Earnings Season Update

The busiest week of corporate earnings season is behind us and it continues to back up what we learned in Friday's GDP report. The economy was on fire in the 2nd quarter. We started 2018 with companies weighing the benefits of tax reform, along with tariffs and rising interest rates after seeing record profits in 2017. Early in the year, we experienced corrections, declines of 10% or more in every major stock index. Despite lots of volatility often driven by trade and tariff fears, we've seen all indexes recover substantially from those lows reached in February/March. All major indexes are now in positive territory for the year. 

Earnings have been amazing through the first half of 2018. Last quarter earnings growth was in at 25% year over year. Coming into earnings season the average estimate for earnings growth was 20% year over year. Here's where we stand so far, 53% of companies have reported out of which 83% have reported positive earnings surprises and 77% have topped sales target. That means that the earnings growth is averaging at 21.3%.

Expectations were high and once again companies are crushing them. We're pacing the second-best earnings growth since 2010 out of the gate with record overall earnings for the quarter. We're now clearly seeing the impact of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act washing through in these reports and projections going forward. There's still lots of room for optimism. Market reaction over the short run is unpredictable but fundamentals matter most overtime and the fundamentals of our businesses are about the best they've ever been.      

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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