So far this earnings season, 446 companies in the S&P 500 index reported fourth-quarter results. Of those firms, 63 percent beat their estimates, while 26 percent missed and 11 percent matched. The earnings surprise factor stands at 4 percent, while revenue, on average, has come 1 percent above estimates. Year-over-year revenue growth is 7 percent. Compared to the same period a year ago, financial and utility companies have taken the lead, showing EPS growth above 17 percent, respectively. On the other side of the spectrum, material and consumer staple firms have shown the least growth, down 23 percent and 14 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.