GOBankingRates

Companies That Exceeded Expectations Last Quarter

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Every quarter, publicly traded companies are required to report their earnings. These quarterly earnings reports allow investors and shareholders to get a black-and-white look at how a business is performing. Oftentimes, however, the performance of a company’s stock is tied not so much to its actual earnings as much as whether or not those earnings exceed expectations.

Read More: Target Had a Huge Quarter, but Will It Last?

In the most recent round of earnings releases, reflecting quarters typically ending on Sept. 30 or Oct. 31, a number of prominent companies exceeded analysts’ expectations for their earnings. Many of the companies on this list, such as Zoom and Amazon, likely outperformed at least in part due to the global stay-at-home orders surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

All of these companies on this list reported outperformance in terms of revenue. Although the percentage by which revenues exceeded expectations only ranged from 0.66% to 11.99%, in terms of actual dollars, those amounts are astronomical.

Companies that outperform expectations often do so consistently, but others may just be enjoying a moment. Take a look at some of the most well-known outperformers in the latest quarter.

Last updated: Dec. 28, 2020

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Alphabet (Google)

  • Earnings expectations: $11.29
  • Earnings per share: $16.40
  • EPS surprise: 45.26%
  • Revenue expectations: $42.9 billion
  • Revenue: $46.17 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 7.62%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Sept. 30
  • Date reported: Oct. 29

2020 in Review: The Year for Google

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Amazon

  • Earnings expectations: $7.41
  • Earnings per share: $12.37
  • EPS surprise: 66.94%
  • Revenue expectations: $92.7 billion
  • Revenue: $96.1 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 3.67%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Sept. 30
  • Date reported: Oct. 29

2020 in Review: The Year for Amazon

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Amerisource Bergen

  • Earnings expectations: $1.87
  • Earnings per share: $1.89
  • EPS surprise: 1.07%
  • Revenue expectations: $48.09 billion
  • Revenue: $49.24 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 2.40%
  • Expectations from: Zacks
  • Quarter ended: Sept. 30
  • Date reported: Nov. 5

Read More: Best Buy Reports Its Best Quarter in 25 Years as Online Sales Soar

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Apple

  • Earnings expectations: $0.70
  • Earnings per share: $0.73
  • EPS surprise: 4.29%
  • Revenue expectations: $63.7 billion
  • Revenue: $64.7 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 1.57%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Sept. 26
  • Date reported: Oct. 29

Find Out: Why It’s Never a Bad Idea To Invest In Apple and These Other Companies

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CVS Health

  • Earnings expectations: $1.33
  • Earnings per share: $1.66
  • EPS surprise: 24.81%
  • Revenue expectations: $66.66 billion
  • Revenue: $67.1 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 0.66%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Sept. 30
  • Date reported: Nov. 6

Read More: Best and Worst Deals at CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid

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Facebook

  • Earnings expectations: $1.91
  • Earnings per share: $2.71
  • EPS surprise: 41.88%
  • Revenue expectations: $19.8 billion
  • Revenue: $21.47 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 8.43%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Sept. 30
  • Date reported: Oct. 29

2020 in Review: The Year for Facebook

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Home Depot

  • Earnings expectations: $3.06
  • Earnings per share: $3.18
  • EPS surprise: 3.92%
  • Revenue expectations: $32.04 billion
  • Revenue: $33.54 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 4.68%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Nov. 1
  • Date reported: Nov. 17

Year in Review: Companies That Performed Exceptionally Well in 2020

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HP

  • Earnings expectations: $0.52
  • Earnings per share: $0.62
  • EPS surprise: 19.23%
  • Revenue expectations: $14.7 billion
  • Revenue: $15.3 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 4.08%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Oct. 31
  • Date reported: Nov. 24

Find Out: 30 Jobs That Will Soon Be Gone for Good

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McKesson

  • Earnings expectations: $3.87
  • Earnings per share: $4.80
  • EPS surprise: 24.03%
  • Revenue expectations: $59.33 billion
  • Revenue: $60.81 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 2.49%
  • Expectations from: Zacks
  • Quarter ended: Sept. 30
  • Date reported: Nov. 3

Read More: 25 Biggest Companies You’ve Never Heard Of

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Nvidia

  • Earnings expectations: $2.57
  • Earnings per share: $2.91
  • EPS surprise: 13.23%
  • Revenue expectations: $4.41 billion
  • Revenue: $4.73 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 7.26%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Oct. 25
  • Date reported: Nov. 18

Year in Review: Fortune 500 Companies That Added the Most New Jobs in 2020

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Salesforce

  • Earnings expectations: $0.75
  • Earnings per share: $1.74
  • EPS surprise: 132.00%
  • Revenue expectations: $5.25 billion
  • Revenue: $5.42 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 3.24%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Oct. 31
  • Date reported: Dec. 1

Read More: 36 Million Americans to Work From Home by 2025 – Invest in These 7 Stocks Now

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Target

  • Earnings expectations: $1.60
  • Earnings per share: $2.79
  • EPS surprise: 74.38%
  • Revenue expectations: $20.93 billion
  • Revenue: $22.63 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 8.12%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Oct. 31
  • Date reported: Nov. 18

Cut Costs: 19 Money-Saving Secrets Target Doesn’t Want You To Know

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UnitedHealth Group

  • Earnings expectations: $2.98
  • Earnings per share: $3.51
  • EPS surprise: 17.79%
  • Revenue expectations: $63.73 billion
  • Revenue: $65.1 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 2.15%
  • Expectations from: Zacks
  • Quarter ended: Sept. 30
  • Date reported: Oct. 14

Read: Smart Ways To Spend Your Healthcare FSA Money in 2020

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Walmart

  • Earnings expectations: $1.18
  • Earnings per share: $1.34
  • EPS surprise: 13.56%
  • Revenue expectations: $132.2 billion
  • Revenue: $134.7 billion
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 1.89%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Oct. 31
  • Date reported: Nov. 17

Year in Review: Walmart and Instacart Team Up To Fight Amazon and 17 More of the Biggest Business Moves of 2020

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Zoom

  • Earnings expectations: $0.76
  • Earnings per share: $0.99
  • EPS surprise: 30.26%
  • Revenue expectations: $694 million
  • Revenue: $777.2 million
  • % Revenue exceeded expectations: 11.99%
  • Expectations from: Refinitiv
  • Quarter ended: Oct. 31
  • Date reported: Nov. 30 (corrected Dec. 1)

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Methodology: To identify companies that exceeded expectations in their last fiscal quarter, GOBankingRates first created a sample of major companies to analyze, focusing on top Fortune 500 companies, companies that have reported results much stronger than expected, and companies that have received particular interest this year due to their ability to capitalize on or adapt to changes in the economy brought about by COVID-19. GOBankingRates looked at earnings and revenue expectations for each company in the last quarter from Refinitiv (data published by CNBC) and from Zacks (published by NASDAQ). Then, GOBankingRates looked at each company’s most recent quarterly financial result reports to find their actual diluted earnings per share (EPS) and total revenue. GOBankingRates then calculated the percent by which each company beat EPS and revenue expectations. Adjusted (non-GAAP) EPS figures were used whenever possible. All data was collected on and up to date as of Dec. 2, 2020. 

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