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Reproduced from FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

More companies are releasing earnings guidance for the third quarter and raising expectations, but the number of S&P 500 companies providing guidance remains well below traditional averages.

By the numbers: Just 53 S&P companies issued future guidance in the second quarter, about half of the five-year average (104) and the lowest number since record keeping began in 2006, FactSet's data show.

  • For the third quarter that number is up to 67 so far, or 36% below the average, with 45 companies issuing positive earnings guidance.
  • More than 100 S&P 500 companies have either withdrawn or not provided annual EPS guidance for 2020 or 2021 to date.

What they're saying: "Most of these companies cited uncertainty around the impact of COVID-19 as the reason for not providing annual EPS guidance," John Butters, FactSet's senior earnings analyst, writes in a release.

  • "Thus, it appears this uncertainty is also causing many S&P 500 companies not to provide short-term EPS guidance as well as long-term EPS guidance at this point in time."

Where it stands: Despite the improving picture (on June 30, Q3 earnings were projected to decline by 25.3%), earnings are again expected to be deeply negative in the third quarter, falling by 21.2% for the second worst quarter since Q2 2009.

  • Earnings declined by more than 30% in Q2.

Go deeper

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.

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.

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.