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More S&P 500 companies are providing guidance on expected earnings per share as they report their second quarter earnings than last quarter, plus more are beating estimates, FactSet data shows.

By the numbers: During the Q1 earnings season, 185 S&P 500 companies withdrew or did not provide annual EPS guidance, while only 100 companies provided guidance.

  • So far — based on the 128 S&P 500 companies that reported results for Q2 through Friday — 60 (47%) commented on EPS guidance for the current year.
  • Of these 60 companies, 32 (53%) said they would not provide EPS guidance or confirmed a previous withdrawal of guidance.
  • 10 companies that withdrew or did not provide guidance during the Q1 earnings season provided guidance for Q2.

Where it stands: For the Q2 earnings season, 26% of S&P 500 companies have reported. Of these companies:

  • 81% beat their EPS estimate.
  • 2% matched their EPS estimate.
  • 17% missed their EPS estimate.

This is an improvement from Q1 when 63% of companies beat earnings estimates, 5% matched and 31% missed estimates, FactSet senior earnings analyst John Butters says.

But, but, but: Earnings are expected to decline 42.4%, year over year. That's an improvement from an expected 44% decline last week but would still represent the worst quarter since Q4 2008.

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2020 - Technology

Alphabet revenue up 14% after second-quarter slump

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Google parent company Alphabet beat Wall Street expectations in the third quarter of 2020, announcing total revenues of $46.2 billion with its shares rising more than 9% in after-hours trading.

Why it matters: The company rebounded with its revenue up 14% after a tough second quarter, when its saw its first-ever revenue decline attributable to a lowered advertising growth rate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Amazon posts strong Q3 results despite ongoing pandemic costs

Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

With the pandemic driving consumers to shop online, Amazon beat analyst expectations on Thursday with its Q3 results, though its stock price didn't see much of a bump.

Why it matters: Despite incurring what it estimates was about $2.5 billion in pandemic-related costs during the quarter, Amazon's revenue grew 37% year-over-year to $96.1 billion and its profits to $6.3 billion, up 197% year-over-year.