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Advisors - July 12, 2022

Earnings Season Playbook: Q2 2022 Reports To Watch

Earnings season rolls around four times a year and brings with it a frenzy of information. After a year of strong earnings reports in 2021—which was immediately followed by one of the worst first-half performances for stocks in history—corporate earnings and managerial guidance will play a crucial role in charting the market’s course. As such, earnings season requires extra market monitoring, due diligence, and attention to detail compared to other times of the year. It’s also just pretty fun.

Earnings Season: the months of the year during which most companies release quarterly earnings reports to the public, notably earnings-per-share (EPS) and revenue, usually in January, April, July, and October.

Whether you like to “trade earnings” (buying or selling stocks based on their quarterly results) or you’re more of a passive investor, knowing the top names to watch this earnings season can help inform your approach for the quarter and year ahead. Whichever you are, here’s a quick refresher before the onslaught of new information that earnings season brings.

Click to jump to a specific section:
Earnings from Market-leading Sectors
Earnings from Market-lagging Sectors

Biggest Earnings Beats of Q1 2022
Biggest Earnings Misses of Q1 2022
Companies on an Earnings Beat Run
Companies on an Earnings Miss Run
Stock Earnings Calendar
Corporate Profits at the Market Level
Using YCharts to Navigate Earnings Season

 

Upcoming Earnings to Watch

Thousands of companies will share their financial results with the public this earnings season, but for varying reasons, only some will make it into the headlines. In an attempt to cut through the noise, these lists take a data-driven approach to identifying companies to follow this earnings season.

Leading Sectors of 2022 and Major Stocks

With the exception of names in Energy, the first half of 2022 has not been kind to stocks.

Chart of US Stock Sector Performance for the first half 2022

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Energy stocks have benefited as oil prices surged to a peak of $123 per barrel in Q1. Though the sector has given back some gains in Q2 as oil prices retraced, Energy is the only positive sector through two quarters of 2022. Crude oil production both globally and in the US is still below pre-pandemic levels even as some demand indicators, such as total US vehicle miles traveled, hint that demand for oil and gas is fully restored. Additionally, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has continued to crunch the global oil supply, pushing prices up.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX), two of the largest integrated oil-and-gas companies, comprise 37% or more of leading energy ETFs like XLE, IYE, and VDE. As such, their Q2 reports could play a large role in determining the sector’s outlook for the second half of 2022. While Brent and WTI oil prices are notably off their 2022 highs, they’re still up 43.1% and 34.8% year-over-year, respectively, with many looking for guidance on how long $100/barrel oil might be around. Both Exxon and Chevron will report financial results on July 29th, 2022.

Chart of Exxon Mobil and Chevron over their last 8 earnings reports dating back to June 30th, 2020

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Though sensitive to Fed rate hikes, the Utilities sector has taken a relatively lighter hit compared to the cyclical sectors which investors are avoiding, and many of which are in bear market territory in 2022.

Big utility players NextEra Energy (NEE) and Duke Energy (DUK) report earnings on July 22nd (est.) and August 5th (est.), respectively. Large earnings surprises are rare for these big-dividend payers who boast steady share prices, EPS, and earnings estimates. However, with fixed income yields rising rapidly, shares of major utility players could be in for a rude awakening on these earnings calls as the often-regarded bond substitutes face competition from the bond market itself.

Chart of NextEra Energy and Duke Energy over their last 8 earnings reports dating back to June 30th, 2020

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Lagging Sectors of 2022 and Major Stocks

On the flip side, the Consumer Discretionary and Communication Services sectors are both down 30% in the first half of 2022, thereby taking the title of market laggards in 2022. Coming into earnings season, these sectors are at the epicenter of the headwinds that have sent markets lower in 2022, such as inflation, volatility from geopolitical concerns, and growth-stunting Fed rate hikes which increase the cost of capital.

Few will forget that cold February morning when Facebook parent company Meta Platforms (META) recorded the largest single-day price drop for a stock in the entire history of U.S. public markets. A Q1 EPS beat late last April helped soften some of that blow, but weak top-line guidance for Q2 threatens to mark Meta Platforms’s first year-over-year revenue drop. The stock has so far been cut in half in 2022, and is trading at its August 2017 price levels as of writing.

As for Google parent company Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), a more diverse business model and consistently better-than-estimated earnings reports helped keep its share price from sinking in Q1. But like most high-growth tech stocks, secular headwinds have sent shares 18% lower on the year. On July 27th, 2022 (est.), can Alphabet—along with Meta Platforms—prove to shareholders that the company has what it takes to weather this unfriendly macroeconomic environment?

