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Overall, 201 companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings and revenues to date for the first quarter. On the earnings side, 73% of the companies have reported actual EPS above the mean EPS estimate and 27% of the companies have reported actual EPS below the mean EPS estimate. The percentage of companies reporting EPS above the mean EPS estimate is equal to the 5-year (73%) average.

However, on the revenue side, 47% of the companies have reported actual sales above the mean sales estimate and 53% of companies have reported actual sales below the mean sales estimate. The percentage of companies reporting sales above estimates is below the 5-year average (58%). 

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In fact, if 47% is the final percentage for the quarter, it will mark the lowest percentage of companies reporting sales above estimates since Q1 2013 (also 47%). Since Q3 2008, the percentage of companies reporting sales above estimates has finished below 50% only six times. 

Due in part to more companies missing sales estimates than beating sales estimates, the blended sales decline is larger today (-3.5%) compared to the start of the quarter (-2.6%). On the other hand, due in part to more companies beating EPS estimates than missing EPS estimates, the blended earnings decline is smaller today (-2.8%) compared to the start of the quarter (-4.6%).

Week Ahead: Apple

Apple is scheduled to report earnings for the first quarter on April 27. The current mean EPS estimate for Q1 2014 is $2.15, compared to year-ago actual EPS of $1.66. 

Apple is currently expected to be the largest positive contributor to year-over-earnings growth for the Information Technology sector for Q1 2015 and the second largest positive contributor (after Bank of America) to year-over-year earnings for the entire S&P 500. The blended (combines actual results for companies that have reported and estimated results for companies yet to report) for the Information Technology sector is 0.7%. Excluding Apple, the blended earnings growth rate for the sector would fall to -5.1%. The blended earnings decline for the entire S&P 500 is -2.8%. Excluding Apple, the blended earnings decline for the S&P 500 would increase to -3.9%.

Read more about earnings trends in this edition of FactSet Earnings Insight. Visit www.factset.com/earningsinsight to launch the latest report.

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Senior Earnings Analyst
John’s weekly research report, Earnings Insight provides analysis and commentary on trends in corporate earnings data for the S&P 500, including revisions to estimates, year-over-year growth, performance relative to expectations, and valuations. He is a widely used source for the media and has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business News, and the Business News Network. In addition, he has been cited by numerous print and online publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The New York Times, MarketWatch, and Yahoo! Finance.

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