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Aon Plc (AON - Analyst Report) is set to report fourth-quarter 2013 results on Jan 31, 2014. Last quarter, it posted an 8.65% surprise. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors this Past Quarter

Aon has been launching products, enhancing its offerings, establishing partnerships and executing acquisitions to fortify its global foothold. Last quarter, it extended its services to The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, partnered with XL Group plc (XL - Analyst Report) and National Council on Aging. Aon also launched products like Aon Rail Excess Liability facility, Weather Protect, a cyber diagnostic tool and the first probabilistic catastrophe model to enhance its risk solutions business. All these coupled with product launches in the HR Solutions segment, like A to Z auto-enrolment solution, SimPlus Savings and DC Nexus, and the acquisition of Stratford 360 are expected to drive growth going forward. However, competitive threats and exposure to foreign exchange rate fluctuations might dampen the results to some extent.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Aon is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction) and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zero Zacks ESP:  That is because the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate both stand at $1.52, making the difference 0.00%.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Aon’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of ESP but when combined with a zero ESP, it makes surprise prediction difficult. We caution against stocks with Zacks Rank #4 and 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing zero or negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:  

FBL Financial Group Inc. (FFG - Snapshot Report), with Earnings ESP of +4.49% and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

ING U.S. Inc. (VOYA - Snapshot Report) with Earnings ESP of +2.94% and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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