In the world of equities, earnings have come to mean ‘the bottom line’ both literally and figuratively, and for good reason. A company’s earnings performance is probably the leading factor influencing its stock price. Little wonder, then, that the investment community is thoroughly smitten with this quarterly-released number.
The Climate This Season
We have seen four back-to-back quarters of earnings declines for the S&P 500 index, and the earnings season just around the corner is not expected to reverse this gloomy trend.
By all accounts, Wall Street is anticipating yet another quarter of bleak earnings reports and less-than-rosy company outlooks. The usual suspects, a strong greenback and a capricious energy market, though less formidable, still linger as headwinds.
Moreover, we are still following the negative estimate revision trend that has been prevalent for quite some time now. What’s even more concerning is the fact that the downward revisions have been quite broad-based, i.e. they are not just a carryover of Energy sector issues.
An Inflection Point?
However, if we dig a little deeper, we will see that the magnitude of revisions this quarter has been notably less than the previous few quarters. That is reason enough to celebrate!
Also, many analysts believe that the Q2 earnings season will prove to be the inflection point for corporate earnings trend. That is, the corporate growth picture will begin to improve from Q3 onwards, and eventually turn positive in the second half of the year.
Like always, there will be plenty of companies overcoming odds and emerging as winners this season.
The Crystal Ball
You must have noticed how some stocks skyrocket after the earnings results while others fall off a cliff. Ever wondered if there is a way to identify potential outperformers
before they report?
Studies indicate that on an average, positive earnings surprises drive strong returns in share prices for several weeks following the report. This is what we call the
At Zacks, we have developed
a system that beats the earnings estimate consensus more than 70% of the time. This system leverages the Zacks Rank, along with what we call Expected Surprise Prediction, or ESP. When a stock has a good Zacks Rank, as well as a positive Earnings ESP, there is a very high chance of the company beating estimates in its next earnings report. Not Just Dollar Minting
To make sure that our chosen stocks have the heat to march on with their growth stories even after the earnings fire has died down, we have added a Growth Style Score of ‘A’ to our screen using our
style score system. Our Growth Style Score condenses all the essential metrics from the company’s financial statements to achieve a true sense of the quality and sustainability of its growth.
We thus integrated our time-tested Zacks Rank and Earnings ESP methodology, ensuring that only those stocks that have good earnings beat history gets through. Moreover, these stocks have strong growth prospects compared to their peers.
5 Beaters You Should Chase AK Steel Holding Corporation ( AKS - Free Report) is a leading producer of flat-rolled carbon, stainless, electrical steel and tubular products.
This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has an Earnings ESP of +25.00%. The Most Accurate Estimate for the company is currently at a loss of 6 cents, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate, which is pegged at a loss of 8 cents for the upcoming quarter.
The company, boasting a top Growth Score, has beaten estimates in each of the last four quarters, registering a whopping average quarterly beat of over 127%. Moreover, its estimate for 2016 earnings has trended sharply up over the past month, increasing from a loss of 13 cents to earnings of 16 cents per share.
With its impressive combination of a top Zacks Rank and a positive earnings ESP, this company looks set to continue with its winning streak in the upcoming earnings, slated to report on Jul 26.
Gulfport Energy Corp. ( GPOR - Free Report) owns and operates mature oil and gas properties in the Louisiana Gulf Coast area.
This Zacks Rank #2 stock has an Earnings ESP of +42.86%. The Most Accurate Estimate for the company is currently at 10 cents, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate, which is pegged at 7 cents for the quarter.
The company boasts a top Growth Score and has registered a remarkable average quarterly beat of over 78% with successive beats in each of the last four quarters. Moreover, its estimate for 2016 earnings has trended sharply up over the past two months, from 29 cents to 37 cents per share.
With its impressive metrics and a positive earnings ESP, the company looks poised to continue its beat streak in its upcoming earnings slated to report on Aug 3.
Hecla Mining Co. ( HL - Free Report) is a leading low-cost U.S. silver producer with operating mines in Alaska and Idaho, and is a budding gold producer with an operating mine in Quebec, Canada.
This Zacks Rank #2 stock has an Earnings ESP of +200.00%. The Most Accurate Estimate for the company is currently pegged at 3 cents, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate, which is pegged at 1 penny for the soon-to-be-reported quarter.
The company has registered an average quarterly beat of over 31% in the trailing four quarters. With its impressive combination of a top Zacks Rank and a positive earnings ESP, this company looks confident of posting an earnings beat in the upcoming report on Aug 4.
Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. is engaged in the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas primarily in the U.S.
This Zacks Rank #2 stock has an Earnings ESP of +50.00%. The Most Accurate Estimate for the company is currently at 18 cents, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate, which is pegged at 12 cents for the upcoming quarter.
The company has posted an average beat of nearly 24% in the trailing four quarters. Also, its 2016 estimate has climbed from 64 cents to 73 cents over the past 60 days.
With these time-tested elements in its favour, the company is likely to beat the consensus and post another huge surprise in its soon-to-be-reported earnings on Aug 4.
Xencor, Inc. ( XNCR - Free Report) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company.
This Zacks Rank #2 stock has an Earnings ESP of +29.41%. The Most Accurate Estimate for the company is currently at a loss of 12 cents, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate, which is pegged at a loss of 17 cents for the soon-to-be-reported quarter.
The company has registered an average quarterly beat of over 35%. In addition, the company has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 narrow from a loss of 91 cents a month back, to a loss of 36 cents today.
With its impressive combination of a top Zacks Rank and a positive earnings ESP, this company looks set to post another earnings beat in the upcoming report on Aug 2.
A Winning Strategy
Like always, there will be some companies that will trump the challenging macroeconomic issues and stand out with great earnings surprises. Employing Zacks' ESP system can significantly increase your odds of discovering these winners before they report and boost your portfolio returns with the stock price appreciation.
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