Second-quarter earnings season is about to commence, which means investors will be looking to see how corporate America fared during the three months ending in June and what they have to say about the remainder of the year.
If FactSet’s predictions prove true, the second quarter should be another strong one with earnings growth of more 20% expected for S&P 500 companies. FactSet noted that the earnings growth will still be below the 24.8% increase in earnings seen for the first three months of the year.
“If the index does report growth of 23.2% for Q2 2018, it will mark the second consecutive quarter of earnings growth above 20% and the third consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth,” wrote John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet, in a report. "All eleven sectors are expected to report year-over-year growth in earnings. Seven sectors are expected to report double-digit earnings growth, led by the Energy, Materials, Telecom Services, and Information Technology." (See also: US Markets Hit Pause Button Ahead of Earnings.)
Energy Sector Sees the Most Uptick in Earnings Estimates
In the case of the energy sector, FactSet said the estimated earnings growth rate for the second quarter has jumped the most while at the same time witnessing the largest increase in price since March 31. “Overall, 22 of the 31 companies (71%) in the Energy sector have seen an increase in their mean EPS estimate during this time,” noted FactSet. The largest increase in earnings estimates was bestowed on Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP), Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC). The EPS estimate increase for Chevron Corp. (CVX) has been the largest contributor to the increase in expected earnings, noted FactSet. (See also: Fidelity: S&P 500 to Post Strongest Quarterly Earnings Growth Since 2011.)
The tech sector was in second place in terms of the most increases in earnings estimates for the second quarter of the year. Leading that charge are Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and Twitter Inc. (TWTR). Of the 43 information technology companies in the index, 10 have seen an increase in their mean EPS estimate, noted FactSet. Intel Corp.'s (INTC) and Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) mean EPS estimate increases have been the biggest contributors to the increased earnings expectations for the second quarter. The materials sector is in third place with 11 of the 24 companies in the sector seeing earnings estimates increase. FMC Corp. (FMC) and Nucor Corp. (NUE) are leading the earnings estimate increases in that area, while DowDuPont Inc. (DWDP) has been the largest contributor to the earnings expectation increase.
On the negative side of things, investors may want to pay close attention to earnings reports for consumer staples. After all, FactSet said that group has seen the largest decline in earnings estimates for the second quarter. Since the beginning of the second quarter, earnings growth expectations have declined to 8% from 11%. Of the 25 companies in that group, FactSet said three have recorded a decrease in their mean EPS, led by Campbell Soup Co. (CPB), Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) and Coca-Cola Co. (KO).