Featured Image

More Than Half of S&P 500 Companies Citing Positive Impact from FX on Q1 Earnings Calls


By John Butters  |  April 16, 2018

While the majority of S&P 500 companies will report earnings results for Q1 2018 over the next few weeks, about 5% of the companies in the index (26 companies) have reported earnings results for the first quarter through April 12. Given the number of concerns in the market, have these companies discussed specific factors that had a negative impact on earnings or revenues in the first quarter (or are expected to have a negative impact in future quarters) during their earnings conference calls?

To answer this question, FactSet searched for specific terms related to a number of factors (i.e. “currency,” “China,” etc.) in the conference call transcripts of the 25 S&P 500 companies that have conducted first quarter earnings conference calls through April 12 to see how many companies discussed these factors. FactSet then looked to see if the company cited a negative impact, expressed a negative sentiment (i.e. “volatility,” “uncertainty,” “pressure,” “headwind,” etc.), or discussed clear underperformance in relation to the factor for either the quarter just reported or in guidance for future quarters. The results are shown below.

Companies citing negative earnings


Analyzing the Factors

Of the factors analyzed, the largest number of companies expressed a negative sentiment or discussed a negative impact regarding foreign exchange rates. Of the 25 companies that have conducted earnings calls to date, seven (or 28%) have discussed a negative impact or expressed a negative sentiment about foreign exchange rates.

Companies citing fx and currency

However, it is important to note that more than twice as many companies in the index have expressed a positive sentiment or discussed a positive impact from foreign exchange rates than have expressed a negative sentiment or discussed a negative impact from foreign exchange rates. Of the 25 companies that have conducted earnings calls to date, 15 (or 60%) have discussed a positive impact or expressed a positive sentiment about this factor. 

Download the latest Earnings Insight

John Butters

Vice President, Senior Earnings Analyst

Mr. John Butters is Vice President and Senior Earnings Analyst at FactSet. His 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, The Financial Times, The New York Times, MarketWatch, and Yahoo! Finance. Mr. Butters has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to FactSet in January 2011, he worked for more than 10 years at Thomson Reuters (Thomson Financial), most recently as Director of U.S. Earnings Research (2007-2010).


The information contained in this article is not investment advice. FactSet does not endorse or recommend any investments and assumes no liability for any consequence relating directly or indirectly to any action or inaction taken based on the information contained in this article.