NCR Corp. :NCR-US: Earnings Analysis: Q1, 2017 By the Numbers : May 2, 2017

NCR Corp. reports financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.


  • Summary numbers: Revenues of USD 1478 million, Net Earnings of USD 57 million.
  • Gross margins widened from 25.21% to 27.13% compared to the same period last year, operating (EBITDA) margins now 14.48% from 13.43%.
  • Change in operating cash flow of 86.96% compared to same period last year is about the same as change in earnings, likely no significant movement in accruals or reserves.
  • Earnings growth from operating margin improvements as well as one-time items.

The table below shows the preliminary results and recent trends for key metrics such as revenues and net income growth:

2017-03-31 2016-12-31 2016-09-30 2016-06-30 2016-03-31
Relevant Numbers (Quarterly)
Revenues (mil) 1478 1802 1677 1620 1444
Revenue Growth (%YOY) 2.35 7.26 3.97 1 -2.17
Earnings (mil) 57 68 107 76 32
Earnings Growth (%YOY) 78.13 41.67 4.9 122.09 -20
Net Margin (%) 3.86 3.77 6.38 4.69 2.22
EPS -0.14 0.35 0.68 0.49 0.16
Return on Equity (%) -4.71 14.54 25.83 18.34 5.8
Return on Assets (%) 2.96 3.54 5.54 3.92 1.66

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Market Share Versus Profits

Revenues History
Earnings History

Compared to the same period last year, NCR-US‘s change in revenue was close to the amount of its change in earnings. It remains to be seen how the rest of its peer group’s results will turn out and if NCR-US‘s performance is a sign of any major shift in the composition of market share in this sector. Also, for comparison purposes, revenues changed by -17.98% and earnings by -16.18% compared to the previous period.

Earnings Growth Analysis

The company’s earnings growth was influenced by year-on-year improvement in gross margins from 25.21% to 27.13% as well as better cost controls. As a result, operating margins (EBITDA margins) rose from 13.43% to 14.48% compared to the same period last year. For comparison, gross margins were 25.75% and EBITDA margins were 12.93% in the last reporting period.

Gross Margin Trend

Companies sometimes sacrifice improvements in revenues and margins in order to extend friendlier terms to customers and vendors. Capital Cube probes for such activity by comparing the changes in gross margins with any changes in working capital. If the gross margins improved without a worsening of working capital, it is possible that the company’s performance is a result of truly delivering in the marketplace and not simply an accounting prop-up using the balance sheet.

Gross Margin History
Working Capital Days History

NCR-US‘s improvement in gross margin has been accompanied by an improvement in its balance sheet as well. This suggests that gross margin improvements are likely from operating decisions and not accounting gimmicks. Its working capital days have declined to 43.50 days from 46.92 days for the same period last year.

Cash Versus Earnings – Sustainable Performance?

It is important to examine a company�s cash versus earnings numbers to gauge whether its performance is sustainable.

NCR-US‘s year-on-year change in operating cash flow of 86.96% is around its change in earnings. This suggests that there are likely no significant movement in accruals or reserves for managing earnings this period.


The company’s earnings growth has also been influenced by the following factors: (1) Improvements in operating (EBIT) margins from 7.27% to 8.73% and (2) one-time items. The company’s pretax margins are now 4.80% compared to 3.12% for the same period last year.

EBIT Margin History
PreTax Margin History

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Company Profile

NCR Corp. engages in the development, manufacture, and sale of consumer transaction solutions. It operates through the following segments: Financial Services, Retail Solutions, Hospitality, and Emerging Industries. The Financial Services segment provides automated teller machines, payment processing software and hardware, cash management. video banking software, and customer-facing digital banking services. The Retail Solutions segment develops and sells point of sale terminals, omni-channel retail software platform, self-service kiosks and checkout, and bar-code scanners. The Hospitality segment offers software installations and maintenance in stores and restaurant chains. The Emerging Industries segment provides managed services for third-party computer hardware. The company was founded by John Henry Patterson in 1884 and is headquartered in Duluth, GA.

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