The Q2 earnings season has crossed the halfway mark with nearly a thousand companies, comprising 139 S&P 500 firms, reporting this week.
As of Jul 27, 265 S&P 500 members have reported quarterly results. The companies recorded year-over-year earnings growth of 23.6% on 10.1% higher revenues. Around 80.8% of the S&P 500 companies surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings, while 72.1% beat the revenue mark.
Compiling results from all the reported S&P 500 firms along with estimates for the rest of the players in the index, total earnings will likely rise 23.6% from the year-ago quarter on 8.8% higher revenues.
Energy Sector to Stand Out
Per the latest Earnings Preview, Energy is expected to be the only one among all the Zacks sectors to witness triple-digit earnings growth. Energy will likely witness year-over-year earnings growth of 123.1%, significantly higher than 79.6% in the prior quarter.
Notably, excluding Energy, the S&P 500’s earnings growth will likely slip to 20.7% from 23.6%. In the last few quarters, Energy has been the key sector backing the index’s earnings growth.
Higher Oil Price Backs Energy
For the month of April, May and June of 2018, average West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude price was recorded at a respective $66.25 per barrel, $69.98 and $67.87 — per data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The average prices were considerably higher than the year-ago respective prices of $51.06, $48.48 and $45.18.
It is to be noted that since 2015, the average monthly crude pricing scenario through second-quarter 2018 has been the healthiest.
Natural gas has also fared well as the price of the commodity rose almost 8% through the April-to-June quarter of 2018.
The fate of most energy players is linked to the price of oil and natural gas. Upstream energy players like explorers and producers will likely gain from the rally in crude. However, the favorable commodity pricing environment might act as a dampener for refiners.
EOG, HFC, CNQ, CNX, PBF in Spotlight
Headquartered in Houston, TX, EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG - Free Report) managed to surpass the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters, the average positive surprise being 30.1%.
Our proven model does not show a beat for EOG Resources this earnings season. That is because a stock needs to have a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen.
That is not the case here as the upstream energy player carries an Earnings ESP of -0.60% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Based in Dallas, TX, HollyFrontier Corporation (HFC - Free Report) posted an average positive earnings surprise of 41.26% for the last four quarters.
Our proven model shows that HollyFrontier is unlikely to beat estimates this earnings season as the petroleum refiner carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ - Free Report) , based in Calgary, Alberta, posted a negative earnings surprise of 1.75% in first-quarter 2018.
Our proven model shows a beat for Canadian Natural this earnings season. This is because the oil and gas exploration and production firm has an Earnings ESP of +1.75% and a Zacks Rank #1.
Headquartered in Canonsburg, PA, CNX Resources Corp. (CNX - Free Report) posted a negative average earnings surprise of 51.25% for the past four quarters.
According to our quantitative model, CNX Resources will post an earnings beat. This is because the natural gas explorer has an Earnings ESP of +9.91% and a Zacks Rank #3.
Based in New jersey, PBF Energy Inc. (PBF - Free Report) failed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the prior four quarters, the average negative earnings surprise being 113.41%.
An earnings beat is unlikely for the crude refiner as it has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3.
Looking for Stocks with Skyrocketing Upside?
Zacks has just released a Special Report on the booming investment opportunities of legal marijuana.
Ignited by new referendums and legislation, this industry is expected to blast from an already robust $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Early investors stand to make a killing, but you have to be ready to act and know just where to look.
See the pot trades we're targeting>>