Earnings Winners Outrun Losers but Apple Hits Hurdle

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Eight of the nine stocks I profiled Monday in How to Trade the Big Stocks Reporting Earnings Tuesday reported better than expected quarterly results continuing the trend of seeing earnings winners far outrun losers.

On Tuesday, I wrote, Apple, McDonald's Headline Earnings Wednesday , and the winning streak continued before the open on Wednesday with two more winners.

Then came Apple ( AAPL) after the close. Apple beat EPS estimates by 37 cents per share earning $13.81 per share. The initial after-hours reaction to Apple's beat was a spike to the upside. I am not sure of the high, but I saw $533 flash on the TV screen before Apple shares were sliced. Apple missed on the revenue line, iPhone sales were below estimates and guidance came in below expectations. I am not sure of the after hours low, but I saw a print below $450.

Apple traded between $504.77 and $514.99 pre-earnings on Wednesday influenced by my annual pivot at $510.64, which now must be considered a risky level. My annual value level is $421.04 with a semiannual pivot at $470.21 and annual risky level at $510.64. Any investors concerned about Apple's performance thus had the opportunity to reduce long positions at $510.64.

My scorecard for earnings premarket Tuesday through premarket Wednesday:

Reporting premarket Tuesday DuPont ( DD) ($46.99) beat EPS estimates by two cents earning 11 cents per share. DD traded up to $47.95 on Tuesday then returned to my quarterly pivot at $47.55. The stock remains hold rated with my monthly value level at $41.24.

Reporting premarket Tuesday Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) ($73.23) beat EPS estimates by two cents earning $1.19 per share. JNJ cut forward guidance so that stock traded around its weekly pivot at $72.88 on Tuesday and Wednesday. JNJ still has a buy rating with monthly, quarterly and semiannual value levels at $71.86, $70.97 and $69.50 and my annual risky level at $76.79.

Reporting premarket Tuesday Travelers ( TRV) ($76.31) beat EPS estimates by 60 cents earning 72 cents per share. TRV set a new multi-year high at $80.00 on Tuesday then as low as $77.15 on Wednesday. The stock still has a buy rating with my monthly value level at $70.65 with a weekly pivot at $76.10.

Reporting premarket Tuesday Verizon ( VZ) ($42.54) missed EPS estimates by 15 cents earning 38 cents per share. VZ rebounded as the company blamed Super Storm Sandy for the miss, but the rebound failed at its 50-day SMA at $43.37. The stock still has a hold rating with my annual value level at $40.76 with a weekly pivot at $43.33 and quarterly risky level at $45.88.

Reporting aftermarket Tuesday Cree ( CREE) ($33.76) beat EPS estimates by three cents earning 23 cents per share citing surging demand for LEDs. CREE gapped higher on Wednesday to a new 52-week high at $41.20. The stock has a hold rating with a weekly pivot at $35.29 and annual risky level at $49.93.

Reporting aftermarket Tuesday CSX ( CSX) ($20.91) beat EPS estimates by four cents earning 43 cents per share. CSX moved above its 200-day SMA at $21.43 to $21.82 despite warning about weak coal shipments. The stock still has a buy rating with my monthly value level at $19.73 with a weekly pivot at $20.76 and quarterly risky level at $22.31.

Reporting aftermarket Tuesday Google ( GOOG) ($704.51) beat EPS estimates by 41 cents earning $9.02 per share. Google gapped above my monthly pivot at $734.06 to a day's high at $749.00. The stock had been upgraded to buy Tuesday morning and has outran is rating with a downgrade to hold. My quarterly value level is $660.40 with this week's risky level at $751.40.

Reporting aftermarket Tuesday IBM ( IBM) ($194.47) beat EPS estimates by 14 cents earning $5.39 per share on stronger than expected software sales. IBM gapped above its 200-day simple moving average at $196.83 to a day's high at $208.58. The stock still has a buy rating with my weekly value level at $191.39 and a quarterly risky level at $228.38.

Reporting aftermarket Tuesday Texas Instruments ( TXN) ($33.52) beat EPS estimates by 3 cents earning 36 cents per share. TXN offered a cautious outlook and the stock slipped to $32.80 on Wednesday. The stock still has a hold rating with my quarterly value level at $28.56 with an annual pivot at $32.99 and semiannual risky level at $41.27.

Reporting premarket Wednesday McDonald's ( MCD) ($92.26) beat EPS estimates by five cents earning $1.38 per share. MCD rebounded to $93.75 on Wednesday. The stock still has a buy rating with my monthly value level at $80.05 with a weekly pivot at $92.56 and semiannual risky level at $96.07.

Reporting premarket Wednesday United Technologies ( UTX) ($86.95) beat EPS estimates by 27 cents earning $1.29 per share. UTX set a new 52-week high at $88.38 on Wednesday. The stock still has a buy rating with my quarterly value level at $80.70 with a weekly pivot at $87.72 and annual risky levels at $88.74 and $90.05.

To review my scorecard for earlier earnings reports for the Q4 earnings season refer to my Wednesday post, Earnings Roll, and the Beats Go On .

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Richard Suttmeier has an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a master of science from Brooklyn Poly. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1972 trading U.S. Treasury securities in the primary dealer community. In 1981 he formed the Government Bond Department at LF Rothschild and helped establish that firm as a primary dealer in 1986. Richard began writing market research in 1984 and held positions as market strategist at firms such as Smith Barney, William R Hough, Joseph Stevens, and Rightside Advisors. He joined www.ValuEngine.com in 2008 producing newsletters covering the U.S. capital markets, and a universe of more than 7,000 stocks. Richard employs a "buy and trade" investment strategy and can be reached at RSuttmeier@Gmail.com.

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