For publicly traded companies, beating earnings expectations just isn't what it used to be.
Companies that have beat both earnings and revenue estimate this earnings season have seen their stocks jump just 1.5 percent on average, according to RBC's market strategy team. That compares to an average rise of 1.9 percent.
Similarly, FactSet senior earnings analyst John Butters notices that companies beating just earnings estimates (but not both earnings and revenue) have seen their stocks rise only 0.8 percent in the period starting two days before the report, and ending two days after. That's below the 1 percent average rise over the past five years.
An even more dramatic nonchalance can be seen around earnings misses. In the two-days-before-to-two-days-after period, companies that have missed earnings have tended to see a drop of 1.3 percent, versus a 2.3 percent drop on average, according to FactSet.
It's worth noting that RBC doesn't notice a similar trend for companies that have missed both revenue and earnings estimates—those stocks have tended to fall 3.1 percent this quarter, the same amount as in quarters prior, according to their numbers.