Roughly 200 companies have reported earnings since the season began earlier this month. Of those companies, 64.4% have beaten consensus analyst EPS estimates. As shown in the first chart below, an earnings beat rate of 64.4% is strong relative to past quarters over the last few years. We haven’t gotten a beat rate higher than 64.4% since Q4 2010. There’s still a long way to go until earnings season comes to an end, but at least on bottom-line EPS, companies haven’t had trouble exceeding expectations so far.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for top-line revenues. As shown in the second chart below, just 44% of companies have beaten revenue estimates so far this earnings season. This is extremely low compared to past quarters during this five year bull market, and it’s actually down at levels last seen during the final quarters of the Financial Crisis. Again, there’s a long way to go until this earnings season ends, so we could see a pick-up in revenue beat rates. Up until this point, though, top-line numbers have been woeful.