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The bottom line is investors, shareholders and traders love profits. Profits drive stock prices. Many who missed the stock market recovery in 2010 keep asking why the markets have been rising during a tough economic recession. The simple answer: corporate profits were rising in 2010. Here’s our preview cheat sheet to the current earnings season:

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) was the first Dow component to report earnings this week. Alcoa beat earnings estimates by $.02, earnings $.21 cents per share.

American Express (NYSE:AXP): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $.94 cents per share. AXP has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters in a row by an average of 3.5%-14.1%. Can the trend continue? Earnings will be released Jan. 24th.

Boeing (NYSE:BA): Analysts are expecting an average report of $1.10 per share in profit. BA has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters in a row by an average of 5%-30%. Earnings will be released Jan. 26th.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC): Analysts are expecting an average report of $.24 per share in profit. BAC has beaten earnings estimates the past 3 quarters in a row by an average of 22.7%-211.1%. Earnings will be released Jan. 11th.

Caterpillar, Inc (NYSE:CAT): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $1.27 cents per share. CAT has beaten earnings estimates 3 out of the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of -7.7% to 46.4%. Earnings will be released Jan. 27th.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO): Analysts are expecting an average report of $.35 per share in profit. CSCO has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters in a row by an average of 2.4%-14.3%. Earnings will be released Feb. 9th.

Chevron (NYSE:CVX): Analysts are expecting an average report of $.24 per share in profit. CVX has beaten earnings estimates 2 out of the past 4 quarters by an average of -13% to 21.6%. Earnings will be released Jan. 28th.

E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:DD): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $.32 cents per share. DD has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of 7.3% to 24.5%. Earnings will be released Jan. 25th.

Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $.55 cents per share. DIS has beaten earnings estimates 3 out of the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of -2.2% to 23.70%. Earnings will be released Feb. 8th.

General Electric (NYSE:GE): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $.32 cents per share. GE has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of 7.4% to 31.20%. Earnings will be released Jan. 21st.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD): Analysts are expecting an average report of $.30 per share in profit. HD has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters by an average of 1.4% to 41.2%. Earnings will be released Feb. 22nd.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $1.29 cents per share. HPQ has beaten earnings estimates 3 out of the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of 0% to 4.7%. Earnings will be released Feb. 22nd.

International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM): Analysts are expecting an average report of $4.08 per share in profit. IBM has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters by an average of 1.2% to 3.5%. Earnings will be released Jan. 18th.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $.53 cents per share. INTC has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of 4% to 33.3%. Earnings will be released Jan 13th.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $1.03 cents per share. JNJ has beaten earnings estimates 3 out of the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of 0% to 7%. Earnings will be released Jan. 25th.

JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM): Analysts are expecting an average report of $.99 per share in profit. JPM has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters by an average of 12.2% to 62.70%. Earnings will be released Jan. 14th.

Kraft (KFT): Analysts are expecting an average report of $.47 per share in profit. KFT has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters by an average of 2.2% to 15.4%. Earnings will be released Feb. 14th.

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $.72 cents per share. KO has beaten earnings estimates 3 out of the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of -1.5% to 6.7%. Earnings will be released Feb. 9th.

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD): Analysts are expecting an average report of $1.16 per share in profit. MCD has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters by an average of 0.9% to 7.3%. Earnings will be released Jan. 24th.

3M Company (NYSE:MMM): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $1.26 cents per share. MMM has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of 1.3% to 15.7%. Earnings will be released Jan. 25th.

Merck (NYSE:MRK): Analysts are expecting an average report of $.84 per share in profit. MRK has beaten earnings estimates the past 3 out of 4 quarters by an average of 0% to 10.7%. Earnings will be released Feb. 3rd.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $.68 cents per share. MSFT has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of 7.1% to 25.4%. Earnings will be released Jan. 27th.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE): Analysts are expecting an average report of $.46 per share in profit. PFE has beaten earnings estimates the past 3 out of 4 quarters by an average of -2% to 19.2%. Earnings will be released Feb. 1st.

Proctor & Gamble (NYSE:PG): Analysts are expecting an average report of $1.10 per share in profit. PG has beaten earnings estimates the past 3 out of 4 quarters by an average of -2.7% to 4.2%. Earnings will be released Jan. 24th.

AT&T (NYSE:T): Analysts are expecting an average report of $.55 per share in profit. T has beaten earnings estimates the past 2 out of 4 quarters by an average of 0% to 7.3%. Earnings will be released Jan. 27th.

The Traveler’s Companies (NYSE:TRV): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $1.70 cents per share. TRV has beaten earnings estimates 2 out of the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of -10.9% to 42.3%. Earnings will be released Jan. 25th.

United Technologies Corp (NYSE:UTX): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $1.29 cents per share. UTX has beaten earnings estimates the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of 0.9% to 3.4%. Earnings will be released Jan. 26th.

Verizon Communication, Inc (NYSE:VZ): Analysts are expecting an average report of $.55 per share in profit. VZ has beaten earnings estimates the past 2 out of 4 quarters by an average of 0% to 3.7%. Earnings will be released Jan. 25th.

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): The consensus analyst earnings estimate is for $1.32 cents per share. WMT has beaten earnings estimates 3 out of the past 4 quarters in a row with a surprise average of 0% to 4.5%. Earnings will be released Feb. 22nd.

Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM): Analysts are expecting an average report of $1.55 per share in profit. T has beaten earnings estimates the past 3 out of 4 quarters by an average of -5.7% to 9.6%. Earnings will be released Jan. 31st.

Consensus analyst earnings estimates were polled by Thomson Reuters.

Disclosure: No positions

Source: Dow 30 Quarterly Earnings Preview