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February 26, 2013 at 09:30 AM EST
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Dollar Tree, RadioShack, Conns, PriceSmart and ManTech International

CHICAGO, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Dollar Tree, Inc. (Nasdaq:DLTR), RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH), Conns Inc. (Nasdaq:CONN), PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq:PSMT) and ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq:MANT).

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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Will DollarTree Beat in 4Q?

Dollar Tree, Inc. (Nasdaq:DLTR) – a leading discount variety store that sells products for $1.0 or less –is likely to beat the expectations while reporting its fiscal 2012 fourth-quarter results on Feb 27.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Dollar Tree may beat the earnings as it has the right combination of 2 key components – Positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank #3.

Zacks ESP: Dollar Tree currently has an Earnings ESP of +1.01% since its Most Accurate Estimate stands at $1.00, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 99 cents.

Zacks #3 Rank (Hold): Stocks with Zacks Rank #1, #2 and #3 have significantly higher chances of beating the earnings. The sell-rated stocks (#4 and #5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.

The combination of Dollar Tree's Zacks Rank and Earnings ESP makes us confident regarding a positive earnings beat by the company on Feb 27.

What is Driving the Better-than-Expected Earnings?

Dollar Tree is considered as one of the best-positioned dollar store concepts, especially with its evolving multi-price point chain. We believe that the company is doing a commendable job internally by managing controllable inputs, including reducing stem miles, while increasing back-haul opportunities.

The company continues to generate robust same-store sales growth, driven by its focus on low-priced commodities that cater to the wants and needs of consumers. This in turn boosts the company's consumer traffic, reflecting continued top-line growth.

The company has met as well as surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in trailing 4 quarters with an average surprise of approximately 4.9%.

Other Stocks to Consider

Dollar Tree is not the only firm we are looking up to this earnings season. Following companies, which are Dollar Tree's industry peers, are also likely to beat the earnings in the to-be-reported quarter.

RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) has Earnings ESP of +233.33% and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Conns Inc. (Nasdaq:CONN) with Earnings ESP of +1.89% and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq:PSMT) with Earnings ESP of +1.27% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Hiring Continues at ManTech

ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq:MANT) recently disclosed its intention to continue its hiring spree in 2013, despite a 10.1% year-over-year decrease in revenue in 2012. The company intends to increase its employee strength mostly in the cybersecurity and technical services divisions as it anticipates a turnaround in fortunes in the current year with solid revenue growth based on current programs.

In Jun 2012, the company had won a $2.85 billion contract as Contractor Logistics Sustainment and Support from the U.S. Army. This has reportedly led to an addition of 500 employees in 2012 and is likely to further add 200 more in 2013. ManTech also won a contract for the Army's Strategic Services Sourcing procurement program, for which it would require additional workforce.  

In fourth quarter 2012, ManTech received a three-year, $72 million contract for Naval Air Systems Command Warfare Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis Support, whereby it would continue to support the Warfare Analysis and Integration Department of the Naval Air Systems Command.

Contract awards (bookings) aggregated $222 million in fourth quarter 2012, representing a book-to-bill ratio of 0.4. For full year 2012, contract awards totaled a record $4.8 billion for a book-to-bill ratio of 1.9. With a significant number of awards, the company had a healthy backlog of business worth $6.5 billion by the end of the year. At year-end 2012, the company had $135 million in cash and cash equivalents, up from $114 million in the year-ago period.

With strong liquidity position and robust business backlogs, ManTech is poised to register solid revenue growth in 2013. The company envisages continuous recruitment initiatives to fulfill its order backlogs. We also remain encouraged by the positive developments in the industry.

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