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10 stocks that almost always beat earnings

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Linkedin founder Reid Garrett Hoffman (C) and CEO Jeff Weiner (2nd R) at the ringing of the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange May 19, 2011
Stan Honda | AFP | Getty Images

More than 70 percent of reports this earnings season have exceeded analysts' estimates, setting up a potential winning trade among those names with strong track records.

On average, fourth-quarter earnings among the companies that have reported are 3 percent above expectations, but flat on a year-over-year basis, according to Thomson Reuters. Excluding the energy sector, earnings growth stands at 2 percent.

Similarly, revenue figures have come in line with estimates, but declined 2 percent from the same period last year.

With more than a fifth of the S&P 500 companies set to report this week, traders everywhere are gearing up for a potential post-earnings surge among certain names.

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While betting on stocks ahead of earnings is often a difficult trade, investors tend to look at historical data to make assessments about the future.

Of course, the low bar set by analysts may also help.