John Bean’s 1Q Guidance Disappoints After 4Q Beat

John Bean Technologies delivered better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter. However, the provider of technology solutions to the food and beverage industry issued 1Q guidance that fell short of analysts’ estimates.

John Bean Technologies (JBT) reported adjusted earnings of $1.02 per share in 4Q that came in ahead of analysts’ expectations of $0.89. Fourth quarter revenues of $439.4 million also surpassed the consensus mark of $426.7 million.

The company’s top and bottom lines registered year-over-year declines of 19% and 32% respectively. JBT’s Executive Vice President and CFO, Matthew Meister, said, “General marketplace uncertainty, challenges accessing customers, and the sharp decline in passenger air travel and foodservice production had a significant impact on year-over-year comparisons for the fourth quarter and full-year 2020.”

As for 1Q, JBT expects to generate revenues in the range of $400-$425 million, which is below analysts’ expectations of $427.5 million. In addition, it anticipates 1Q adjusted earnings in the range of $0.70-$0.80 per share, which is also lower than Street estimates of $0.85. (See John Bean Technologies stock analysis on TipRanks)

For 2021, the company projects adjusted earnings in the range of $4.30-$4.55 per share compared to analysts’ estimates of $4.34.

On Feb. 4, Robert W. Baird Mircea Dobre raised the stock’s price target to $115 (15% downside potential) from $103 and reiterated a Hold rating. Following a positive read-through of Marel’s earnings, one of the company’s competitors, Dobre told investors that he expected JBT to deliver a “good” Q4 earnings beat with sequential order improvement.

Overall, analysts are cautiously optimistic about the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating. That’s based on 2 analysts recommending a Buy and 1 analyst suggesting a Hold. The average analyst price target of $133.33 implies 1.5% downside potential from current levels. Shares have gained about 21.1% over the past year.

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