8.29.14: SP 500 Weekly Earnings Update: Still Looking for $120 for full-year 2014 EPS

With 493 of the SP 500 having reported 2nd quarter earnings, the “forward 4-quarter” estimate slipped a whopping $0.05 this week to $126.28 from last week’s $126.33.

With the SP 500 closing at an all-time high today of 2003, the p.e ratio on the SP 500 increased this week to 15.9(x), while the PEG ration finished the week and month at 1.73(x).

The earnings yield on the SP 500 fell this week to 6.305 from last week’s 6.35%.

The y/y growth rate on the forward estimate fell again this week to 9.18%, has now fallen for 5 straight weeks and has declined 40 bp’s from 8/1/14’s peak of 9.58%.

The July 11 ’14 y/y growth rate was 8.53% so the growth rate accelerated through July ’14 and has now decelerated through August ’14.

Am I worried ? No, given the absolute growth rate is still a healthy 9.18% and close to a 3-year record high, but this is why we track it.

I’d rather see it rise slowly and steadily over time.

Analysis / commentary: 2nd quarter earnings growth will finish at +10.2% excluding the Citigroup charge, and q2 ’14 revenue growth will likely finish up near 4.6%, both of which are good metrics. Health Care was the sector stand-out: from July 1 ’14 through August 29, 2014, Health Care growth increased from 8.2% to 18.6% – that is a big upside surprise.

Per Thomson Reuters, the top-down estimate for 2014 is currently projected at $117.49. The bottoms-up estimate for calendar 2014 (also per Thomson Reuters) is currently projected at $119.25. My guess is, when 2014 is all reported by 4/1/15, the actual SP 500 EPS will be at least $120.

$120 versus 2013’s $109.68 is 9.5% y/y growth for 2014, with the SP 500 trading today at just under 16(x) the forward estimate.

Let’s say the SP 500 p.e expands to 19(x) or 2(x) the expected growth rate for 2014 EPS of 9.5% given the above numbers, then you/we/ I could make a good case for a 12 – 15 month target on the SP 500 of 2,340 or another 17% higher from here.

It feels funny to write that, as in it might be the source of great ridicule upon my person or character, but I also wonder how many would have ventured forth on CNBC in March, 2000, and without hesitation or equivocation, have said to sell all your Technology exposure and buy gold ?

The math is the math.

It could be wrong too.

One of the reasons, I suspect the SP 500 has had trouble expanding to 2(x) its growth rate, is that Financials haven’t really participated as actively as they have in past bull markets. As a sector, Financials did well in ’13, but have turned punk for the most part in 2014.

Sentiment has turned bullish this week too – don’t like to see that.

More on this over the weekend.

We get more retail reporting this coming week. The only company we will really be locked in on will be Toll Brothers, (TOL) the high-end homebuilder, that reports Wednesday, 9/3/14 pre-market.

Thanks for reading our/my little corner of the world. There are a lot of blogs and Twitter handles competing for your eyeballs. Thanks for reading ours…

We’ll be out with much more over the weekend.

Trinity Asset Management, Inc. by:

Brian Gilmartin, CFA

Portfolio manager



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