Earnings Season update for July 16th
Bottom Line: We started 2018 with companies weighing the benefits of tax reform, along with tariffs and rising interest rates after seeing record profits in 2017. Early in the year we experienced corrections, declines of 10% of more, in every major stock index. Despite lots of volatility often driven by trade and tariff fears we've seen all indexes recover substantially from those lows reached in February/March and all major indexes are in positive territory for the year. And with good reason. Earnings have simply been amazing thus far in 2018. Last quarter earnings growth came in at 25% year over year. It's hard to ask for much more than that... And here we are in the early stages of the second quarter earnings reporting season.
For companies that've reported so far in this season – largely financials – the news has been outstanding. Coming into earnings season the average estimate for earnings growth was 20% year over year. Here's where we stand so far...
5% of companies have reported
89% have reported positive earnings surprises
85 percent have topped sales targets
Earnings growth is averaging 19.9%
Expectations are high and once again companies in the early going are delivering. We're pacing the second-best earnings growth since 2010 out of the gate with record overall earnings for the quarter. We're now clearly seeing the impact of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act washing through in these reports and projections going forward. There's still lots of room for optimism.
Market reaction over the short run is unpredictable but fundamentals matter most overtime and the fundamentals of our businesses are about the best they've ever been.