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Where Are Analysts Most Optimistic on Ratings for S&P 500 Companies for Q3 2019?

Earnings

By John Butters  |  September 13, 2019

With the end of the third quarter approaching, where are analysts most optimistic and pessimistic in terms of their ratings on stocks in the S&P 500? How have their views changed over the past few months?

Overall, there are 10,270 ratings on stocks in the S&P 500. Of these 10,270 ratings, 51.8% are Buy ratings, 41.8% are Hold ratings, and 6.4% are Sell ratings.

At the sector level, analysts are most optimistic on the Energy (66%) sector, as this sector has the highest percentage of Buy ratings. It is interesting to note that the Energy sector is projected to report the largest earnings decline of all 11 sectors in CY 2019 (-20.9%) and the largest earnings growth of all 11 sectors in CY 2020 (30.2%).

Percentage by Buy, Hold, Sell Ratings

On the other hand, analysts are most pessimistic about the Consumer Staples (40%) sector, as this sector has the lowest percentage of Buy ratings. This sector also has the highest percentage of Sell ratings (12%).

At the company level, the 10 stocks in the S&P 500 (with a minimum of three analysts submitting ratings) with the highest percentages of Buy ratings and the highest percentages of Sell ratings are listed in the charts below.

Since June 30, the total number of ratings on S&P 500 companies has decreased by 1.6% (to 10,270 from 10,435).

The number of Buy ratings has decreased by 3.1%. Eight sectors have witnessed a decrease in Buy ratings, led by the Consumer Discretionary (-7%) and Financials (-7%) sectors. Three sectors have seen an increase in Buy ratings, led by the Communication Services (+4%) sector.

The number of Hold ratings has increased by 0.3%. Four sectors have witnessed an increase in Hold ratings, led by the Industrials (+7%) and Materials (+5%) sectors. Seven sectors have recorded a decrease in Hold ratings, led by the Utilities (-11%) and Energy (-7%) sectors.

The number of Sell ratings has decreased by 0.8%. Five sectors have recorded a decrease in Sell ratings, led by the Health Care (-12%) and Consumer Discretionary (-11%) sectors. Four sectors have seen an increase in Sell ratings, led by the Financials (+16%) and Communication Services (+12%) sectors.

 

Highest Buy Ratings % in S&P 500*: Top 10 (Source: FactSet)

Company

Buy

Hold

Sell

Diamondback Energy, Inc.

100%

0%

0%

Assurant, Inc.

100%

0%

0%

Amazon.com, Inc.

98%

2%

0%

Marathon Petroleum Corporation

95%

5%

0%

AMETEK, Inc.

93%

7%

0%

salesforce.com, inc.

93%

7%

0%

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated

92%

8%

0%

Mastercard Incorporated Class A

92%

5%

3%

Equinix, Inc.

92%

4%

4%

Boston Scientific Corporation

92%

4%

4%

        * Minimum of 3 analysts contributing ratings

 

Highest Sell Ratings % in S&P 500*: Top 10 (Source: FactSet)

Company

Buy

Hold

Sell

Globe Life Inc.

22%

22%

56%

Franklin Resources, Inc.

0%

50%

50%

Consolidated Edison, Inc.

6%

53%

41%

Campbell Soup Company

13%

47%

40%

WEC Energy Group Inc

8%

54%

38%

News Corporation Class A

38%

25%

38%

Mettler-Toledo International Inc.

0%

64%

36%

Hormel Foods Corporation

8%

58%

33%

Garmin Ltd.

0%

67%

33%

Western Union Company

5%

64%

32%

                     * Minimum of 3 analysts contributing ratings

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John Butters

Senior Earnings Analyst

John’s weekly research report, Earnings Insight provides analysis and commentary on trends in corporate earnings data for the S&P 500, including revisions to estimates, year-over-year growth, performance relative to expectations, and valuations. He is a widely used source for the media and has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business News, and the Business News Network. In addition, he has been cited by numerous print and online publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The New York Times, MarketWatch, and Yahoo! Finance.

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