Q3 ’17 SP 500 Earnings Begin – Watch the Estimate Revisions

FC-eps estimate revisions

With the big banks reporting this week, and a slew of SP 500 components reporting next week, the one data metric tracked each week is the “upward vs downward” estimate revisions within the SP 500.

The above link looks at each quarter back to 2009, and shows that – during this bull market – the earnings-heavy period from the first month of the quarter (highlighted in bold black ink or the black box) through mid-month the following quarter has seen upward revisions exceed downward revisions for some time.

The Thomson data looks at the SP 500 as a whole, while Leigh Drogen’s Estimize looks at revisions for individual stocks (upward vs downward). After many years I’m still looking for good sector-wide revision data.

The one statistical anomaly has been the first quarter of every year – for some reason analysts turn skeptical from January to March (almost) every year. Even in Q1 ’17 (3rd black box), with the lapping of 2016’s Q1 drubbing for the SP 500 and the commodity collapse, the Street still could not manage to generate positive revisions above 50% even though earnings should be solid this year.

Jeff Miller, the great blogger and author of “Weighing the Week Ahead” noted in last week’s blog that the typical “underbid” to start a quarter in terms of the degree to which SP 500 quarterly earnings growth rises from the start of the quarter through the end is usually 4.2%.

This weekend, some Thomson data will be thrown up just to show readers this statistcal pattern, the “underbid” so to speak.

Expected Q3 ’17 SP 500 earnings growth as it stands today is 4.4%: expect the final number to be 8% – 10%.

3rd and 4th quarter, 2017, SP 500 earnings growth should be solid – 4th quarter I expect to be very strong, but we don’t start seeing Q4 until mid-January ’18.

The next correction should be nasty though – too calm for too long.

Thomson Reuters data by the numbers: 

  • Fwd 4 qtr estimate: $141.90
  • P.E ratio: 18x
  • PEG ratio: 1.83x
  • SP 500 earnings yield:+5.56%
  • Year-over-year growth of the forward estimate:  +9.81%

Analysis / conclusion: the year-over-year growth is still tracking close to 10% and that’s a good sign. Hopefully q3 ’17 earnings will push the metric over the key 10% level.

Some other thoughts will be posted over the weekend.

Thanks for reading.

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