At the start of last week, only 322 US companies had reported their quarterly numbers for the first quarter earnings season. By the end of the week, 1,052 companies had reported. As shown below, the percentage of US companies that have beaten earnings estimates this season now stands at 64%. If we narrow the list down to just S&P 500 names, the beat rate jumps up to 73.6%, which means large companies are reporting better numbers versus expectations than their smaller cap brethren.
At 64% for all US companies, the earnings beat rate for the current earnings season is lower than it has been in 7 quarters. We'll see where things stand once the season wraps up in mid-May, however.
While the earnings beat rate is a bit weak this season, the percentage of companies beating revenue estimates currently stands at 72%, which would be the highest reading since 2004 if the reporting period were to end today.