4 Dow Stocks That Have Consistently Crushed Expectations

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As we move through earnings season, a positive surprise from a company can push its stock up substantially. But how can you tell in advance whether a stock you own is likely to benefit from an earnings surprise?

Past performance may not guarantee future results, but companies that have delivered a string of earnings beats are logical candidates for producing further positive results. So I took a look at the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) to find out which ones had the most consistent records of delivering better-than-expected earnings quarter in and quarter out.

The stocks
Nearly a dozen stocks have beat analysts' earnings expectations for four straight quarters. But many of them only top the estimates by the narrowest of margins. So let's focus on the stocks that beat estimates by the widest average margins.

Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) tops the list with an average earnings-per-share beat of more than 38% over the past year. The aircraft maker has gotten a huge number of new orders so far this year, but it needs to execute on delivering those planes on time in order to follow through on its sales success.

Coming in at No. 2 is DuPont (NYSE: DD  ) , which weighs in with an average 11% beat. The chemical maker has ridden price increases in its key titanium dioxide market, and it's looking to gain an edge on the competition by expanding its production capacity for the pigment in the next few years.

Next is Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) , which reports after the bell today. Intel has beaten estimates by an average of almost 10% over the past four quarters. With the PC chip king now seeking to expand more strongly into tablets and smartphones, investors are actually expecting a slight drop in earnings from last year's levels when its first-quarter results come out.

Finally, Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) also posts a nearly 10% average earnings beat. The company faces tough competition on the networking front, but it has done a good job of rebounding from its slowdown and appears on track to continue its winning ways.

Why earnings are important
Earnings are a key component of a stock's value, so you have to stay aware of what your stocks are doing on the earnings front. In its brand-new special report, The Motley Fool has identified five stocks that investors simply have to watch this earnings season. The report is free, so let me invite you to click here and get the scoop before these companies report.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cisco Systems and Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (6)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2012, at 4:46 PM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    "Past performance may not guarantee future results, but companies that have delivered a string" ...of unmet promises are logical candidates for producing further mediocre and disappointing results.

    Today, April 17, shares of DuPont closed at 53.40.

    Five years ago, on April 17, 2007, DD closed at 49.85. Ten years ago on April 17, 2002, DD closed at 47.98. Fourteen years ago, DD closed at its all-time peak price of 84.44.

    This much shrunken old-line chemical conglomerate based in Delaware has coasted in a downward trend for well over a decade, and its stock has been stagnant. We believe that trend is likely to continue in absence of any new high-profit blockbuster products or breakthrough technologies.

    Merely the perspective of one individual retail investor with small long and short positions in DD...funfun..

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2012, at 9:11 AM, gbroyal wrote:

    Each time I click on to a free report I have to fill in the same form. You have had all of this information for years. Perhaps you could differentiate between Suscribers to your service and the odd bods who don't. It is truly boring. Give your IT. The nod please. GBROYAL

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Related Tickers

10/28/2016 3:32 PM
^DJI $18184.47 Up +14.79 +0.08%
BA $143.12 Down -0.19 -0.13%
Boeing CAPS Rating: ****
CSCO $30.67 Up +0.29 +0.94%
Cisco Systems CAPS Rating: ****
DD $69.54 Down -0.30 -0.43%
DuPont CAPS Rating: ****
INTC $34.83 Up +0.02 +0.06%
Intel CAPS Rating: ****