Second-quarter U.S. earnings estimate still weak, but improving

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The forecast for second-quarter S&P 500 earnings is looking slightly improved from a week ago, although it remains weak with results in from more than half of the S&P 500 companies, Refinitiv data showed Friday.

Second-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies now are estimated to have fallen 6.4% year over year. While still negative, the forecast is an improvement from the 7.9% drop estimated a week ago.

The latest estimate is based on results from 254 of the S&P 500 companies and projections for the remaining components. About 79% of reports are beating analysts’ earnings expectations.

“It’s mixed, but you’ve had a lot of high-profile companies that beat,” said Tim Ghriskey, senior portfolio strategist at Ingalls & Snyder in New York.

Among this week’s upbeat results, Alphabet’s second-quarter profit exceeded Wall Street expectations.

The earnings forecast tends to improve with stronger-than-expected results.

Year-over-year earnings rose 0.1% in the 2023 first quarter, which was much better than the forecast for a 5.1% drop at the start of the reporting season.

Stocks have been rising despite the still-weak earnings picture, partly on expectations that the Federal Reserve may be nearing the end of its rate-hiking cycle. The S&P 500 registered its highest close Friday since April 2022.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Aurora Ellis)


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