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Deep Dive: Only two S&P 500 companies passed this sales-and-earnings test

As 90% of S&P 500 Index SPX, +0.48% member companies have announced quarterly results, you may have seen a lot of headlines that highlight earnings “beats” and “misses.”

We thought it would be useful to screen for a select group of companies that stood out from their peers for four quarters, not just one. And we found that only two companies in the S&P 500 have posted an acceleration in growth of sales per share and widening gross profit margins in the most recent quarter.

For one thing, 72.4% of companies beat analysts’ earnings estimates in the first quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research.

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