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.

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