10 stocks that almost always beat earnings

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.