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Tale of the Tape

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Why the Earnings Streak Will Continue for CNA Financial (CNA)
January 07, 2014

CNA

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Looking for a stock that might be in a good position to beat earnings at its next report? Consider CNA Financial Corporation (CNA - Snapshot Report), a firm in the Property & Casualty Insurance industry, which could be a great candidate for another beat.

This company has seen a nice streak of beating earnings estimates, especially when looking at the previous two reports. In fact, in these reports, CNA has beaten estimates by at least 15% in both cases, suggesting it has a nice short-term history of crushing expectations.

Earnings in Focus

Two quarters ago, CNA expected to earn 64 cents per share, while it actually produced earnings of 75 cents per share, a beat of 17.2%. Meanwhile, for the most recent quarter, the company looked to deliver earnings of 76 cents per share, when it actually saw earnings of $1.0 per share instead, representing a 31.6% positive surprise.

Thanks in part to this history, recent estimates have been moving higher for CNA Financial. In fact, the Earnings ESP for CNA is positive, which is a great sign of a coming beat.  

After all, the Zacks Earnings ESP compares the most accurate estimate to the broad consensus, looking to find stocks that have seen big revisions as of late, suggesting that analysts have recently become more bullish on the company’s earnings prospects. This is the case for CNA, as the firm currently has a Zacks Earnings ESP of 14.46%, so another beat could be around the corner.

This is particularly true when you consider that CNA has a great Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) which can be a harbinger of outperformance and a signal for a strong earnings profile. And when you add this solid Zacks Rank to a positive Earnings ESP, a positive earnings surprise happens nearly 70% of the time, so it seems pretty likely that CNA could see another beat at its next report, especially if recent trends are any guide.

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