SP 500 Earnings: First Sequential Improvement in Fwd 4-Qtr Estimate Since January ’20

The “forward 4-quarter” SP 500 estimate this week came in at $128.45 versus $128.32 from last week, for the first sequential improvement in the “forward 4-quarter estimate” since the week of January 17, 2020.

The forward 4-quarter estimate covers the period from Q2 ’20 through Q1 ’21,

Here’s the last 5 weeks expected Q1 ’21 SP 500 y/y EPS growth rates:

  • 6/12/20: +11.6%
  • 6/5/20: +11.4%
  • 5/29/20: +12.1%
  • 5/22/20: +12.0%
  • 5/15/20: +11.9%

What’s a little more interesting is that Consumer Discretionary – roughly 10% of the SP 500 – has seen it’s expected growth rate jump from 57% as of May 15th to 80% as of June 12th.

Here’s the spreadsheet data on the calculation:

Click to open / enhance / expand

Look for “seq % chg in bp’s”.


The Forward Earnings Curve Is Still Improving: 

click to open / enhance / expand


Note the 2nd row of data: the sequential improvement occurred for every quarterly bucket this past week.

The PE ratio’s are now correct. Last week, an observant reader checked the math on the PE’s and they were not right. One of the cells on the spreadsheet had locked the cell for an earlier SP 500 close. (Operator error – not blaming the spreadsheet.) The problem has been fixed.

Q3 & Q4 ’20 – expected EPS and revenue growth:

click to open / expand / enhance


Isolating expected Q3 and Q4 ’20 SP 500 EPS and revenue growth rates, it looks like the bottom or nadir was late May ’20 for Q3 & Q$ ’20, with slow improvements since.

Q4 ’20 estimated revenue growth might turn positive in the next 3 – 4 weeks if the trend continues.

The Street is focused on Q2 ’20 and the earnings that start in less than a month. Let’s look beyond that and see what we can see. That’s what the above table shows.

Take all this with a grain of salt. It can all change tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.






2 Responses to “SP 500 Earnings: First Sequential Improvement in Fwd 4-Qtr Estimate Since January ’20”

  1. Mike Mickelson

    You have posted that 2019 S&P 500 earnings were $162.35. I take it that you do not mean actual GAPP earnings but predicted earnings. The final GAPP earnings for 2019 were $139.47. 14% below the estimate. 2018 GAPP earnings were $148.34. Based on actual GAPP earnings 2019 was already decelerating. Without knowing this context, your earnings projection can be misleading. My suggestion to improve your commentary is provide the proper context.

    • Brian Gilmartin

      $162.39 was IBES by Refinitiv’s final EPS print for 2019. It works. It’s GAAP not GAPP Rocky, and it contains a lot of non-cash expenses.


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