Chart of Meta Platforms and Alphabet over their last 8 earnings reports dating back to June 30th, 2020

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When we last discussed Amazon (AMZN) about three months ago, the world’s largest online retailer faced two major events. First, after a record quarter of EPS in Q4 2021, Amazon posted negative EPS in Q1 2022. Second, the e-commerce giant performed a 20 for 1 stock split on June 3rd. The fact that Amazon’s most recent quarter of earnings was the first negative one since Q1 2015 means that it too is susceptible to the macroeconomic woes of inflation and rate hikes. Can Amazon return to profitability when it releases earnings on July 29th, 2022?

Shares of The Home Depot (HD) have tumbled 34% in the first half of 2022 amid some cooling off in the housing market. In 2022, sales of both New Single Family Houses and Existing Homes are down 17% and 11.2% respectively, while Months Supply of New Single Family Houses is rapidly rising. The one bright light for sellers and current home owners is that the Median Sales Price for Existing Homes continues to ascend, surpassing $400,000 in May 2022 for the first time ever. But with mortgage rates rising and talks of a recession pushing home renovations further down the to-do lists of many Americans, what outlook will The Home Depot paint for shareholders on its August 17th, 2022 (est.) earnings call?

Chart of Amazon and The Home Depot over their last 8 earnings reports dating back to June 30th, 2020

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Biggest Earnings Beats of Q1 2022

Looking at earnings reports from Q1 2022—the most recent data available—there were 12 companies across the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 that beat consensus estimates by 75% or more.

Can these names continue their strong winning ways this earnings season?

 

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Biggest Earnings Misses of Q1 2022

The same reports from Q1 earnings season can also be used to identify names at the bottom of the barrel. Last quarter, 19 companies from both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 reported EPS figures that were 20% or more below estimates. If these were isolated performance lapses, could these names be poised to surprise the street this earnings season?

 

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Companies on an Earnings Beat Run

Combining the constituent lists of the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 indices results in 527 unique companies. 159 have beat analyst EPS targets in each of the last eight consecutive quarters. With 28% of those 527 companies on such a long and positive earnings run, nine of these names have distinguished themselves further by also beating their EPS targets by 100% or more, on average:

Bath & Body Works (BBWI)

CrowdStrike (CRWD)

Datadog (DDOG)

Host Hotels & Resorts (HST)

Mohawk Industries (MHK)

News Corp (NWS, NWSA)

Okta (OKTA)

Pinduoduo (PDD)

Ulta Beauty (UTLA)

 

Companies on an Earnings Miss Run

While over a quarter of S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 companies have strung together eight EPS beats going back to Q2 2020, one company has fallen short of consensus EPS targets in the same stretch.

Carnival Corp

We all know that few industries have had a tougher time since 2020 than Travel & Leisure. And a company that has perhaps suffered more than any other is Carnival Corp (CCL). As of writing, shares of Carnival are trading at less than $10 apiece, a price point the stock hasn’t seen since September 1996.

The cruise line operator has missed EPS expectations by an average of 26% over its last eight earnings reports. Carnival’s next quarterly report won’t be available until September 23rd (est.), as the company just released its most recent earnings on June 24th. The chart below hints at optimism for Carnival’s future EPS estimates, but analysts are expecting several additional quarters of negative results before earnings turn positive. In addition, the gap between actuals and estimates has widened with the last few earnings reports for Carnival.

Chart of Carnival Cruises over their last 8 earnings reports dating back to June 30th, 2020

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Stock Earnings Calendar

To keep you organized this earnings season, this calendar provides scheduled reporting dates for all 46 names mentioned in this post. A similar earnings calendar can also be created in YCharts for all stocks, or constituents of specific indices.

Monday, July 18, 2022
Prologis (PLD) 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Baker Hughes (BKR)

Thursday, July 21, 2022
Las Vegas Sands (LVS)

Friday, July 22, 2022
Twitter (TWTR)
NextEra Energy (NEE)

Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)
Boeing (BA)
Meta Platforms (META)
Rockwell Automation (ROK)
VICI Properties (VICI)

Thursday, July 28, 2022
DexCom (DXCM)

Friday, July 29, 2022
Amazon.com (AMZN)
Chevron (CVX)
Exxon Mobil (XOM)
Martin Marietta Materials (MLM)
Welltower OP (WELL)

Monday, August 1, 2022
Activision Blizzard (ATVI)
Vornado Realty Trust (VNO)

Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Host Hotels & Resorts (HST)
Incyte (INCY)
Realty Income (O)

