The “official” start to the fourth quarter 2018 earnings season is just a week away when JP Morgan and Bank of America will kick it off.
But traders need to get their earnings strategy in place now before all the action begins.
That means looking for the companies with the best earnings surprise track records on the Street.
What it Takes to Beat Every Quarter
Despite what you may think, it’s not easy to beat the earnings estimate quarter after quarter, year after year. Only a couple of dozen companies can say they have this record. It’s an elite group.
And it’s certainly not easy to beat for years under changing economic conditions. It takes skilled management, great communication with Wall Street analysts and maybe a little bit of luck along the way.
These 5 companies have done it. They are truly earnings all-stars. The best of the best.
Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future success. All companies end up missing at some point.
But, for now, these 5 companies have amazing earnings streaks on the line this earnings season.
Will they keep them?
5 Companies with Perfect Earnings Records
1. PayPal (PYPL - Free Report) is a bit of a cheater pick here but it still qualifies as being perfect so I’m including it. It hasn’t missed since its 2015 IPO. Sure, that’s not the full 5-year period. But it still has an impressive chart even though shares treaded water in 2018. Will they regain their momentum in 2019?
2. Abbott Labs (ABT - Free Report) has the best chart of the big drug stocks. Not only has it beat every quarter over the last 5 years but it’s last miss was all the way back in 2007. Think about what has occurred since that time (hint: the Great Recession). Yet Abbott kept beating. Shares are up 70% over the last 2 years.
3. UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Free Report) has one of the best charts on the Street. Not only has it beat every quarter the last 5 years but it’s track record extends back to 2008. That’s 10 years of beating. Impressive. Over the last two years, shares are up 50% versus the S&P 500 return of just 13%. Can the managed care companies keep out performing?
4. Lam Research (LRCX - Free Report) has seen its shares pull back off the early 2018 highs as the semiconductor stocks have entered the downward slope of their cycle. But that hasn’t stopped Lam from continuing to beat on earnings. Not only does it have a perfect 5-year track record but it’s last miss was back in 2012. Even with the recent decline in the shares, they’re still up 30% over the last 2 years compared with just 13% for the S&P 500.
5. Visa (V - Free Report) has the best chart on the Street. Period. Since it went IPO in 2008 it has NEVER missed. That’s beyond impressive. Investors have been rewarded during that time. Over the last 5 years, shares are up 140% versus the S&P 500 which is up 40% in that same period.
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