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How Investors Can Grab Better Returns for Oils and Energy Using the Zacks ESP Screener
Wall Street watches a company's quarterly report closely to understand as much as possible about its recent performance and what to expect going forward. Of course, one figure often stands out among the rest: earnings.
We know earnings results are vital, but how a company performs compared to bottom line expectations can be even more important when it comes to stock prices, especially in the near-term. This means that investors might want to take advantage of these earnings surprises.
Now that we know how important earnings and earnings surprises are, it's time to show investors how to take advantage of these events to boost their returns by utilizing the Zacks Earnings ESP filter.
The Zacks Earnings ESP, Explained
The Zacks Earnings ESP is more formally known as the Expected Surprise Prediction, and it aims to grab the inside track on the latest analyst estimate revisions ahead of a company's report. The idea is relatively intuitive as a newer projection might be based on more complete information.
Now that we understand the basic idea, let's look at how the Expected Surprise Prediction works. The ESP is calculated by comparing the Most Accurate Estimate to the Zacks Consensus Estimate, with the percentage difference between the two giving us the Zacks ESP figure.
In fact, when we combined a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better and a positive Earnings ESP, stocks produced a positive surprise 70% of the time. Perhaps most importantly, using these parameters has helped produce 28.3% annual returns on average, according to our 10 year backtest.
Most stocks, about 60%, fall into the #3 (Hold) category, and they are expected to perform in-line with the broader market. Stocks with a #2 (Buy) and #1 (Strong Buy) rating, or the top 15% and top 5% of stocks, respectively, should outperform the market, with Strong Buy stocks outperforming more than any other rank.
Should You Consider Exxon Mobil?
The final step today is to look at a stock that meets our ESP qualifications. Exxon Mobil (XOM - Free Report) earns a #3 (Hold) 29 days from its next quarterly earnings release on April 29, 2022, and its Most Accurate Estimate comes in at $2.01 a share.
By taking the percentage difference between the $2.01 Most Accurate Estimate and the $2 Zacks Consensus Estimate, Exxon Mobil has an Earnings ESP of 0.2%. Investors should also know that XOM is just one of a large group of stocks with positive ESPs. All of these qualifying stocks can be filtered by ESP, Zacks Rank, % Surprise (Last Qtr.), and Reporting date.
Find Stocks to Buy or Sell Before They're Reported
Use the Zacks Earnings ESP Filter to turn up stocks with the highest probability of positively, or negatively, surprising to buy or sell before they're reported for profitable earnings season trading. Check it out here >>