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3 Transportation Stocks Likely to Top Estimates in Q3 Earnings

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A high proportion of companies belonging to the widely diversified Zacks Transportation sector already released their respective results for the third quarter of 2021. With fuel expenses comprising a significant chunk of the total costs incurred by any transportation company, the current scenario of high fuel costs hurt the bottom lines of all the companies, which have reported results so far. Oil price was up 2.1% in the third quarter from the second-quarter levels.

Apart from high fuel costs, supply-chain issues and labor shortage hurt the third-quarter results of the likes of Ryder System (R - Free Report) and Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (WAB - Free Report) . Moreover, disruptions caused by Hurricane Ida hurt results of the transportation companies, which already reported results.

On the brighter side, the gradual uptick in economic activities boosted the railroad results that are already out. Evidently, freight revenues of Union Pacific (UNP - Free Report) improved 12% year over year in the third quarter. Moreover, passenger revenues rose at airlines owing to betterment of air-travel demand.

While factors like improved passenger revenues raise optimism about the upcoming results, escalated fuel costs remain a concern. Against this backdrop, one would like to identify the potential outperformers among the transportation companies that are yet to post September-quarter results.

How to Pick Winners?

Given the large number of players operating in the transportation space, picking the right stocks is not an easy task. But our proven model makes it fairly simple. One can shorten the list with the combination of a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) and a positive Earnings ESP.  You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they report with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Earnings ESP — the percentage difference between the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate — is our proprietary methodology for determining the stocks with maximum chances of delivering positive earnings surprises in their next announcements. Our research shows that for stocks with this perfect combination, chances of a beat are as high as 70%.

Our Choices

Below we list three transportation stocks that have the right mix of elements to pull off positive surprises this earnings season.

Copa Holdings (CPA - Free Report) with a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +25.74% is slated to release third-quarter 2021 results on Nov 17. Driven by factors like ramped-up vaccination, economic activities are slowly picking up the pace, buoying consumer confidence in Latin America. As a result, passenger revenues are likely to have improved at this Latin American carrier in the September quarter.

The company has a decent earnings surprise history wherein its bottom line outshined the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the trailing four quarters and missed the mark in the remaining two.

Copa Holdings, S.A. Price and EPS Surprise

Copa Holdings, S.A. Price and EPS Surprise

Copa Holdings, S.A. price-eps-surprise | Copa Holdings, S.A. Quote

Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK - Free Report) : Domiciled in Athens, Greece, the company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and an Earnings ESP of +1.81%. The shipping company is slated to release third-quarter 2021 results on Nov 16. Its voyage revenues are likely to have improved in the September quarter owing to the gradual reopening of the global economy and the resultant improvement in demand across all key dry bulk commodities. However, high fuel costs are likely to have hurt its bottom line.

The company has an unimpressive earnings surprise history wherein its bottom line outshined the Zacks Consensus Estimate in only one of the trailing four quarters and missed the mark in the other three.

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. Price and EPS Surprise

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. Price and EPS Surprise

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. price-eps-surprise | Star Bulk Carriers Corp. Quote

Diana Shipping (DSX - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +5.88% and a Zacks Rank of 2, presently. The company will release third-quarter 2021 results on Nov 17. While steep fuel costs are likely to have affected its bottom line, increased time charter revenues are likely to have boosted its top line in the September quarter. Time charter revenues are likely to increase owing to the uptick in average time charter rates for the company’s vessels during the quarter.

The company has an unimpressive earnings surprise history wherein its bottom line outshined the Zacks Consensus Estimate in only one of the trailing four quarters and missed the mark on the three other occasions.

Diana Shipping inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Diana Shipping inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Diana Shipping inc. price-eps-surprise | Diana Shipping inc. Quote