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logoArgusMay 10, 2021

Weekly Stock List

Communication Services, Financial Services, Technology, Healthcare, Industrials, Consumer Defensive

The 1Q21 EPS season is mostly in the books, with retailers the last group to report over the next two weeks. The results were impressive -- but came against an easy comparison with last year's 1Q, when the world started to shut down to fight COVID-19. Through early May, Refinitiv reported that S&P 500 earnings rose 50.4% year over year -- the best quarter since 1Q2010. Some 87% of companies have come in ahead of expectations, up from the prior four-quarter average of 76%, according to Refinitiv. Where is the growth? Consumer Discretionary remains atop the list with a 170% earnings increase. Financials is second at 130%. Only Industrials is expected to remain negative -- with a 2% decline. Even the Energy sector, expected to have an earnings decrease at the start of the quarter, is now poised for 8% growth. Our analysts are always on the lookout for companies that raise their outlooks during earnings season. Management's ability to "raise guidance" can often be a catalyst for strong returns in the quarters ahead. Here are 20 BUY-rated companies in Argus coverage at which management has raised guidance or increased its outlook during the 1Q21 EPS reporting season.

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