Earnings Releases & Analyst Estimates
by CI Staff
Understanding earnings data is crucial to making informed investment decisions. Seeing how earnings have grown by quarter and year can help you pinpoint companies with earnings growth potential or with slower growth or declining earnings.
Comparing actual earnings to analyst estimates is also helpful. An earnings surprise can move a company’s stock price as well as the prices of other stocks in the same industry. Changes in analyst expectations can also affect a stock’s price, and paying attention to these movements can give a glimpse into the future of a company’s earnings.
Typically, you will find earnings data, estimates and recommendations by typing a ticker symbol into the search box at Web sites that track company earnings.
SmartMoney has an impressive amount of free company earnings release data that is provided by Zacks. A bar chart shows the actual versus estimated earnings over the last six quarters, in addition to the reported GAAP earnings. A table below the bar chart lists the same data.
An earnings forecast table displays earnings estimates for the upcoming two quarters and two fiscal years. The table lists the average estimate, the number of analysts, the high and low estimates, and the year-ago reported earnings.
An earnings estimate revisions table reports the current estimate and the estimates from one week ago and from 30, 60, and 90 days ago for the upcoming two quarters and fiscal years. Earnings growth estimates are provided as well and include actual earnings growth over five years and the expected five-year earnings growth for the company, the industry and the S&P 500.
Finally, a comparison tool allows you to look at multiple companies’ earnings data side-by-side including actual and estimated earnings per share and expected growth rates in earnings.
SmartMoney also offers analyst recommendations, including two easy-to-read bar charts showing the number of analysts that currently hold each rating on the stock and the earnings estimate trends by analysts over various time periods. A history of analyst upgrades and downgrades as well as analyst changes to their price target for the firm rounds out the site’s offerings.
AOL Money & Finance
AOL Money & Finance lists actual and estimated earnings for the last five years and five quarters. With your cursor on any bar in the bar chart, a box pops up revealing the reported earnings, the consensus estimate, and the dollar and percent difference.
The site provides one-year and long-term earnings growth forecasts for the company, the S&P 500, the industry and sector.
A list of upcoming earnings releases shows the consensus estimate and the earnings for the year-ago quarter. Following the calendar, you can view a five-year quarterly earnings history for the company that shows the actual earnings, the consensus estimate and the comparable year-ago quarter’s earnings.
Finally, the site reports current analyst recommendations, including the average recommendation and the recommendations from 30, 60, 90 and 120 days ago. Current analyst rating and price target are also included. AOL’s earnings data is free and provided by Thomson Reuters.
CNBC provides quarterly and annual earnings trend charts for the last three years and the current upcoming fiscal years. Hovering over any point on the chart with your cursor reveals a synopsis of the earnings release including any positive or negative surprise.
An earnings growth forecast includes short- and long-term growth rates for the company, the industry, sector and S&P 500.
An earnings momentum chart shows the number of analyst revisions to earnings estimates over the last week, month, quarter and six months.
Analyst recommendations include the current ratings as well as ratings from one, three and six months ago. A line chart shows the mean analyst consensus earnings estimate over the last six months.
Finally, the site compares the company to its peers on earnings growth rates, analyst recommendations and ratings, and the change in earnings over the last year. CNBC’s earnings data is free and provided by Thomson Reuters.
MSN Money offers free earnings data provided by Zacks. A bar chart shows the upcoming two quarters and fiscal years’ consensus estimates. A table below this chart lists the average estimate; number of analysts polled; high, low and year ago estimate; and the expected growth rate for the two upcoming quarters and fiscal years.
A bar chart shows earnings surprise data for the last five quarters. An accompanying table includes the actual and estimated earnings as well as the percent surprise.
The consensus EPS trend chart shows how analyst earnings estimates have changed over the last 90 days. A table appears below this chart that reports the current estimate along with the consensus estimate one week ago and one, two and three months ago for the upcoming two quarters and fiscal years. You can also compare the earnings growth rates of the company with the industry and the S&P 500 for the last five years.
Reuters’ estimates section is found on the stock data pages. Unique to the Reuters site is data on reported and estimated sales (revenues) as well as earnings. All of the data points described below are available for both earnings and sales.
Consensus estimate data for two upcoming quarters and fiscal years includes the number of estimates and the mean, high, low and year-ago estimates.
An earnings surprise data table lists the consensus estimate, the reported earnings and sales, and the dollar and percentage differences. Data covers the last five quarters.
You can also see the trend in estimate revisions with a table that lists what the mean estimate was last week, one and two months ago, and last year. Data is shown for the upcoming two quarters and fiscal years. You can see the number of analysts that have revised their estimates up or down over the last week and month.
A recommendations area provides the consensus recommendation and the number of analysts that currently hold each different rating on the stock as well as historical ratings information. Reuters is a free site.
WhisperNumber.com collects earnings expectations data from the public then uses the information to create a collective expectation of quarterly earnings from investors, called a “whisper number.”
The home page highlights a stock that recently released earnings and provides the whisper number, actual earnings and additional statistics about the earnings release. A list of upcoming earnings releases follows.
To search for specific companies, you must register with the site; however, registration is free. Earnings data on each company includes the most recent quarter’s actual earnings and the whisper number.
A table displays the mean (average) whisper number and the number of investors who provided their estimates for the current quarter and for one year ago. In addition, you can view the current high and low whisper numbers as well as the median and standard deviation.
Unique to the site is a table showing the average post-earnings price movement. It shows price changes when a company beat, met or missed the whisper number over various time periods for all quarters in the database. Also, a two-quarter earnings history shows the actual earnings, whisper number, and the one-day and five-day stock price reaction.
Access to most of the data provided by Zacks is free. A summary chart compiles important estimate data like estimates for the current and upcoming quarter and fiscal years, estimated earnings and sales growth rates, quarterly surprise and a quarter-over-quarter comparison.
Projected earnings growth for the current and upcoming quarters and fiscal years, and the five-year historical and estimated growth rates are compared to the industry and the S&P 500.
A table of detailed earnings estimate data includes the number of estimates and the consensus, high and low estimates for the current and upcoming quarters and fiscal years. The number of revisions to estimates over various time periods as well as the change in the mean estimate over the same periods are also shown. Finally, an earnings history table lists the previous four quarters of earnings, the consensus estimates and the surprise.