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Earnings Preview

The 2013 Q2 earnings season gets into high gear this week as earnings reports from 178 companies come out, including 76 from the S&P 500. By the end of this week, we have earnings reports from more than a fifth of the index’s total membership; giving us a good enough sample size to judge the Q2 earnings season.

This week’s reporting docket is heavy with Finance sector results, but we have plenty of bellwethers from other key sectors on deck as well, which makes this week’s reports a fairly representative sample. From Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM - Analyst Report), and Intel (INTC - Analyst Report) to Coke (KO - Analyst Report) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Analyst Report) and Pepsi (PEP - Analyst Report) and much more in between, this week’s reports span the full spectrum of the economy. While earnings reports from almost 80% of the S&P 500 companies will still be awaited by the end of the week, the trends established this week will likely carry through the rest of this reporting cycle with only minor changes.

With respect to the results thus far, we have seen Q2 results from 29 S&P 500 members (as of Friday, July 12th). These results provide a bit of a mixed picture, though not materially different from what we saw in Q1. Earnings and revenue growth for these 29 companies are comparable to what these same companies achieved in 2013 Q1. But the beat ratios (% of companies coming out with positive surprises) are modestly weaker on the earnings side and about the same on the revenue side. Given the very small sample size, it is not advisable to draw any conclusions at this stage. As such, the more important story on the earnings front pertains to expectations form the coming reports.

In terms of earnings growth, the remaining Finance sector companies are expected to sustain the trend established by J.P. Morgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC), even though both banks cautioned against the impact of higher interest rates on mortgages in an otherwise low demand backdrop for loans. The spike in interest rates will in the long run help improve net-interest margins for the banks, though margins will likely be flat at best in Q2, as was the case with these two banks.

Total earnings for the rest of the Finance sector are expected to be up +20.5% from the same period last year, with favorable comparisons at Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), and Goldman Sachs (GS). The composite picture for the Finance sector, combining the results that have come out with those still to come, is for earnings growth of +21.3% from the same period last year, an improvement from what was expected before the JPM/WFC results.

The composite Q2 earnings growth picture - combining the result for the 29 companies that have come out with results with the 471 still awaited – shows a growth rate of +0.7% on -0.7% lower revenues and modestly higher margins. This is sharply down from +3.9% growth expected in early April. Nine of the 16 Zacks sectors are expected to show negative earnings growth in Q2. But the growth picture in Q2 is even more underwhelming when Finance is excluded from the data. Outside of Finance, total earnings for the S&P 500 would be down -3.4%.

Unlike Finance, the earnings picture for the Technology sector remains fairly weak. Total earnings for the sector are expected to be down -8.3% from the same period last year, which follows the -4.2% earnings decline in Q1. Earnings estimates for the sector steadily came down as the quarter progressed, with the current -8.3% decline down from the expected decline of -3.1% in mid-April. Excluding Technology, total Q2 earnings for the S&P 500 would be up +2.8% from the same period last year.

The weakest group within the Technology sector is the PC makers, with total earnings for the Computers and Office Equipment industry expected to be down -16.1% in Q2 after the -14.1% decline in Q1. Semiconductors and electronics are other Tech industries with negative earnings growth in the quarter, while the software group is expected to show a modest positive growth.

High Expectations for Second half & Next year

Expectations for total earnings in 2013 have come down as estimates for Q2 were revised lower, though estimates for the second half of the year and full-year 2014 have held up fairly well. The +6.3% growth in total earnings this year, down from +6.8% in early April, reflects a material ramp up in the second half of the year that is then expected to carry into 2014. Combining the actual results for Q1 with estimates for Q2 gives us +1.7% year-over-year growth in total earnings during the first half of 2013. But total earnings are expected to be up +8.1% in the second half of the year and further +11.4% in full-year 2014.

Total earnings for companies in the S&P 500 in Q2 are expected to remain below Q1’s record level. The Zacks Consensus bottom up earnings estimates aggregate to $250.9 billion in Q2, compared to $249.2 billion in 2012 Q2 and 2013 Q1’s record of $252.7 billion. The Finance sector will generate $49.8 billion or 18.7% of the S&P 500’s total Q2 earnings, while the Tech sector is expected to generate $43.5 billion or 16.7% of the index’s total earnings.

Finance is reclaiming its dominant earnings position in the index which was taken over by the Tech sector following the 2008 crash. Tech remained the biggest earnings producer for the S&P 500 from 2008 through 2012, but the leadership role moves back to Finance this year. Finance is on track to produce $198 billion in 2013 (19.2% of the total), up from $173.7 billion in 2012 (17.9% of the total), while Tech is expected to produce $186.1 billion this year (18% of the total), up from $181.9 billion in 2012 (18.8% of the total).

Trends in Estimate Revisions

The revisions trend that appeared to be moving in a positive direction a few weeks back has lost ground lately, though revisions activity is typically closed to its lowest point ahead of the reporting cycle, as is the case at present. We should see a material pick up in revisions activity, as analysts adjust their estimates for the following quarters after earnings releases. The ‘Revisions Ratio’, the key metric plotted below, is basically the ratio of total number of upward revisions over the preceding four weeks to the total number of revisions (positive and negative) over that same period.

We have two charts each for 2013 and 2014. The bar charts show the current state of the ‘revisions ratio’ (as of 7/7/13), while the line charts plot the ratio’s trajectory over the preceding 24 months. As you can see below, the revisions ratio for 2013 dropped to 42% from the prior week’s 47% level, while the same for 2014 dropped to 44% from 49% the week before. Both ratios are now moderately in negative territory.  




