Earnings Season Getting Underway

Earnings season gets under way this week, and so far we’ve seen less "earnings beats" than in prior quarters since the 2003 lows.

With just 11% of S&P 500 companies reporting, 62% have beaten estimates, while 19% have missed estimates. Analysts have been overly optimistic compared to past quarters.


Chart courtesy of Birinyi Associates

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Fred commented on Jan 22

    Are you using whisper or First Call numbers?


  2. Barry Ritholtz commented on Jan 22

    Actual reported data versus First call consensus

  3. Ron Lingle commented on Jan 22

    I watch cnbc from 5am til 4pm cst. Because Kudlow is so opinionated on his position on Mr. bush & republican sway, I now turn off cnbc. He is rude & interupts his guests!!I hope he is replaced. Otherwise a very GOOD station for us traders. Thank you.

  4. dryfly commented on Jan 22

    Looks seasonal… do they adjust?

  5. A Dash of Insight commented on Jan 22

    Earnings Season Getting Underway

    Earnings reports are coming in. As usual, companies are exceeding analyst forecasts. This has now been the pattern for several years. It is not surprising, since the economy has been strong, corporations got lean and mean, and balance sheets have

  6. Philippe commented on Jan 23

    May be total earnings as opposed to earnings per share would help better ?

  7. mentalmodel commented on Jan 23

    Perhaps equally if not more revealing would be to break the earnings surprises down into deciles or percentiles, and measure the fraction that are in the top decile or top five percentile.

    In addition to that, it’s possible to winnow the data a bit more by (for positive surprises), only count stocks that had a positive revenue surprise in the “pass” group to get around cost management and use of accruals.

  8. mentalmodel commented on Jan 23

    sorry, replace percentage in top decile (which will always be the same) with surprise amount as a percentage of the EPS value.

  9. Barry Ritholtz commented on Jan 28

    A few people have suggested the January Q looks cyclical. 2005 and 2006 look a bit cyclical — but 2004 doesn’t.

    But the question is why should analysts estimates even be cyclical? These are earnings for the 4th Quarter (reported in January) anmd for many industries like Tech and Retail, its their strongest quarter.

    Are analysts too optimistic for the 4th Q? Or are companies simply coming in a touch soft . . . ?

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