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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

So far, second quarter earnings have beaten estimates" FactSet senior earnings analyst John Butters notes.

The big picture: With 9% of S&P 500 companies reporting so far, 73% have reported a positive EPS surprise and 78% have reported a positive revenue surprise.

But, but but: Earnings are still on pace to decline 44% in Q2, which would mark the largest year-over-year decline for the index since Q4 2008 (-69.1%).

Below the surface: The estimated net profit margin for the S&P 500 for the first quarter is 7.1% — the lowest net profit margin reported by the index since Q4 2009 and well below the 5-year average of 10.6%, according to FactSet.

State of play: All eleven S&P 500 sectors are reporting, or are projected to report, a year-over-year decline in net profit margins in the second quarter.

  • Analysts expect net profit margins to improve gradually over the next three quarters, however, they are not projecting year-over-year improvement until Q1 2021.

Editor’s note: This piece has been updated to clarify information attributed to John Butters.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 27, 2020 - Energy & Environment

BP ekes out profit despite pandemic's bite

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

BP reported an $86 million third-quarter profit Tuesday — a result that beat analysts' expectations but nonetheless signals how the pandemic is weighing heavily on the industry.

Why it matters: It's the first of several earnings reports this week from oil-and-gas giants that provide the latest window on COVID-19's ongoing effect. Shell reports Thursday and U.S. giants Chevron and Exxon report Friday.

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.