Discover trends ahead of next week’s premiere

Alcoa (AA) is expected to report year-over-year earnings growth on higher revenue when it reports results for the quarter ended June 2024. This widely-known consensus forecast gives a good idea of ​​the company’s earnings picture, but how the actual results compare to those estimates is a strong factor that could impact the stock’s price in the near term.

The earnings report, due on July 17, 2024, could help the stock rise if those key numbers come out better than expected. On the other hand, if they fall short of expectations, the stock could fall.

While the durability of the immediate price change and future earnings expectations will depend largely on management’s discussion of business conditions during the earnings conference call, it is worth assessing the likelihood of an upside earnings per share surprise.

Zacks Consensus Estimate

The bauxite, alumina and aluminum products company is expected to report a quarterly loss of $0.02 per share in its upcoming report, which would represent a year-over-year change of +94.3%.

Revenue is expected to be $2.82 billion, up 5.2% from the same quarter last year.

Estimate revision trend

The consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has been revised 70.19% up over the past 30 days to current levels. This is essentially a reflection of how the analysts covering the aggregate have reassessed their initial estimates during this period.

Investors should note that the direction of each analyst’s estimate revisions may not always be reflected in the aggregate changes.

Whispers about earnings

Estimate revisions ahead of a company’s earnings release provide a guide to business conditions in the period in which the earnings are released. Our proprietary surprise prediction model, the Zacks Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction), has this insight at its core.

The Zacks Earnings ESP compares the Most Accurate Estimate to the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter; the Most Accurate Estimate is a newer version of the Zacks Consensus EPS. The idea is that the analysts revising their estimates just before an earnings release have the latest information, which could potentially be more accurate than what they and other contributors to the consensus had previously predicted.

So a positive or negative Earnings ESP reading theoretically indicates a likely deviation of actual earnings from consensus estimates. However, the model’s predictive power is only significant for positive ESP readings.

A positive Earnings ESP is a strong predictor of an earnings beat, especially when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy), or 3 (Hold). Our research shows that stocks with this combination deliver a positive surprise almost 70% of the time, and a solid Zacks Rank actually boosts the predictive power of Earnings ESP.

It’s important to remember that a negative Earnings ESP reading does not indicate an earnings miss. Our research shows that it’s difficult to predict an earnings beat with any degree of confidence for stocks with negative Earnings ESP readings and/or Zacks Rank 4 (Sell) or 5 (Strong Sell).

What are the numbers for Alcoa?

In the case of Alcoa, the Most Accurate Estimate is the same as the Zacks Consensus Estimate, suggesting there are no recent analyst views that differ from those considered in deriving the consensus estimate. This leads to an Earnings ESP of 0%.

On the other hand, the company’s stock currently has a Zacks Rank #3.

The combination of these factors makes it difficult to clearly predict that Alcoa will beat consensus earnings per share estimates.

Can history give any clues about financial performance?

Analysts often consider how well a company has been able to match consensus estimates in the past when calculating their future earnings estimates, so it’s worth looking at the company’s surprise history to assess its impact on the upcoming numbers.

For the last reported quarter, it was expected that Alcoa would post a loss of $0.62 per share when it actually produced a loss of $0.81, delivering a surprise of -30.65%.

The company has topped consensus earnings per share estimates twice over the last four quarters.


Beating or missing earnings may not be the only reason a stock goes up or down. Many stocks lose ground despite beating earnings because of other factors that disappoint investors. Similarly, unforeseen catalysts help many stocks gain despite missing earnings.

That said, betting on stocks that are expected to beat earnings expectations increases the odds of success. That’s why it’s worth checking a company’s Earnings ESP and Zacks Rank ahead of its quarterly earnings release. Be sure to use our Earnings ESP Filter to discover the best stocks to buy or sell before they release.

Alcoa doesn’t seem like a compelling candidate to beat earnings. However, investors should look at other factors when betting on this stock or staying away from it ahead of the earnings release.

Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar.

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