January was an active month for guidance from S&P 500 companies, as 49 companies issued quarterly EPS guidance for Q1 2013 and 94 companies issued annual EPS guidance for the current fiscal year during the month. For Q1 2013 overall, 45 companies have issued negative EPS guidance, while 11 companies have issued positive EPS guidance. As a result, 80% (45 out of 56) of the companies that have issued EPS guidance for Q1 2013 have issued negative EPS guidance. If 80% is the final percentage, the Q1 2013 quarter will have the highest percentage of companies issuing negative EPS guidance since FactSet began tracking the data in Q1 2006. The Q3 2012 quarter currently has the record at 74%.
Of the companies that have issued EPS guidance for Q1 2013, Peabody Energy issued EPS guidance with a mid-point that was well below the mean EPS estimate, while Netflix issued EPS guidance that with a mid-point that was well above the mean EPS estimate. Netflix recorded nearly a 66% increase in price during the time frame from two days prior to issuing guidance through two days after issuing guidance.