The fourth-quarter earnings season is heating up, with total S&P 500 earnings expected to be up
19.9% from the same period last year on 11.9% higher revenues. This would follow a 41.4% rise in earnings on 17.3% higher revenues in the third quarter. Earnings were up 94.8% in the second quarter and 50.3% in the first quarter of 2021. Given the robust projections, most S&P 500 stocks are likely to post triple-digit earnings growth. Some of these are CF Industries ( CF Quick Quote CF - Free Report) , Exxon Mobil ( XOM Quick Quote XOM - Free Report) , Tesla ( TSLA Quick Quote TSLA - Free Report) , Centene Corporation ( CNC Quick Quote CNC - Free Report) and Southwest Airlines ( LUV Quick Quote LUV - Free Report) . These stocks have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) and a positive Earnings ESP. According to our methodology, the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a favorable Zacks Rank increases the chance of an earnings beat. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter. You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here Then we looked for stocks having a triple-digit estimated earnings growth rate for the to-be-reported quarter. Solid Earnings Trend
Of the 16 Zacks sectors, 11 are expected to earn more relative to the year-ago quarter. Energy, transportation & aerospace will likely see huge earnings growth from the year-ago-quarter as aerospace incurred loss while energy and transportation barely reported positive earnings.
The other eight sectors are expected to witness positive year-over-year earnings growth. Basic materials is expected to be the biggest contributor to S&P 500 earnings with 80.3% growth. This is likely to be followed by consumer discretionary (46.5%), construction (22.2%) and medical (16.7%).
Earnings strength is broad-based, with small caps projected to report solid growth. For the small-cap S&P 600 Index, Q4 total earnings are expected to be up 31.5% from the same period last year on 15% higher revenues. This would follow 352.2% earnings growth on 21.1% revenue growth in Q3. The earnings growth projection reflects significant deceleration from the last two quarters due to rising cost pressures and supply chain disruptions. Stocks With Triple-Digit Growth CF Industries is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of nitrogenous fertilizer and other nitrogen products globally. It has a market cap of $14.8 billion. Currently, the company has a Zacks Rank #1 and an Earnings ESP of +20.03%. CF Industries saw a solid earnings estimate revision of 39 cents over the past 30 days and has an estimated earnings growth rate of 662.5% for the yet-to-be reported quarter. CF Industries has a VGM Score of A. It is scheduled to report earnings on Feb 16. Exxon Mobil is engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and internationally. It operates through the Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical segments and has a market cap of $302.1 billion. Exxon Mobil currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and an Earnings ESP of +3.73%. The stock saw a positive earnings estimate revision of 8 cents over the past 30 days for the fourth quarter, indicating whopping growth of more than 1000%. Exxon Mobil is slated to release earnings on Feb 1. XOM has a VGM Score of A. Tesla has evolved into a dynamic technology innovator and is now the market leader in battery-powered electric car sales in the United States, owning around 60% of the market share. The company has a market cap of 1.1 trillion. TSLA has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +16.96%. The company witnessed a positive earnings estimate revision of 18 cents for the to-be-reported quarter over the past and has an expected growth rate of 133.75%. Tesla has a VGM Score of B and is expected to report on Jan 26. Centene, with a market cap of $46.7 billion, is a well-diversified, multi-national healthcare company that primarily provides a set of services to government-sponsored healthcare programs. It is also engaged in providing education and outreach programs to inform and assist members in accessing quality, appropriate healthcare services. CNC has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +1.80%. The company saw positive earnings estimate revision of a couple of cents over the past month for the to-be-reported quarter and has an expected earnings growth rate of 113%. Centene is slated to release earnings results on Feb 8. It has a Value Score of A. Southwest Airlines is a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and 'ten near-international' markets. LUV has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +172.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of the $27.1-billion market cap company has moved up from a loss of 10 cents to earnings of 6 cents per share over the past month for the to-be-reported quarter. Southwest Airlines has an estimated earnings growth rate of 104.6%. Southwest Airlines is scheduled to report earnings on Jan 27.