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Zebra Tech Jumps on Strong Earnings and Outlook

Zebra Technologies traded higher Thursday after the tracking device manufacturer reported better-than-expected earnings and guidance.

Shares of Zebra Technologies  (ZBRA) - Get Zebra Technologies Corporation Report jumped over 10% after the maker of tracking devices for the enterprise reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat estimates and provided a robust outlook for 2021 as a buildup of orders from small businesses fueled growth.

Shares of the Lincolnshire, Ill., company were rising 10.29% to $471.46 at last check, making it the best performer in the S&P 500 for Thursday. Including today's gain, the stock has advanced more than 22% year-to-date.

Zebra reported fourth-quarter earnings of $4.46 a share on revenue of $1.31 billion, compared to analyst estimates of earnings of $3.80 a share and revenue of $1.25 billion. Revenue rose 9.7% from $1.19 billion in the year-ago period.

"We achieved record quarterly sales, EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization], earnings per share, and free cash flow, significantly exceeding our outlook," said  Chief Executive Officer Anders Gustafsson, in a statement. 

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"We entered the new year with a strong order backlog as small business demand recovers and business with our large customers continues to be robust. This positions us well for double-digit sales growth for the first quarter and full-year 2021," he added.

Zebra had cash and cash equivalents of $168 million and total debt of $1.25 billion at the end of 2020.

"We continue to be excited about our unique capability to digitize and automate our customers’ workflows in an increasingly on-demand economy," said Gustafsson.

Zebra projected adjusted earnings of $4.40 on revenue of $1.34 billion for the current quarter, while analysts have projected earnings of $3.17 a share on sales of $1.14 billion.

Zebra expects adjusted net sales to increase 10% to 14% for the full 2021 year. And free cash flow is expected to be at least $700 million over that same time period.