More than 1,000 companies have now reported Q1 2018 earnings, and at this point, earnings and revenue beat rates remain very strong for a second consecutive quarter. (For further clarity, the “beat rate” is the percentage of companies over a given time period that report actual numbers that are stronger than consensus analyst estimates.)
So far this earnings season, 71.6% of companies have beaten consensus analyst EPS estimates, while 72.1% of companies have beaten top-line revenue estimates. Below is a chart showing historical earnings and revenue beat rates for each quarterly earnings season since 1999. If the 71.6% earnings beat rate holds through the end of this season in mid-May, it would be the strongest reading since Q3 2006. For the top-line revenue beat rate, last season actually saw a stronger reading at 73.17%, but this would be the first time we’ve seen back-to-back readings above 70% since Q4 ’03 and Q1 ’04.
We’re just over halfway done with the Q1 2018 reporting period, and so far, companies have had no problem beating what were already hefty analyst expectations.