Research Blog

Earnings Season Kicks into High Gear with Magnificent 7 Reports

Published: January 29, 2024.
  • Big tech kicks off peak earnings season - Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Meta (META)

  • Five S&P 500 ® companies have outlier earnings dates this week - F5 Inc. (FFIV), Teradyne Inc. (TER), Rockwell Automation Inc. (ROK), Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII)

  • Peak weeks for Q4 season run from January 29 - March 1

A Handful of Tech Reports Set the Stage for Peak Earnings Season

As tech and tech adjacent names began to report earnings last week​, the tone of the Q4 earnings season tilted slightly more positive and set the stage for more highly anticipated reports this week. While some individual results were disappointing, as a sector tech continues its momentum from 2023 after getting off to a slow start earlier this year.

Netflix (NFLX) got the party started on Tuesday evening when they reported Q4 results. Although they missed EPS expectations, the streaming service added more than 13 million new subscribers, a number that is typically more important to investors. Total memberships came in almost 5 million ahead of expectations which led to a 11% pop in the stock after the announcement.[1]

Tesla (TSLA​) almost killed the good vibes when they missed expectations on both the top and bottom line after the market closed on Wednesday.[2] Also worrying investors was a lack of a specific delivery target, the first time the EV manufacturer hasn't provided this type of guidance on a quarterly call. And the guidance they did provide was concerning as well, with Tesla forecasting that 2024 volume growth would be 'notably lower' as compared to last year.[3]

IBM (IBM)[4] was able to perk up markets once again when they reported better-than-expected results on Wednesday, seen as a bellwether for AI demand. However Intel's (INTC) weak forecast for Q1 on Thursday sent the stock down to its lowest level since 2020.[5] Despite mixed earnings results, all major indices ended the week higher.

Five of the Magnificent 7 Stocks Report This Week

All eyes are on big tech this first week of peak earnings season with Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple, Amazon and Meta reporting.

The excitement is palpable heading into these reports, as tech continues to lead markets higher. Some of that enthusiasm helped Microsoft and Nvidia's (NVDA) stock prices reach new highs two weeks ago, while Microsoft and Meta both just hit record market caps. Even with the mixed, but negative-leaning, Financials reports earlier this season, markets remained positive and bolstered by tech. The promise of generative AI as a new catalyst for growth has investors all in on tech, even a stumble on Q4 results might be forgiven if outlooks remain positive.

The days to watch next week will be Tuesday, January 30 AMC with Microsoft and Alphabet reporting, and Thursday, Feb 1 with Meta, Apple and Amazon all out after the bell.

Source: Wall Street Horizon

Outlier Earnings Dates this Week

Academic research shows that when a company confirms a quarterly earnings date that is later than when they have historically reported, it's typically a sign that the company will share bad news on their upcoming call, while moving a release date earlier suggests the opposite.[6]

This week we get results from a number of large companies on major indexes that have pushed their Q4 2023 earnings dates outside of their historical norms. Five companies within the S&P 500 confirmed outlier earnings dates for this week, three of which are later than usual and therefore have negative DateBreaks Factors*. Those three names are F5 Inc. (FFIV), Teradyne Inc. (TER), Rockwell Automation Inc. (ROK). Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL​) and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) confirmed earlier than usual dates, and therefore have positive DateBreaks Factors*.


* Wall Street Horizon DateBreaks Factor: statistical measurement of how an earnings date (confirmed or revised) compares to the reporting company's 5-year trend for the same quarter. Negative means the earnings date is confirmed to be later than historical average while Positive is earlier.


Q4 Earnings Wave

This season peak weeks will fall between January 29 - March 1, with each week expected to see over 1,000 reports. Currently February 22 is predicted to be the most active day with 576 companies anticipated to report. Thus far 55% of companies have confirmed their earnings date (out of our universe of 10,000+ global names), so this is subject to change. The remaining dates are estimated based on historical reporting data. Keep in mind the Q4 reporting season is always a bit more prolonged, typically stretching over four or five peak weeks rather than the usual three peak weeks seen in Q1 - Q3.

Source: Wall Street Horizon


1 Fourth Quarter Earnings - Letter to Shareholders, Netflix, January 23, 2024, https://s22.q4cdn.comhttps://ir.tesla.com/webcast-2024-01-24
2 Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2023 Financial Results - Shareholder Deck, Tesla, January 24, 2024, https://digitalassets.tesla.com
3 Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2023 Financial Results - Webcast Transcript, Tesla, January 24, 2024, https://ir.tesla.com
4 IBM RELEASES FOURTH-QUARTER RESULTS, January 24, 2024,
https://www.ibm.com
5 Intel Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2023 Financial Results, https://www.intc.com
6 Time Will Tell: Information in the Timing of Scheduled Earnings News, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Eric C. So, Travis L. Johnson, Dec, 2018, https://papers.ssrn.com

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