By the Numbers

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


Yesterday we passed the earnings season midpoint and now ~60% of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings.  

Here's how things stand so far:

  • Companies Exceeding EPS Estimates: 80%
  • Companies Matching EPS Estimates: 6%
  • Companies Falling Below EPS Estimates: 14%

At the same point last quarter, 14% of the companies reporting had missed EPS estimates and  76% had beaten estimates. 

Dow component, Caterpillar has had the biggest percent surprise to the upside followed by Capital One and Sallie Mae .  In absolute dollars, financials sit atop the leaderboard.  After Citigroup's surprise of over $1.3 billion, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo follow with ~$1.2 billion and ~$900 million surprises.   

On the downside, Massey Energy overtook Pittsburgh based Allegheny Technologies to lead the losers, reporting a -122% 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

Revenues to date for the S&P 500

  • Companies Exceeding Revenue Estimates: 61%
  • Companies Matching Revenue Estimates: 0%
  • Companies Falling Below Revenue Estimates: 39%

Revenues are starting to look better this quarter.  At the same point last quarter, 47% of the companies reporting had missed EPS estimates and  53% had beaten estimates.

In percentage terms, Morgan Stanley leads in biggest revenue surprises.  ConocoPhillips's $5.9 billion surprise is the biggest to date in terms of dollars.

On the downside, Utilities lead the biggest percentage surprises with Public Services Enterprise Group taking the top spot.  CNBC parent, General Electric leads in dollar terms missing estimates by $1.7 B.

Data Source:Thomson Reuters

Send comments to