More than 2,000 companies have reported first quarter earnings numbers since the reporting period began in early April. Through today, 60.3% of companies that have reported have beaten their consensus analyst EPS estimates.
Notably, though, the beat rate has been trending lower since the end of April, which has coincided with a pullback in stock prices. Below is a chart showing the earnings beat rate as this season has progressed. As shown, the peak for earnings beats came on 4/27, when 66.6% of companies that had reported between 4/8 and 4/27 had beaten EPS estimates. Following a huge batch of misses on 4/28, the beat rate fell to 64.8%, and by the end of last week it had dipped to 62.6%.
Nearly 1,000 companies reported earnings this week, and once the dust had settled, the beat rate dropped another 2.3 percentage points down to its current level of 60.3%. Earnings season ends on May 19th with Wal-Mart’s (WMT) report, but the pace will slow markedly next week. At this point it’s going to be tough for the beat rate tally for the quarter to move much more in either direction.
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