Investors anticipating a choppy earnings season ahead could find refuge in some names, according to a CNBC Pro screen that found nine companies with a track record for positive surprises. Earnings season is underway with several blue-chip Dow companies expected to report earnings this week. Nevertheless, investors fear that sharply rising inflation and an ongoing war with Ukraine will hurt the outlook for equities. The S & P 500 closed down 2.1% on low sentiment last week, and declined 1.3% the week before. "Signs are emerging that 1Q earnings season may be more disappointing than thought, particularly from a guidance/forward estimate standpoint," Morgan Stanley's Michael Wilson wrote in a Monday note. "Earnings revisions breadth for the S & P 500 has resumed its downtrend over the past 2 weeks and is once again approaching negative territory." Still, investors may find outperformance in some companies that have consistently topped expectations over the past year. Nine stocks posted earnings surprises of at least 1% in the previous three quarters, according to a review of FactSet data by CNBC Pro. Moreover, these stocks are favored by Wall Street analysts. They have buy ratings from at least 60% of analysts, with at least 10% upside to their price targets. They're also expected to increase earnings by 10% both in the first quarter and in the full fiscal year. T-Mobile repeatedly outpaced analyst expectations over the past three quarters. The telecommunications giant posted the biggest earnings surprises that surfaced in the screen, with 172% in the fourth quarter, 10% in the third quarter, and 54% in its second quarter. An expanding 5G network boosted the outlook for T-Mobile, for which shares are up more than 13% this year. The telecommunications stock is expected to have nearly 27% upside. In the first quarter, T-Mobile is expected to have nearly 30% earnings growth in its first quarter, and about 14% earnings growth in the 2022 fiscal year. Some energy stocks recently surprised analysts on earnings, after the sector posted losses for the majority of the past decade. In the past three quarters, ConocoPhillips posted earnings surprises of about 4%, 16% and 13%. Over the same time period, Diamondback Energy topped expectations with earnings surprises of nearly 8%, 5% and 8%. Utilities stock NextEra Energy also beat analyst expectations with 5%, 5% and 2% positive surprises in the previous three quarters. Shares for ConocoPhillips have gained more than 40% this year, but analysts surveyed by FactSet see them climbing still higher. The stock price has roughly 19% upside. ConocoPhillips is expected to grow earnings by 30% in the first quarter, and by 96% in the full fiscal year. Technology stocks Micron Technology and ServiceNow consistently beat analyst expectations. In the prior three quarters, chipmaker Micron outperformed analyst expectations by about 8%, 3% and 4%. At the same time, shares for cloud computing company ServiceNow posted earnings surprises of 2%, 12% and 17%. Shares for chipmaker Micron cratered more than 20% this year, but the stock price has more than 60% upside from here, according to the screen. Micron is expected to grow earnings by about 15% in the first quarter, and by 59% this year. Other stocks also consistently reported earnings beats. Veterinary medicine stock Zoetis posted a 4%, 13%, and 10% earnings surprises the past three quarters respectively. Home improvement retailer Lowe's beat analyst expectations with 3%, 16% and 6% earnings surprises. Credit reporting agency Equifax posted earnings surprises of 2%, 7% and 16% in the past three quarters.
Pedestrians walk by a T-Mobile store in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Investors anticipating a choppy earnings season ahead could find refuge in some names, according to a CNBC Pro screen that found nine companies with a track record for positive surprises.