Q1 Earnings Season – Time to Get you Some New Shorts for the Summer

cover earnings

Stocks have risen sharply since 2011, while earnings have lagged

Consider this: Since the beginning of 2011 the S&P 500 has risen by more than 60%. On the contrary, aggregate GAAP earnings of the companies included in the index have actually dropped, while Non-GAAP income (a measure that generally smoothes GAAP earnings for extraordinary items) expanded by a mere 10%. Consequently, the benchmark’s overall Price-to-Earnings ratio (P/E) has risen sharply from 14.5x at the end of 2011 to 23.6x today, a level at the upper range of historical values.

Keeping this in mind and thinking about the S&P 500 going forward, we try to shed some light on the current earnings season for the first quarter of the year. According to estimates from Thomson Reuters Q1 earnings are expected to drop by 6.9% (1.8% excluding the energy sector) compared to the same period one year ago. This would mark the fourth consecutive quarter of declining earnings since the aftermath of the financial crisis. It is probably fair to state that although the broader US economy is moderately growing, corporate earnings are facing a recession.

Interestingly, weakening earnings have even started to affect sectors that have sustained growth in the recent past such as for example the health care space. According to Factset, the latter group has already issued negative earnings guidance in 17 cases. The broader picture offers no more reason for complacency. Factset reports that a total of 94 S&P 500 firms have warned that their EPS might miss analyst consensus estimates, the second highest level over the past 10 years.

[Continua a leggere su bsic.it]

All the views expressed are opinions of Bocconi Students Investment Club members and can in no way be associated with Bocconi University. All the financial recommendations offered are for educational purposes only. Bocconi Students Investment Club declines any responsibility for eventual losses you may incur implementing all or part of the ideas contained in this website. The Bocconi Students Investment Club is not authorised to give investment advice. Information, opinions and estimates contained in this report reflect a judgment at its original date of publication by Bocconi Students Investment Club and are subject to change without notice. The price, value of and income from any of the securities or financial instruments mentioned in this report can fall as well as rise. Bocconi Students Investment Club does not receive compensation and has no business relationship with any mentioned company.

Copyright © Apr-16 BSIC | Bocconi Students Investment Club