EC Q4 And 2021 Earnings Estimates Keep Going Up

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We are off to a great start in the Q4 earnings season, with a historically high proportion of the reporting companies not only beating consensus EPS and revenue estimates but also providing positive and reassuring guidance and commentary about the current and coming periods. This is helping sustain the positive revisions trend that has been in place since July 2020, as the chart below shows.

(Click on image to enlarge)

We expect this favorable trend to strengthen and accelerate as get into the heart of the Q4 earnings season this week, with more than 350 companies on deck to report results, including 113 S&P members. By the end of this week, we will have seen Q4 results from more than 35% of S&P 500 members.

Importantly, this week’s line-up includes a representative cross-section of the economy, ranging from traditional bellwethers like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report), 3M (MMM - Free Report), and Boeing (BA - Free Report) to new leaders like Facebook (FB - Free Report), Apple (AAPL - Free Report), Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) and many others in the middle.

By the end of this week, we will have a lot more confidence in our initial positive view of the Q4 earnings season.  

Earnings Season Scorecard

We now have Q4 results from 66 S&P 500 members or 13.2% of the index’s total membership. Total earnings (or aggregate net income) for these 66 companies are up +0.3% from the same period last year on +0.6% higher revenues, with 87.9% beating EPS estimates and 78.8% beating revenue estimates.

The two sets of comparison charts below put the Q4 results from these 66 index members in a historical context, which should give us a sense of how the Q4 earnings season is tracking at this stage relative to other recent periods.

The first set of comparison charts compare the earnings and revenue growth rates for these 66 index members.

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Kevin N. Harris 1 month ago Member's comment

Impressive.