S&P 500 Earnings: Q3 ’21 EPS Growth Looking Pretty Healthy So Far

With the summer slowdown, analyst revisions—see chart below—have slowed considerably, which is the tell I use to note when earnings season is done.

Data source: This Week in Earnings, Refinitiv

Readers can see how the bulk of analyst estimate changes occur around earnings reports, the bulk of which fall from mid-July to early August for the 2nd quarter and then revision activity slows considerably.

The data glitch experienced at IBES by Refinitiv the week of July 30, ’21 appears to have dissipated. Refinitiv is tight-lipped about the glitch which is more puzzling since so much of the estimate data is used in valuation models across Wall Street.

Anyway, here are a few tables looking at the week’s data:

Data source: IBES data by Refinitiv

The above table is shown frequently by me, and shows the increasingly positive revisions for Q3 ’21, which isn’t scheduled to report for another 8 weeks or so. What’s interesting although not shown entirely, is that Q3 ’21 S&P 500 EPS has doubled in it’s expected growth rate since early January ’21—from an expected growth rate of 14.5% to 29.4% as of Aug. 13. The expected revenue has almost, but not quite, doubled too, and is expected to increase 13.9% in Q3 ’21.

Here’s the other S&P 500 data that are tracked weekly:

We are still 8 weeks away from getting a look at 3rd quarter, ’21 S&P 500 earnings results, but looking at the middle table on today’s post, the “expected” growth rate of the S&P 500 has already doubled from early January ’21 and that is with facing tougher comps or early economic recovery comps from Q3 ’20.

The data glitch that IBES / Refinitiv suffered the last two weeks seems to have corrected itself, since the “forward 4-quarter EPS estimate” has been tracking slightly higher every week.

The next two weeks will be beyond slow for probably the markets and analyst revisions.

Walmart (WMT) and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) report this week, and Deere (NYSE:DE) is scheduled to report next Friday morning, Aug. 20, 2021.  (Clients are long some Cisco.)

Remember, the markets change quickly and swiftly to the downside, when the shift happens. I’m one of those worried about the fact that the S&P 500 really hasn’t seen anything beyond a 5% correction in quite a while.

However the trend in S&P 500 earnings for Q3 ’21 looks pretty solid. The Fed’s liquidity is providing a LOT of support for stock and bond prices.

Take it all with a grain of salt, and read everything with great skepticism, including this post.

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