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So far this earnings preannouncment season, negative earnings warnings are coming in at a greater clip than last quarter. First Call/Thomson Financial
said 257, or 64 percent, of the 399 companies that have provided earnings guidance for their upcoming quarterly earnings warned they will miss analysts' expectations. Fifty-one of these companies, or 13 percent, expect to beat analysts' estimates, and 91, or 23 percent, anticipate they will match projections.
In the year-ago quarter, 60 percent of preannouncements warned of shortfalls, 24 percent pointed to on-target results, and 16 percent foresaw a better-than-expected bottom line.