So far this earnings season, 209 companies in the S&P 500 index reported fourth-quarter results. Of those firms, 60 percent beat their estimates, while 28 percent missed and 12 percent matched. The earnings surprise factor, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters, stands at 4 percent, while revenue, on average, has come in line with estimates. Compared to the same period a year ago, industrial and technology companies have taken the lead, showing EPS growth of 17 percent and 16 percent, respectively. On the other side of the spectrum, telecom and material stocks have shown the least growth, down 25 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
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