With more than half the S&P 500 index SPX companies having reported this earnings season, it’s proving to be the second least-surprising earnings season in the last four years, according to John Butters, senior earnings analyst for FactSet.
Companies that have beaten the Wall Street earnings consensus so far this season have only done so by 3.2%, that’s well below the 4.3% average of the past year, and 7% average over the past four years.
Financial and health-care companies have had the biggest beats with margins of 10.7% and 7.2%, respectively, led by the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS , Travelers Cos. TRV , Bank of America Corp. BAC , and WellPoint Inc. WLP .
The biggest misses have been found in the utilities, materials, and tech sectors. Utilities have been off the mark by 6.1%, materials by 4.7%, and tech by 1.8%, according to FactSet. Examples include DTE Energy Co.’s DTE 19% miss, Newmont Mining Corp.’s NEM a 10-cents-a-share loss compared with an expected profit of 42 cents a share, and Microsoft Corp.’s MSFT 21% shortfall.