Positive Surpries With Below-Average P/Es

by John Bajkowski

Positive Surpries With Below Average P/Es Splash image

When the markets are volatile, investors take comfort in stocks announcing better-than-expected earnings. Notably, contrarian investors have observed that positive surprises are even more dramatic events for value-oriented stocks since the surprise often triggers a change (for the better) in the market perception of a company.

This issue’s First Cut screens for stocks with below-average forward price-earnings ratios (price divided by expected earnings per share) that have reported quarterly earnings that surpassed the consensus forecast—a positive earnings surprise.

Changes in a stock’s price resulting from an earnings surprise may be immediate, but the surprise may also have a long-term price effect. This means that it may not be too late to buy into an attractive company after a better-than-expected earnings report is released. Studies indicate that the effect can persist for as long as a year after the announcement. Firms with a significant surprise also often have earnings surprises in subsequent quarters.

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John Bajkowski is president of AAII.


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