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Why Investors Need to Take Advantage of These 2 Utilities Stocks Now

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Two factors often determine stock prices in the long run: earnings and interest rates. Investors can't control the latter, but they can focus on a company's earnings results every quarter.

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.

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, or Expected Surprise Prediction, aims to find earnings surprises by focusing on the most recent analyst revisions. The basic premise is that if an analyst reevaluates their earnings estimate ahead of an earnings release, it means they likely have new information that could possibly be more accurate.

With this in mind, the Expected Surprise Prediction compares the Most Accurate Estimate (being the most recent) against the overall Zacks Consensus Estimate. The percentage difference provides the ESP figure. The system also utilizes our core Zacks Rank to provide a stronger system for identifying stocks that might beat their next quarterly earnings estimate and possibly see the stock price climb.

When we join a positive earnings ESP with a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or stronger, stocks posted a positive bottom-line surprise 70% of the time. Plus, this system saw investors produce roughly 28% 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 NextEra Energy?

The final step today is to look at a stock that meets our ESP qualifications. NextEra Energy (NEE - Free Report) earns a #3 (Hold) five days from its next quarterly earnings release on April 23, 2024, and its Most Accurate Estimate comes in at $0.79 a share.

NEE has an Earnings ESP figure of +2.6%, which, as explained above, is calculated by taking the percentage difference between the $0.79 Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.77. NextEra Energy is one of a large database 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.

NEE is just one of a large group of Utilities stocks with a positive ESP figure. Entergy (ETR - Free Report) is another qualifying stock you may want to consider.

Entergy is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, and is getting ready to report earnings on April 24, 2024. ETR's Most Accurate Estimate sits at $1.48 a share six days from its next earnings release.

For Entergy, the percentage difference between its Most Accurate Estimate and its Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.40 is +5.71%.

NEE and ETR's positive ESP figures tell us that both stocks have a good chance at beating analyst expectations in their next earnings report.

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 >>

See More Zacks Research for These Tickers

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE) - free report >>

Entergy Corporation (ETR) - free report >>

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