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With "Black Friday" today, the performance of retailers will be a focus for the markets. As of today, which retailers in the S&P 500 are projected to see the highest and lowest year-over-year earnings growth for the fourth quarter? Which retailers in the index have seen the largest upward and downward revisions to earnings estimates over the past month?

In terms of year-over-year earnings growth, six of the thirteen retail sub-industries in the S&P 500 are predicted to report growth in earnings for the fourth quarter, led by the Internet Retail (52.1%), Drug Retail (20.8%), and Home Improvement Retail (9.6%) sub-industries. On the other hand, seven of the thirteen retail sub-industries in the S&P 500 are predicted to report declines in earnings, led by the Home Furnishing Retail (-14.0%) and Hypermarkets & Super Centers (-9.0%) sub-industries.

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In terms of upward revisions to earnings estimates, only one sub-industry has recorded an increase in expected earnings growth of more than one percentage point since the end of last month: Hypermarkets & Super Centers (to -9.0% from -10.9%). Within this sub-industry, Wal-Mart Stores has witnessed the largest upward revisions to EPS estimates over this time frame (to $1.45 from $1.42). 

In terms of downward revisions to earnings estimates, eight sub-industries have recorded decreases in expected earnings growth of more than one percentage point since October 31, led by the Department Stores (to -3.0% from 6.1%), Apparel Retail (to -3.6% from 2.0%), and Computers & Electronics (to -4.9% from 0.1%) sub-industries.

Within the Department Stores sub-industry, Macy's (to $2.58 from $2.92) and Nordstrom (to $1.30 from $1.45) have recorded the largest downward revisions to EPS estimates during this period. Within the Apparel Retail subindustry, Gap (to $0.58 from $0.72) and Urban Outfitters (to $0.58 from $0.70) have recorded the largest downward revisions to EPS estimates over the past month. Within the Computer & Electronics sub-industry, Best Buy (to $1.38 from $1.47) has recorded the largest downward revisions to EPS estimates since October 31.

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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