By the Numbers

S&P 500 Earnings Leaderboard: Biggest Surprises Season to Date

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As of this past Friday, just over 10% of the S&P 500 companies had reported earnings. This week we will see roughly 30% more of the S&P report.

Here's how things stand so far:

  • Companies Exceeding Estimates: 79%
  • Companies Matching Estimates: 11%
  • Companies Falling Below Estimates: 10%

Compared to the start of last earnings season, the breakdown has shifted with a significantly larger increase in companies beating vs. missing estimates.  At the same point last quarter, ~20% of the companies reporting had missed EPS estimates and just over 70% had beaten estimates.  The trend is extending from Q1, when only 60% had beaten estimates at this stage of the season.

Monsanto has had the biggest percent surprise to the upside followed by Jabil Circuit and National Semiconductor .  In absolute dollars, financials sit atop the leaderboard.  After Citigroup's surprise of over $1.3 billion, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs follow with ~$1.2 billion and ~$500 million surprises.   

On the downside, Harley Davidson leads the losers, reporting a -48% miss.  In absolute dollars, Bank of America leads with its $433 million negative surprise. 

Many companies have improved their earnings by cutting costs.  Investors are looking for topline growth as a sign that the economy has indeed turned the corner.  Continue on to the next page to see the biggest revenue surprises to date as well.

Biggest revenue surprises to date

In percentage and dollar terms, Financials lead in biggest revenue surprises.  JP Morgan's 13% or $3.4 billion surprise is the biggest to date.

On the downside, Lennar has the biggest percentage surprise, while CNBC parent, General Electric leads in dollar terms missing estimates by $1.7 B.

Data Source:Thomson Reuters

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