As shown in the chart below from our Earnings Explorer tool, the number of earnings reports slows to a crawl in the weeks ahead.  While there are still a lot of companies set to report this week, including a number of big retailers like Kroger (KR), Costco (COST), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Ross Store (ROST), by next week we’ll get only about 20 reports per day.  At the end of March and early April, we’ll only see 5-10 reports per day before things pick back up again in mid-April when Q1 reports start to roll in.

One positive we continue to monitor is the pick-up that we’ve seen in top-line revenue beat rates.  Below are two charts from our Earnings Explorer tool — the first shows the 3-month rolling earnings per share beat rate, while the second shows the 3-month rolling revenue beat rate.  While bottom-line beat rates continue to trend slightly lower, we have seen a steady increase lately in top-line beats.  This means that either the analysts providing revenue estimates got too bearish, or companies have managed to surprise the market with stronger revenues (or a combination of both).

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