Earnings are arguably the most important single number on a company's quarterly financial report. Wall Street clearly dives into all of the other metrics and management's input, but the EPS figure helps cut through all the noise.
The earnings figure itself is key, but a beat or miss on the bottom line can sometimes be just as, if not more, important. Therefore, investors should consider paying close attention to these earnings surprises, as a big beat can help a stock climb even higher.
2 Stocks to Add to Your Watchlist
The Zacks Earnings ESP is more formally known as the Expected Surprise Prediction, and it aims to grab the inside track on the latest analyst estimate revisions ahead of a company's report. The idea is relatively intuitive as a newer projection might be based on more complete information. The ESP is calculated by comparing the Most Accurate Estimate to the Zacks Consensus Estimate, with the percentage difference between the two giving us the Zacks ESP figure.
The final step today is to look at a stock that meets our ESP qualifications. Williams Companies, Inc. (The) (WMB) earns a Zacks Rank #3 25 days from its next quarterly earnings release on May 1, 2023, and its Most Accurate Estimate comes in at $0.51 a share.
WMB has an Earnings ESP figure of 6.25%, which, as explained above, is calculated by taking the percentage difference between the $0.51 Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.48.
WMB is just one of a large group of Oils-Energy stocks with a positive ESP figure. First Solar (FSLR) is another qualifying stock you may want to consider.
First Solar is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, and is getting ready to report earnings on April 27, 2023. FSLR's Most Accurate Estimate sits at $1.46 a share 21 days from its next earnings release.
For First Solar, the percentage difference between its Most Accurate Estimate and its Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.95 is 53.47%.
WMB and FSLR's positive ESP metrics may signal that a positive earnings surprise for both stocks is on the horizon.
Find Stocks to Buy or Sell Before They're Reported
Use the Zacks Earnings ESP Filter to turn up stocks with the highest probability of positively, or negatively, surprising to buy or sell before they're reported for profitable earnings season trading. Check it out here >>
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