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How to Find Strong Computer and Technology Stocks Slated for Positive Earnings Surprises

Two factors often determine stock prices in the long run: earnings and interest rates. Investors can't control the latter, but they can focus on a company's earnings results every quarter.

We know earnings results are vital, but how a company performs compared to bottom line expectations can be even more important when it comes to stock prices, especially in the near-term. This means that investors might want to take advantage of these earnings surprises.

2 Stocks to Add to Your Watchlist

The Zacks Expected Surprise Prediction, or ESP, works by locking in on the most up-to-date analyst earnings revisions because they can be more accurate than estimates from weeks or even months before the actual release date. The thinking is pretty straightforward: analysts who provide earnings estimates closer to the report are likely to have more information. With this in mind, the Expected Surprise Prediction compares the Most Accurate Estimate (being the most recent) against the overall Zacks Consensus Estimate. The percentage difference provides the ESP figure.

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The last thing we will do today, now that we have a grasp on the ESP and how powerful of a tool it can be, is to look at a qualifying stock. Agilent Technologies (A) holds a Zacks Rank #3 at the moment and its Most Accurate Estimate comes in at $1.20 a share 14 days away from its upcoming earnings release on May 29, 2024.

By taking the percentage difference between the $1.20 Most Accurate Estimate and the $1.19 Zacks Consensus Estimate, Agilent Technologies has an Earnings ESP of 0.42%.

An is one of just a large database of Computer and Technology stocks with positive ESPs. Another solid-looking stock is Sprout Social (SPT).

Sprout Social is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, and is getting ready to report earnings on August 1, 2024. SPT's Most Accurate Estimate sits at $0.07 a share 78 days from its next earnings release.

Sprout Social's Earnings ESP figure currently stands at 6.95% after taking the percentage difference between its Most Accurate Estimate and its Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.07.

An and SPT's positive ESP metrics may signal that a positive earnings surprise for both stocks is on the horizon.

Find Stocks to Buy or Sell Before They're Reported

Use the Zacks Earnings ESP Filter to turn up stocks with the highest probability of positively, or negatively, surprising to buy or sell before they're reported for profitable earnings season trading. Check it out here >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Sprout Social, Inc. (SPT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research