Materials, Healthcare Sectors Lead Earnings Upside (MMR, SLB, FCX, FRX, CBST)

Of the companies that have so far reported earnings for the last quarter, five from the materials sector have posted surprise earnings upside of more than 15%. That’s according to S&P Capital IQ consensus estimates out today.

That includes companies like McMoRan Exploration Co. (NYSE: MMR), Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB), and Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX). The healthcare sector, including Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: FRX) and Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CBST), was the second biggest gainer, with upside of 9.5%.

Laggards were led by the financials, lower by -3%, and consumer staples, lower by -1.4%.

Only about 15% of the S&P 500 had reported earnings through last week, so there could be some changes to these rankings over the next few weeks. But in financials, the biggest banks have already reported and there aren’t likely to be too many happy surprises due from the remaining financial institutions.