3.8.15: Some Earnings Insights from Factset and SP’s Howard Silverblatt

In the Weekly Earnings Update found on this blog every week, most of the data is taken from Thomson Reuters, “This Week in Earnings” (TWIE). Greg Harrison seems to be the primary author, and is very responsive to inquiries abut the data.

John Butters at Factset does some great work as well.

One area that I think Factset does well, is provide revenue estimates for the coming year by sector, as well as the next year, whereas Thomson only gives the current quarter’s revenue data.

For example, in this week’s TWIE, dated March 6th, 2015, Thomson is providing revenue data for q4 ’14, which for all practical purposes has concluded with 495 of the 500 SP 500 companies having already reported.

Factset, in their weekly “Earnings Insight”, also provides q4 ’14 revenue growth data.

Both data providers are saying that the SP 500 revenue growth for q4 ’14 was 2%. Factset also provides estimate data on full-year 2015 and 2016 revenue by sector: Factset estimates that full-year 2015 revenue for the SP 500 will fall by -0.3%, down from a +2.8% as of Jan 1 ’15. The Energy sector’s revenue growth for full year 2015 is expected to be -26%, down from -10% as of Jan 1 ’15 and is the primary drag on SP 500 revenues (surprising I know).

For 2016, Factset is expecting a recovery to 5.6% revenue growth in 2016, driven by a rebound in Energy revenue growth of +8.7%.

Here is a very interesting stat from Factset that might surprise readers, related to individual company earnings growth:

Top 10 Companies with largest upward percentage change in EPS (This list can or does change week-to-week): 

  • 1.) Martin Marietta Materials (MLM): +40%
  • 2.) Avago Technologies: (AVGO): +12.7%
  • 3.) Marathon Petroleum: (MPC): +16.9%
  • 4.) FirstEnergy Corp:(FE): +14.3%
  • 5.) EQT Corporation:(EQT): +13.7%
  • 6.) Ameren Corporation: (AEE) +13.5%
  • 7.) Valero Energy Corp: (VLO): +12.2%
  • 8.) Diamond Offshore (DO): +12%
  • 9,) Phillips 66: (PSX): +11.8%
  • 10.) Tesoro Corporation: (TSO): +11.1%

Anything surprise readers here ? What you should see is that 8 of the 10 companies are Energy or energy-related companies/utilities. For me personally, DO was the biggest surprise. DO and RIG are thought to be mid-water drillers which is thought to be an energy sub-sector in secular decline. Readers should be careful and know that John Butters and Factset have a new Top 10 every week (much like David Letterman.) What gets my attention is when companies start showing up for several weeks, i.e. that usually indicates earnings momentum.

To be fair, all 10 companies with the largest downward percentage change in EPS are all Energy companies as well, with the exception of First Solar.

Finally, a SeekingAlpha reader alerted me to Standard & Poor’s Howard Silverblatt’s work as well. Howard’s work is very quantitative, which is what i like. I havent seen the March 6th update from Howard, but you can look at last week’s data SP500_EPS_DIV_ta2.xls (silverblatt) here. I hope to spend more time in the coming weeks flushing out Howard’s work, and using it with attribution.

Summary / conclusion: Trinity started tracking Thomson earnings data back in 2000, so a lot of our data work is focused or dependent on Thomson data. That being said, while I think TWIE does a GREAT job with sector growth rates and prospective 4-quarter earnings detail by sector, Facset does a great job with revenue detail, and also in the Earnings Insight publication is SP 500 margin detail.

Howard Silverblatt’s work is new to me, but it is “data-rich” with the point being I hope to blend all these data providers into insights for readers as the rest of the year unfolds.

As an old school technician once told me as a young fundamental analyst, “there is good information in that chart. It is up to you to find it”, and the exact same principle applies to SP 500 earnings data.

The predictive power of earnings data is the forward estimates and the revisions to such.





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