Back to top

Image: Bigstock

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Meta Platforms, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Walt Disney, Consolidated Edison and S&P Global

Read MoreHide Full Article

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 11, 2024 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Meta Platforms (META - Free Report) , Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG - Free Report) , Walt Disney Co. (DIS - Free Report) , Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED - Free Report) and S&P Global Inc. (SPGI - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Solid Stocks to Bet On This Earnings Season

The first-quarter 2024 earnings season will kick off this week, with the banking sector slated to report numbers. There has been a deceleration in the earnings outlook in recent months, with negative revisions for several key sectors since the start of the first quarter.

While most of the stocks are expected to outperform this earnings season, we have zeroed in on the best stocks of the sectors that have a high chance of surprising in their upcoming releases. These stocks —Meta Platforms, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Walt Disney Co., Consolidated Edison Inc. and S&P Global Inc. — could make great plays as the earnings season unfolds and will likely move higher in the days to come.

Q1 Earnings Trend

Total S&P 500 earnings are expected to be up 2.2% from the same period last year on 3.4% higher revenues, per the latest Earnings Trends. This would follow 6.8% earnings growth in the fourth quarter on 3.9% higher revenues. Though estimates have steadily come down since the quarter began, the magnitude of cuts compared favorably with the recent periods. In fact, estimates have come down for 10 of the 16 Zacks sectors.

Of the 16 Zacks sectors, eight are expected to post earnings growth in the first quarter, with the Technology sector (19.4%) recording the strongest gain. It would be followed by Retail (13.5%), Consumer Discretionary (11.2%), Utilities (5.8%) and Business Services (5.9%).

How to Choose Stocks?

An earnings beat will definitely inspire investors' confidence and propel the price of these stocks higher. Picking the star performers would be easy if we go by our proprietary methodology that selects stocks with a combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a favorable Zacks Rank — Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction) looks to find earnings surprises by focusing on the most recent analyst revisions. This is done because if an analyst reevaluates their estimate right before an earnings release, it means that they have fresh information that could potentially be more accurate than what analysts thought about a company two or three months ago.

Stocks with the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #3 or better produced an earnings surprise 70% of the time. Best of all, by using these parameters, investors have seen 28.3% annual returns on average, according to our 10-year backtest. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they're reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.


Meta Platforms is the world's largest social media platform. The company's portfolio evolved from a single app, Facebook, to multiple apps like photo and video sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp owing to acquisitions. It has an Earnings ESP of +4.05% and a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the yet-to-be-reported quarter has been revised upward by a couple of cents to $4.29 over the past seven days, implying growth of 62.5%.

Meta Platforms delivered an earnings surprise of 19.71% on average in the last four quarters. It is scheduled to report earnings on Apr 24 after market close.


Chipotle Mexican, together with its subsidiaries, operates quick-casual and fresh Mexican food restaurant chains. It has an Earnings ESP of +1.44% and a Zacks Rank #3. Chipotle Mexican saw a positive earnings estimate revision of a penny over the past 30 days for the yet-to-be-reported quarter, indicating growth of 8.3%.

Chipotle Mexican delivered an average earnings surprise of 9.11% in the past four quarters. The company is slated to release earnings on Apr 24.

Consumer Discretionary

Disney operates as an entertainment company worldwide with assets spanning movies, television shows and theme parks. It has an Earnings ESP of +2.83% and a Zacks Rank #2.

In the past month, the stock has seen a positive earnings estimate revision of 5 cents for the yet-to-be-reported quarter and has an expected growth rate of 16.1%. Disney delivered an earnings surprise of 14.17% for the past four quarters on average and is slated to release earnings on May 8.


Consolidated Edison, also known as ConEd, is a diversified utility holding company with subsidiaries engaged in both regulated and unregulated businesses. It has an Earnings ESP of +2.02% and a Zacks Rank #3. The stock has seen an upward 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 8.20%.

Consolidated Edison delivered an average earnings surprise of 5.68% for the last four quarters. The company is slated to release earnings on May 2.

Business Services

S&P Global is a leading provider of transparent and independent ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets worldwide. It has an Earnings ESP of +7.66% and a Zacks Rank #3.

S&P Global saw a positive earnings estimate revision of a penny for the yet-to-be-reported quarter in the past month and has an expected growth rate of 9.84%. It delivered an earnings surprise of 3.13%, on average, for the past four quarters. S&P Global is slated to release earnings on Apr 25.

Why Haven't You Looked at Zacks' Top Stocks?

Since 2000, our top stock-picking strategies have blown away the S&P's +7.0 average gain per year. Amazingly, they soared with average gains of +44.9%, +48.4% and +55.2% per year.

Today you can access their live picks without cost or obligation.

See Stocks Free >>

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339                                                                                 

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Published in