Be Ready for Surprises

As we move into the heart of earnings season, let's review this week's important reports and see who is poised to surprise to the upside or downside. As I wrote last week, a surprise in and of itself is not necessarily an indicator of performance in the sense that if you buy after the surprise, you may get no excess performance in subsequent weeks. However, anticipating surprises can sometimes be fruitful, especially if the exercise is to avoid negative surprises. Earnings misses are rarely good for stocks, so if you own some that are at risk of a miss, perhaps it's better to move on now, rather than later.

Below is a table with this week's reports along with the revision trend over the past quarter. Unlike previous posts, I modified the period so that instead of covering the full fourth quarter, I am looking at the more-recent trend. Let's face it, how analysts modified the earnings-per-share estimate back in November is not so relevant -- what they've done in the last four weeks or so counts for a lot more....119 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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