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Q2 Earnings: Revenue Weakness A Major Issue
by Sheraz MianJuly 27, 2012 | Comments : 0 Recommended this article: (0)
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The second quarter earnings season has turned out to be quite decent -- not strong or good, but better relative to pre-season expectations.
With results from 292 S&P 500 companies available at this stage (as of Friday, July 27th), total earnings are up 5.4% from the same period last year, though the growth rate turns negative once Finance gets excluded. In addition to Finances heavy contribution to the aggregate growth picture, performance on the revenue front has been notably weak as well.
While 67.1% of the companies have beat earnings expectations, the beat ratio on the revenue front is far weaker -- only 36.6% of the companies have beaten revenue expectations. Even some of these companies with positive revenue surprises for the second quarter have guided towards lower revenue numbers in the coming quarters. This does not bode well for growth in the coming quarters.
Finance became the growth leader, replacing Tech, this quarter, while Energy has been a drag on growth and Basic Materials has the lowest ratio of positive surprises of all the sectors.
- The second-quarter 2012 reporting season is in full swing and the earnings picture does not appear to be as bad as earlier feared. We have reports from 292 S&P 500 companies, or 58.4% of the total already in.
- Total earnings for these 292 companies are up 5.4% from the same period last year, with easy comps in Finance driving most of the growth. These same companies had earnings growth of 8.3% in the first quarter. The 5.4% earnings growth margin gains of 107 basis points, offsetting a 0.6% decline in revenues.
- The ratio of companies beating earnings expectations is in-line with past performance, with 67.1% beating earnings expectations, with a median surprise of 2.8%. This compares to roughly 69.9% of these same companies beating expectations in the first quarter, with a median surprise of 4.1%.
- Finance is the primary driver of the earnings growth, with easy comps at Bank of America (BAC) particularly significant. Excluding Finance, total earnings would be down 1.5%, while the ex-Finance growth for that same cohort was 6.5% in the first quarter.
- Energy companies are a big drag on earnings this quarter, as declining profits at Exxon (XOM), Chevron (CVX) and Conoco (COP) this week show. Total Energy sector earnings are down 16.4% from the same period last year, which compares to 0.6% positive earnings growth in the previous quarter. Excluding Energy, total earnings for the S&P 500 companies that have reported would be up 10%, while that same ex-Energy cohort had earnings growth of 9.8% in the first quarter.
- Total earnings for the Tech companies are up 6.9%, a sharp deceleration from the 21% growth that these same companies had in the first quarter. Excluding Apple (AAPL), Tech earnings growth the growth rate drops negative 3.2%.
- The sector with the most negative surprises thus far is Basic Materials, as high profile misses from Dow Chemicals (DOW) and International Paper (IP) show. Total earnings for Basic Materials companies are down 21.6% and only 25% of the companies have beat earnings expectations.
- Revenue gains are hard to come by, with only 36.6% of the companies coming ahead of top-line expectations, with a median surprise of a drop of 0.5%. Total revenues are down 0.6% for the companies that have reported, which compares to top-line gains of 5.5% in the first quarter. Excluding Energy, total revenues are up 3.5% vs. 5.3% in the first quarter.
- Total earnings for the for the 208 companies still to report results are expected to be down 2.4% in the second quarter, with margin declines offsetting modest expected revenue gains. Full-year earnings for companies in the S&P 500 are expected to increase 7.7% this year and 12.2% next year. Nine of the sixteen Zacks sectors will have double-digit earnings growth in 2012, with Finance, Tech and Construction showing strong gains, while Utilities and Energy are expected to be in the negative. Earnings expectations for next year have held up even as the same for 2012 have been steadily coming down.
- The bottom-up EPS estimates for 2012 and 2013 -- reflecting projections of analysts at brokerage firms covering individual companies -- currently stand at $101.81 and $112.26, respectively. The top-down estimate for 2012 and 2013 -- reflecting the projections of strategists at brokerage firms -- currently stand at $103.30 and $110.64 for 2012 and 2013, respectively.
READ THE FULL EARNINGS TRENDS REPORT by clicking here: Q2 Earnings: Revenue Weakness A Major Issue
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