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.
The earnings figure itself is key, of course, but a beat or miss on the bottom line can sometimes be just as, if not more, important. Therefore, investors should consider paying close attention to these earnings surprises, as a big beat can help a stock climb and vice versa.
The ability to identify stocks that are likely to top quarterly earnings expectations can be profitable, but it's no simple task. Here at Zacks, our Earnings ESP filter helps make things easier.
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.
The core of the ESP model is comparing the Most Accurate Estimate to the Zacks Consensus Estimate, where the resulting percentage difference between the two equals the Expected Surprise Prediction. The Zacks Rank is also factored into the ESP metric to better help find companies that appear poised to top their next bottom-line consensus estimate, which will hopefully help lift the stock price.
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.
Stocks with a ranking of #3 (Hold), or 60% of all stocks covered by the Zacks Rank, are expected to perform in-line with the broader market. Stocks with rankings of #2 (Buy) and #1 (Strong Buy), or the top 15% and top 5% of stocks, respectively, should outperform the market; Strong Buy stocks should outperform more than any other rank.
Should You Consider Neogen?
Now that we understand what the ESP is and how beneficial it can be, let's dive into a stock that currently fits the bill.
Neogen ( earns a #3 (Hold) right now and its Most Accurate Estimate sits at $0.05 a share, just 16 days from its upcoming earnings release on March 23, 2023. NEOG Quick Quote NEOG - Free Report)
By taking the percentage difference between the $0.05 Most Accurate Estimate and the $0.04 Zacks Consensus Estimate, Neogen has an Earnings ESP of +22.73%. Investors should also know that NEOG is one of a large group of stocks with positive ESPs. Make sure to utilize our
Earnings ESP Filter to uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they've reported.
NEOG is one of just a large database of Medical stocks with positive ESPs. Another solid-looking stock is
Lantheus Holdings (. LNTH Quick Quote LNTH - Free Report)
Slated to report earnings on May 5, 2023, Lantheus Holdings holds a #1 (Strong Buy) ranking on the Zacks Rank, and it's Most Accurate Estimate is $1.29 a share 59 days from its next quarterly update.
For Lantheus Holdings, the percentage difference between its Most Accurate Estimate and its Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.24 is +4.03%.
NEOG and LNTH's positive ESP metrics may signal that a positive earnings surprise for both stocks is on the horizon.
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 >>