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Earnings season is here again. 

The first-quarter results from America’s biggest companies could boost their stocks, which have sagged of late.  

“Both macro and micro data suggest that a beat — albeit smaller than in 3Q — is likely, with a near-record proportion of early-reporter beats, near-record (but decelerating) US data surprises, strong (but slowing) guidance trends and continued strength in the ISM indices (to which weve found among the strongest correlations with EPS growth),” Bank of America Merrill Lynch equity strategists said in a recent note. 

They identified companies that are poised to surprise investors with outsized beats on earnings and sales forecasts. 

The list below includes the stocks that BAML thinks are underowned by fund managers. It is ranked in ascending order of how much more bullish BAML’s analysts are compared to their peers: Z-scores representing the number of standard deviations between BAML’s earnings-per-share estimates and the consensus among other analysts.

All the stocks below beat on earnings and revenues during the last quarter, and are rated “buy” by BAML. 

SEE ALSO: A $165 billion investment chief identifies the ‘single winner’ in a market that’s made a drastic U-turn from last year

McDonald’s

Ticker: MCD

Sector: Consumer Discretionary

BAML vs consensus EPS Z-score: 0.0

BAML vs consensus sales Z-score: 1.0

Expected report date: April 30 

 

United Rentals

Ticker: URI

Sector: Industrials

BAML vs consensus EPS Z-score: 0.1

BAML vs consensus sales Z-score: 0.3

Expected report date: April 18

 

Qualcomm

Ticker: QCOM

Sector: Information Technology

BAML vs consensus EPS Z-score: 0.1

BAML vs consensus sales Z-score: 0.5

Expected report date: April 25

 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider