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For earnings estimate momentum, just follow the oil

What are we looking for?

The best stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average for earnings estimate momentum.

More about today's screen

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We turned again to StarMine, a Thomson Reuters service that gathers earnings estimate data from analysts. One item that StarMine measures is earnings-revision momentum, which is how much earnings estimates have risen or fallen over time. We looked at earnings estimate revisions over the past 30 and 60 days for the next quarter, 12 months and two years for companies in the Dow Jones industrials.

The thinking here is that investors will follow profits. The stocks with the strongest earnings-revision momentum should continue to do well. We sorted by stocks with the strongest earnings revisions made over the past two months for the upcoming quarter.

What did we find out?

In earlier pieces this week, we found that the oil sector and oil stocks have the best earnings estimate momentum in Canada. That trend doesn't change when we move our attention to the Dow. The top two companies for momentum, Exxon Mobile Corp. and Chevron Corp., are both oil companies.

Both of these giant companies showed up in a different screen we ran earlier this week that looked for U.S. large caps that have both strong dividends and strong profits.

The last column in the table is of particular interest, as it shows the "SmartEstimate" for the next 12 months. As we said Thursday, the SmartEstimate takes into account only analysts who have the most timely and accurate earnings estimate history. In other words, the SmartEstimate puts the most weight on the most accurate analysts. By this measure, Exxon and Chevron have some of the strongest earnings expectations for the next year.

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