While the investment world tends to be laser-focused on earnings, we should never forget that publicly-traded companies employ the most creative accountants money can buy. I.e., certain items can be stuffed over there, tucked under here, and so on, to shed the most favorable light on an earnings statement.
Gross sales, on the other hand, are harder to mess with. Which makes the following chart all the more impressive:
Chart source: Bespoke Investment Group