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

Earnings season is coming closer to an end now that ~80% 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, 18% of the companies reporting had missed EPS estimates and 74% had beaten estimates.

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

Earnings - Best Performers (as of 11/04)

EPS Est.
Caterpillar CAT Industrials 10/20/2009 0.06 0.64 967%
Nicor GAS Utilities 10/30/2009 0.04 0.30 650%
KLA-Tencor KLAC Tech 10/29/2009 0.02 0.15 650%
Capital One COF Financials 10/22/2009 0.14 0.94 571%
Sallie Mae SLM Financials 10/20/2009 0.04 0.26 550%
Thomson Reuters

On the downside, Massey Energy remains atop the leaderboard, with its -122% miss. Pioneer Natural Resources debuts with the second worst surprise. In absolute dollars, Etrade Financial leads with its $1 billion 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: 57%
  • Companies Matching Revenue Estimates: 0%
  • Companies Falling Below Revenue Estimates: 43%

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

In percentage terms, three new companies move ahead of Morgan Stanley to lead in biggest revenue surprises, with Anadarko Petroleum taking the top spot. 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 PPL Corp taking the top spot. Archer Daniels Midland leads in dollar terms missing estimates by $3 B.

Revenue - Biggest Losers (as of 11/4)

Rpt Date
Rev Est. ($M)
PPL Corp PPL Utilities 10/29/2009 2990 1805 -39.6%
Public Svc Enterprise Group PEG Utilities 10/28/2009 4669 3039 -35%
NiSource NI Utilities 10/30/2009 1307 909 -30.4%
SCANA SCG Utilities 10/27/2009 1286 921 -28%
Entergy ETR Utilities 10/22/2009 3903 2937 -25%
Thomson Reuters

Data Source:Thomson Reuters

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