With the quarterly earnings season extending to February, the impact of earnings reports on public interest in company stocks was evident in consumers’ stock searches. All of the companies that reported on their quarterly performance during February saw increased search activity over January, regardless if the company beat expectations or underperformed, driving search volumes for the top ten stocks up 5 percent month-over-month. Read on for our full stock search analysis.
Top 10 stocks searched in February
Every month, we use online behavioral data from our 100-million consumer panel to rank interest in publicly traded shares on U.S. markets. We do this by analyzing the individual stocks consumers search on Yahoo Finance and MoM changes in search activity. This month, we found that five companies on February’s top ten most-searched list released their quarterly earnings reports that month. All of these companies saw increased searches MoM, and accounted together for 52 percent of February’s top ten stock searches. Two of the companies beat analysts’ expectations, two underperformed and one reported mixed results, proving again that quarterly earnings, good or bad, drive public interest in individual company shares.
Apple was the most popular ticker searched for the third consecutive month, accounting for 20 percent of the top ten stock searches. Apple was also the only stock in our top ten most-searched list that saw increased search activity in February, but did not release quarterly earnings during the month.
Amazon rose to second place with 13 percent of the top ten stock searches in February, following a 19 percent MoM increase in ticker searches. This increase in public interest most likely followed the company’s February 2 earnings announcement, where the company reported quarterly revenue that was below analysts’ expectations.
A 16 percent increase in ticker searches during February drove Facebook to third place in our most-searched stock list, accounting for 12 percent of the top ten stock searches. Facebook reported quarterly revenue that beat expectations, thanks to over-performing ad revenue, during February. This announcement most likely drove the increase in public interest in the company’s stock, as least as reflected by stock ticker searches.
What else has changed? Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices made the top ten most-searched list, while Netflix and Microsoft lost their top-of-mind status.
|#||Stock||% of Top 10||MoM change in search activity|
|6||Advanced Micro Devices||8%||40%|
|7||Bank of America||7%||-15%|
February’s movers and shakers
February’s earnings reports drove seven ticker symbols into the top ten list for MoM changes. The three other tickers, which carried over from January’s movers and shakers list, were: Alibaba, Qualcomm and Netflix. All three saw impressive increases in searches in January over December, and were the only tickers on February’s list that exhibited decreased search activity since January.
Target saw that largest increase in search MoM, up 76 percent over January. Target underperformed in regards to expected quarterly revenue and sales and presented a weak outlook on sales in its February 28 earnings call.
Twitter came in second with a 68 percent increase in ticker searches MoM, most likely due to their negative earnings report released on February 9, in which the company missed analysts’ revenue expectations.
Mixed results released on February 22 drove Tesla to third place in the list with a 44 percent increase in searches MoM. Tesla reported a higher than expected loss, coupled with annual revenue that was up 73 percent year-over-year. The company also reported that orders for its Models S and X hit record highs.
Nvidia claimed fourth place with a 43 percent increase in stock searches in February. The increase in stock searches was most likely due to their quarterly and annual earnings announcement on February 9. Not only did Nvidia beat analysts’ expectations, they scored record revenues for their four platforms: Gaming, Professional Visualization, Data Center, and Automotive. February’s search volumes were also 19 percent higher than those in December, when the company’s quarterly earnings exceeded $2B for the first time.
Nividia’s main competitor, Advanced Micro Devices, also made the February list, following a 40 percent increase in ticker searches over January. The company announced their earnings on January 31, reporting smaller-than-expected losses and larger-than-predicted quarterly revenue.
It’s worth noting that the retail giant Walmart reported on their their quarterly performance, which beat analysts expectations, on February 22. As a result, Walmart’s stock ticker saw a 40 percent increase in searches over January.
|#||Stock||MoM change in search activity|
|6||Advanced Micro Devices||40%|
Bottom line: February’s findings prove that both positive and negative quarterly earnings are potent drivers of stock searches. One company, however, doesn’t follow this trend: Apple’s ticker symbol is searched largely month-in and month-out almost without regard to corporate news cycles. Who will reign supreme next month? Come back and we’ll find out together.