American Equity Investment (AEL) set to beat earnings estimates: should you buy?

American Equity Investment (AEL) is expected to deliver lower year-over-year earnings due to lower revenue when it reports results for the quarter ending September 2021. This widely known consensus outlook gives a good idea the company’s earnings picture, but how actual results compare to those estimates is a powerful factor that could affect its stock price in the near term.

The earnings report, which is expected to be released on November 8, 2021, could help the stock rise if these key numbers come in better than expected. On the other hand, if they are missing, the stock may go down.

While management’s discussion of trading conditions on the earnings call will primarily determine the sustainability of the immediate price move and expectations of future earnings, it’s worth a crippling glimpse of the odds. positive surprise from BPA.

Zacks consensus estimate

This annuity and insurance underwriter is expected to post quarterly earnings of $0.77 per share in its next report, representing a year-over-year change of -22.2%.

Revenue is expected to be $502.84 million, down 7.5% from the prior year quarter.

Trend of estimate revisions

The consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has been revised down 3.22% in the past 30 days from the current level. This essentially reflects how the covering analysts have collectively reassessed their initial estimates over this period.

Investors should keep in mind that the direction of revisions to estimates by each of the covering analysts may not always be reflected in the overall change.

Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Revenue whisper

Estimate revisions prior to a company’s earnings release provide clues to business conditions for the period for which the earnings are released. Our proprietary surprise prediction model — the Zacks ESP Earnings (Expected Surprise Prediction) – has this idea 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 more recent version of the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate. The idea here is that analysts revising their estimates just before the earnings release have the latest information, which could potentially be more accurate than they and other consensus contributors predicted earlier.

Thus, a positive or negative reading of the ESP on earnings theoretically indicates the likely deviation of actual earnings from the consensus estimate. However, the predictive power of the model is only significant for positive ESP readings.

A positive earnings ESP is a good predictor of an earnings beat, especially when combined with a Zacks rank of #1 (strong buy), 2 (buy), or 3 (hold). Our research shows that stocks with this combination produce a positive surprise nearly 70% of the time, and a strong Zacks ranking actually increases the predictive power of Earnings ESP.

Please note that a negative ESP reading on earnings is not indicative of a shortfall. Our research shows that it is difficult to predict an earnings beat with any degree of confidence for stocks with negative ESP readings on earnings and/or a Zacks rating of 4 (sell) or 5 (strong sell).

How have the numbers evolved for US equities?

For US stocks, the most accurate estimate is above the Zacks consensus estimate, suggesting that analysts have recently become bullish on the company’s earnings outlook. This translated into an ESP on earnings of +0.13%.

On the other hand, the stock currently carries a Zacks rank of No. 3.

Thus, this combination indicates that US equities will most likely exceed the consensus EPS estimate.

Does the history of the earnings surprise contain a clue?

Analysts often look at how well a company has been able to match consensus estimates in the past while calculating its estimates for future earnings. It is therefore worth taking a look at the surprise history to assess its influence on the number to come.

For the last reported quarter, American Equity was expected to post a profit of $0.53 per share when it actually produced a profit of $0.98, delivering a surprise of +84.91%.

In the past four quarters, the company has only beaten consensus EPS estimates once.

Conclusion

A beat or failure in earnings may not be the only basis for a stock to move higher or lower. Many stocks end up losing ground despite declining earnings due to other factors that disappoint investors. Similarly, unexpected catalysts help a number of stocks gain despite a shortfall.

That said, betting on stocks that are expected to exceed earnings expectations increases the odds of success. That’s why it’s worth checking a company’s ESP earnings and Zacks ranking before it’s quarterly release. Be sure to use our Income ESP filter to discover the best stocks to buy or sell before they are released.

American Equity looks like a compelling candidate to beat earnings. However, investors should also pay attention to other factors to bet on this stock or walk away from it before its results are released.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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