of $276 million to $286 million, compared to the consensus estimate of $262.5 million.

Must Read: New Lifetime High Today: Zebra Technologies Corporation (ZBRA)

TheStreet Ratings team rates ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES CP as a "buy" with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES CP (ZBRA) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry average. The net income increased by 42.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $27.10 million to $38.60 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 4.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • ZBRA has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 6.54, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES CP has improved earnings per share by 49.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES CP reported lower earnings of $2.35 versus $2.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.58 versus $2.35).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ZBRA Ratings Report

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