Bullish on Fair Isaac (FIC)

Jan.25.06 | About: Fair Isaac (FIC)

Eddy Elfenbein submits: Fair Isaac (FIC) will report its earnings after the close today. If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you know that I’m a big fan of this company. They’re known for the FICO credit score, and they’re the dominant player in the industry.

Last year, Fair Isaac reported that its first-quarter (ending in December) sales jumped 15%, but its earnings were only 36 cents a share, the same as the year before. But the next three quarters were very strong. Fair Isaac beat estimates by six, then nine, then four cents a share. I think they’ll beat estimates again.

The current estimate is for 50 cents a share. If revenues come in at $210 million, which is just 7.4% sales growth, and net margins fall to 17% (the average has been about 17.5%-18%), then Fair Isaac will earn $35.7 million for the quarter. That would be about 55 cents a share.

I think I’m being cautious on the net margin number, but perhaps a little aggressive for sales growth. Sales growth is the hardest to pin down. Don’t think that Fair Isaac is heavily tied to mortgage lending. For example, when you get those “pre-approved