Get ready for another strong earnings season
The backdrop for Q4 U.S. corporate profits looks healthy.
State of play: Big banking and financial firms started the festivities last Friday, with more (including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) Tuesday morning, and hundreds of companies to follow in the coming weeks.
- Wall Street analysts are forecasting S&P 500 earnings per share will grow 1.2% in Q4 compared to Q4 2022.
Yes, but: Estimates are by definition, wrong. And typically, they're lower than what ends up getting reported.
- Case in point, just before Q3 earnings season got underway last year, analysts expected EPS growth of 0.5%. It turned out to be 6.1%.
The big picture: While any given company could produce ugly Q4 numbers, from a macro perspective, the backdrop for corporate profits looks quite good.
- Unemployment is low.
- Consumer spending was strong.
Between the lines: What's more, prices for consumers are still rising faster than the more subdued rate of inflation measured by the Producer Price Index — which tracks wholesale prices that business owners face.
The bottom line: It should be pretty fat.