Thursday, August 4, 2022
Booking Holdings (BKNG)
MGM Resorts International (MGM)
Penn National Gaming (PENN)

Friday, August 5, 2022
The AES Corp (AES)
Datadog (DDOG)
Duke Energy (DUK)
News Corp (NWS, NWSA)
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH)
NRG Energy (NRG)
Pinnacle West Capital (PNW)
Ventas (VTR)

Friday, August 12, 2022
Airbnb (ABNB)
Baidu (BIDU)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Lucid Group (LCID)

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
The Home Depot (HD)

Thursday, August 18, 2022
Bath & Body Works (BBWI)
Target (TGT)

Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Pinduoduo (PDD)

Thursday, August 25, 2022
Ulta Beauty (ULTA)

Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Constellation Energy (CEG)
CrowdStrike (CRWD)

Thursday, September 1, 2022
Okta (OKTA)

Friday, September 23, 2022
Carnival (CCL)

 

Corporate Profits at the Market Level

Since the March 2020 bottom, equities have rallied on strong corporate profits and surrounding exuberance. According to Standard & Poor’s, the composite EPS for all S&P 500 stocks reached an all-time high of 53.94 in Q4 2021. However, S&P 500 aggregate earnings are expected to cool off in Q1 and Q2 of 2022. The main headwind facing corporate earnings is inflation—according to Factset, 86% of S&P 500 companies cited the word “inflation” on Q1 earnings calls, the highest number since at least 2010. With the US inflation rate rising to 8.58% as of May, it’s expected that inflation will be front-and-center for management on their earnings calls.

Despite the choppy outlook for corporate earnings in the near term, looking toward the out years, composite S&P 500 earnings are currently forecasted to rise 13.3% by Q4 2023.

Chart of S&P 500 Earnings and Forward Estimate through Q4 2023

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While the general trend of market-level EPS is upward, some may wonder about the effect on valuations in light of the current bear market. The S&P 500 price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio rose throughout all four quarters of 2020 but fell in all four quarters of 2021. As of Q4 2021, the S&P 500 P/E ratio stands at 24.09, just below its historical average of 24.41. S&P 500 Forward P/E estimates are 22.51 for Q1 2022, 22.17 for Q2 2022, and 19.44 for Q4 2023. Will S&P 500 earnings hold up in Q2, causing the S&P 500 P/E ratio to fall, or will earnings follow the direction of the S&P 500 index in 2022?

Chart of S&P 500 PE ratio and Forward Estimate through Q4 2023

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Using YCharts to Navigate Earnings Season

Find companies on an earnings beat run

To find companies that have beat analyst expectations over consecutive quarters, use Timeseries Analysis to quickly compile and align data like EPS Surprise, Forward EPS Estimates, and Actual EPS. Because companies report financial results on different days throughout earnings season, format unlike data by clicking “Frequency” then select “Market Quarterly” to align all EPS data to the standard quarter-ends.

earnings season timeseries analysis

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Armed with properly formatted data, click “Export” then either “Export Data” or “Export to Excel Add-in” (if using the YCharts Excel Add-in, the spreadsheet will be linked to YCharts and automatically update when new data becomes available). From here, you can layer additional formulas to identify which names have a streak of beating expectations.

If you spot a company of interest, use the Earnings Chart Quickflow to dig deeper by visualizing the company’s historical EPS beat and miss trends—and how the share price has responded. The Quickflows Menu is accessed via the blue tab on the right-hand side of YCharts.

Find companies with the biggest earnings beats and misses

Want to see which companies outpaced the street’s expectations? Or find opportunities in names that sold off after an earnings miss?

Use the Stock Screener to find companies with a positive Earnings Surprise and compare their data side-by-side. In the Stock Screener, add either a broad market index, like the S&P 500, or a more targeted list, such as your portfolio holdings, by clicking “Modify” and toggling between the “Equities” and “My Lists” menus. Then click “Add Filter” and type to search for “EPS Surprise” or related metrics, and set a range or equation for its value.

EPS surprise filter stock screener

Click the screen’s name in the upper left corner to save, and distribute to colleagues by clicking “Share” in the upper right corner.

Create a custom earnings season calendar

Click “Data” in the top navigation bar, then “Events Calendar”. From here, a stock earnings calendar can be created by unchecking all Event types except “Earnings”. In the upper left corner, click “Select a List” to filter the calendar by stock style, index, sector, and more.

Photo of YCharts earnings and events calendar feature

Modify a Stock Earnings Calendar in YCharts

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