Earnings season came to an end yesterday with Wal-Mart's (WMT) release of its quarterly numbers. Wal-Mart's report must have been bittersweet for market bulls since the S&P 500 rallied more than 6% this past earnings season.
As shown below, the percentage of companies that beat earnings estimates for the reporting period finished at 60.4%. This is slightly lower than the reading from the prior earnings season and 1.6 percentage points below the historical average of 62%.
Looking at earnings beat rates by sector, Technology had the strongest reading at 68.2%, followed by Consumer Discretionary (65.7%), Industrials (65%) and Health Care (61.5%). Telecom had the weakest beat rate at just 33%, while Utilities had the second weakest reading at 40%. Energy, Materials, Financials and Consumer Staples all had readings weaker than the overall beat rate.
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