U.S. Markets closed

Bank of America, Verizon, and Travelers are part of Zacks Earnings Preview:

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – March 03, 2014 – Zacks.com releases the list of companies likely to issue earnings surprises. This week’s list includes Bank of America (BAC-Free Report), Verizon (VZ-Free Report) and Travelers (TRV-Free Report).
To see more earnings analysis, visit http://at.zacks.com/?id=3207.
Every day, Zacks.com makes their Bull Stock of the Day available, free of charge. To see it, click here.
Plenty of Data, But Still No Answers
The earnings season isn’t over yet, with more than 230 companies including 8 S&P 500 members reporting results this week. But for all practical purposes, the reporting cycle is over now, as we have already seen results from 487 of the S&P 500 members.
Earnings aren’t in focus this week; the focus is instead on the economy, with the docket full of top-tier reports. The problem is that economic data lately has been overly distorted by this year’s unusually harsh winter. This week’s reports, particularly Monday’s Manufacturing ISM and Friday’s non-farm payroll readings, will likely reflect the same type of distortions. As such, we will have a lot of data to look at this week, but we wouldn’t be able to make much sense of it.
On the earnings front, the retail sector has been in focus in recent days. Confirming earlier fears, the Q4 earnings season has been a tough one for the sector. Not only has earnings and revenue growth for the sector been the weakest relative to recent quarters, but most have guided lower for the current period as well.
In fairness to Retail, they are hardly the only one suffering negative estimate revisions as 2014 Q1 estimates for most of the other sectors have been moving in that direction as well. As has been the case for more than a year now, predominant tone of management guidance was negative this earnings season as well, prompting estimates for Q1 to come down.
Q4 Earnings Scorecard (as of Friday, 2/28/2014)
Total earnings for the 487 S&P 500 members that have reported already, combined accounting for 97.5% of the index’s total market capitalization,  are up +9.3% from the same period last year, with a ‘beat ratio’ of 67.1% and a median surprise of +2.4%. Total revenues are barely in the positive column, up only +0.7%, with a revenue ‘beat ratio’ of 59.3% and a median surprise of +0.6%.
More companies have beat earnings and revenue expectations than has been the case in recent quarters, as the chart below shows. Perhaps expectations had fallen a bit low ahead of the Q4 reporting season.
The earnings growth rate for these 487 companies is better than what we saw from this same group of companies in Q3 and the 4-quarer average. A big contributor to the strong Q4 earnings growth is easy comparisons for three companies – Bank of America (BAC-Free Report), Verizon (VZ-Free Report) and Travelers (TRV-Free Report). Exclude these three companies and total earnings growth for the S&P 500 companies that have reported drops to +5.6% from the ‘headline’ +9.4%, which is about where growth has been in recent quarters.
The revenue growth rate is notably weak, but that’s primarily because of the Finance and Energy sectors.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter offers continuous coverage of the industries and the stocks poised to outperform the market. Click to subscribe to this free newsletter today.
About Zacks
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.
Get the full Report on BAC - FREE
Get the full Report on VZ - FREE
Get the full Report on TRV - FREE
Follow us on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/zacksresearch
Join us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts
Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.
Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339

Zacks.com provides investment resources and informs you of these resources, which you may choose to use in making your own investment decisions. Zacks is providing information on this resource to you subject to the Zacks "Terms and Conditions of Service" disclaimer. www.zacks.com/disclaimer.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Read the analyst report on BAC

Read the analyst report on VZ

Read the analyst report on TRV

Zacks Investment Research