updated 12/3/2010 11:16:19 AM ET 2010-12-03T16:16:19

NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fourth-quarter earnings of the 30 blue-chip companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average are expected to jump 6.5% from the third quarter, according to the average estimates of securities analysts.

The total of average estimates for Q42010 is $29.21 a share, compared with reported earnings in Q32010 of $27.44 a share.

Data compiled by Dow Jones Indexes shows 16 of the Dow companies are expected to deliver bigger profits than they earned in the third period, while 11 are estimated to be lower. The average forecasts for three companies are unchanged from the third quarter.

Of the higher predicted fourth-quarter earnings, the average increase is 99.6%.The range starts at 2.6% (Procter & Gamble) but is skewed at the top by big predicted increases for Merck (up 651.8%) and Pfizer (318.2% higher). With these outliers removed, the average increase would be 44.5%.

The average decline of those predicted to be lower in the fourth quarter from the third is 22.9%. The range is between a drop of 2.4% (United Technologies Corp.) and a plunge of 74.1% (AT&T).

For the third quarter, the 30 companies in the Dow beat expectations by 1.3%, reporting total actual profits of $27.44 a share against a predicted sum of $27.08. Nineteen companies beat their estimates, 10 fell short and one (Coca-Cola) came within a fraction of a cent of hitting the forecast on the nose.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is computed by Dow Jones Indexes, a joint venture of CME Group Inc. and Dow Jones & Co., a News Corp. company. 

Dow Jones Industrial Average     Quarter Ending Dec. 31, 2010 Quarter Ended Sept. 30, 2010
Name Ticker Industry Estimated Earnings Per Share Q42010 (b) Q42010 Forecast vs. Q32010 Actual Reported Earnings Per Share Q32010 (a) Estimated Earnings Per Share Q32010 (b) Q32010 Actual vs. Estimated
Merck & Co. Incorporated MRK Health Care 0.83 651.82% 0.11 0.82 -86.60%
Pfizer Incorporated PFE Health Care 0.46 318.18% 0.11 0.51 -78.35%
Alcoa Incorporated AA Basic Materials 0.17 186.67% 0.06 0.09 -32.58%
Bank of America Corporation BAC Financials 0.25 132.60% -0.77 0.15 -603.27%
Verizon Communications Incorporated VZ Telecommunications 0.55 77.10% 0.31 0.54 -42.49%
Hewlett-Packard Company HPQ Technology 1.28 68.55% 0.76 1.26 -39.83%
International Business Machines Corporation IBM Technology 4.08 42.73% 2.86 2.74 4.49%
Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated WMT Consumer Services 1.32 35.57% 0.97 0.90 7.54%
Walt Disney Company DIS Consumer Services 0.54 23.64% 0.44 0.46 -4.97%
Chevron Corporation CVX Oil & Gas 2.24 18.57% 1.89 2.33 -19.02%
General Electric Company GE Industrials 0.32 11.72% 0.29 0.27 6.62%
Microsoft Corporation MSFT Technology 0.68 8.57% 0.63 0.55 13.72%
Kraft Foods Incorporated Cl A KFT Consumer Goods 0.47 8.37% 0.43 0.48 -11.16%
Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM Oil & Gas 1.50 3.82% 1.44 1.41 1.98%
Cisco Systems, Inc. CSCO Technology 0.35 2.94% 0.34 0.40 -14.36%
Procter & Gamble Company PG Consumer Goods 1.10 2.62% 1.07 1.00 7.21%
American Express Company AXP Financials 0.91 0.00% 0.91 0.81 12.35%
Caterpillar Incorporated CAT Industrials 1.25 0.00% 1.25 1.04 19.85%
Intel Corporation INTC Technology 0.53 0.00% 0.53 0.52 2.91%
United Technologies Corporation UTX Industrials 1.29 -2.35% 1.32 1.28 3.13%
JPMorgan Chase & Company JPM Financials 1.00 -2.45% 1.02 0.90 13.08%
Boeing Company BA Industrials 1.09 -3.63% 1.13 1.04 8.76%
McDonald's Corporation MCD Consumer Services 1.16 -11.53% 1.31 1.24 5.90%
Johnson & Johnson JNJ Health Care 1.03 -16.61% 1.24 1.15 7.45%
3M Company MMM Industrials 1.28 -17.74% 1.55 1.51 2.99%
Coca-Cola Company KO Consumer Goods 0.72 -18.88% 0.89 0.90 -0.78%
Travelers Companies, Inc. TRV Financials 1.70 -20.47% 2.14 1.39 53.85%
E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company DD Basic Materials 0.31 -21.50% 0.40 0.33 21.95%
Home Depot Incorporated HD Consumer Services 0.27 -62.50% 0.72 0.48 49.69%
AT&T Incorporation T Telecommunications 0.54 -74.07% 2.09 0.58 263.48%
(a): FactSet Worldscope Database; Basic EPS     $29.21   $27.44 $27.08  
(b): Bloomberg Best EPS Estimate Consensus              

Journalists may e-mail questions regarding this report to media@djindexes.com

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