The ratio doesn’t tell you the ‘magnitude’ of the revisions, only the direction. The ‘50%’ level (the dark line) is the dividing line between positive and negative trends, with readings above 50% implying more positive than negative revisions. That said our analysis shows that readings between 45% and 55% don’t offer material insights into the magnitude of revisions. It is only readings above 55% and below 45% that offer bullish and bearish signals about the magnitude of earnings revisions.

As you can see in the 2013 chart above, the revisions trend for the index as a whole has moved into bearish territory, with only 6 of the 16 sectors at or above the 50% level this week, down from 7 sectors last week (Tech went below the 50% level). On the bearish side, 9 of the 16 sectors remain below the 45% level, with revisions activity in Basic Materials and Consumer Staples continuing to the down side.   

Finance’s revisions ratio currently (as of 7/5) stands at 56% for 2013 (down from 66% the week before) and 56% for 2014 (down from 70%), signaling material loss of momentum though the trend still remains positive. This week’s earnings reports will give us a clear signal about the direction of estimate revisions for the coming quarters. J. P. Morgan and Wells Fargo generally made favorable comments about the outlook for net-interest margins, though they did caution towards potentially tougher times in the mortgage banking business in an elevated interest rate environment.

Earnings will be the focus all week, though we have the June Retail Sales, Industrial Production, CPI, and Housing Starts data on the docket as well. The Fed will likely steal the limelight later in the week, with Bernanke’s testimony to the House on Wednesday and the Senate on Thursday.


  • We will get the June Retail Sales data in the morning, with expectations of +0.9% ‘headline’ increase after the +0.6% increase the month before. We will also get the July Empire State regional manufacturing survey.
  • Citigroup (C) is the only major report in the morning.

Tuesday -7/16

  • We will get June CPI and Industrial Production and the July homebuilder index. Inflation is expected to be up +0.4% on the ‘headline’ and +0.2% on the ‘core’, while Industrial Production is expected to be up +0.1% in June after the flat reading in May.
  • Coke (KO - Analyst Report), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Analyst Report), and Goldman Sachs (GS) are the key reports before the open, while Yahoo (YHOO) and CSX Corp (CSX) will report after the close.  
  • Zacks ESP or Earnings Surprise Prediction, our proprietary leading indicator of earnings surprises, is showing CSX Corp coming out with an earnings beat.  
  • For a full report on Zacks ESP, click here.


  • Bernanke will likely dominate the headlines with his House testimony, though we have a ton of earnings reports and the June Housing Starts numbers coming out.
  • Bank of America (BAC), Piper Jaffray (PJC), and PNC Financial (PNC) are the key reports in the morning, while Intel (INTC - Analyst Report), IBM (IBM - Analyst Report), and eBay (EBAY) will report after the close.  
  • Zacks ESP is showing Bank of America and Intel coming out with positive earnings surprises.

Thursday -7/18

  • In addition to weekly Jobless Claims, we will get the July Philly Fed survey in the morning. We will also have another day of Bernanke testimony, this time in the Senate.
  • A very busy day on the earnings front, with Verizon (VZ), Morgan Stanley (MS), Sherwin Williams (SHW), and Union Pacific (UNP) reporting in the morning, while Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) report after the close.


  • Not much on the economic calendar, but plenty of earnings reports. We will have General Electric (GE - Analyst Report), Schlumberger (SLB), Kansas City Southern (KSU), Honeywell (HON), Baker Hughes, and State Street (STT) as the key reports today, all in the morning.

Here is a list of the 178 companies reporting this week, including 76 S&P 500 members.

Company Ticker Current Qtr Year-Ago Qtr Last EPS Surprise % Report Day Time
BROWN & BROWN BRO 0.35 0.29 5.13 Monday AMC
CINTAS CORP CTAS 0.7 0.6 -3.23 Monday AMC
CITIGROUP INC C 1.18 0.95 9.32 Monday BTO
HUNT (JB) TRANS JBHT 0.74 0.67 -4.69 Monday N/A
JOES JEANS INC JOEZ 0.03 0.02 50 Monday AMC
STANLEY FURN CO STLY -0.12 -0.1 -18.18 Monday AMC
COCA COLA CO KO 0.63 0.61 2.22 Tuesday BTO
COMERICA INC CMA 0.69 0.76 4.48 Tuesday BTO
CSX CORP CSX 0.47 0.49 12.5 Tuesday AMC
DEL FRISCOS RST DFRG 0.19 0.2 5 Tuesday BTO
GOLDMAN SACHS GS 2.81 1.78 11.43 Tuesday BTO
INTERACTIVE BRK IBKR 0.22 0.17 -12.5 Tuesday AMC
JOHNSON & JOHNS JNJ 1.4 1.3 2.13 Tuesday BTO
MARTEN TRANS MRTN 0.25 0.23 18.52 Tuesday AMC
MERCANTILE BANK MBWM 0.35 0.36 51.52 Tuesday BTO
MILLER ENERGY MILL -0.15 -0.2 -257.14 Tuesday AMC
MOSAIC CO/THE MOS 1.15 1.27 5.62 Tuesday BTO
PACKAGING CORP PKG 0.63 0.49 10.71 Tuesday AMC
PINNACLE FIN PT PNFP 0.39 0.23 18.18 Tuesday AMC
RENASANT CORP RNST 0.32 0.25 3.45 Tuesday AMC
RESOURCES CNCTN RECN 0.15 0.21 0 Tuesday AMC
SCHWAB(CHAS) SCHW 0.19 0.2 -6.25 Tuesday BTO
UTD RENTALS INC URI 1.02 0.66 11.54 Tuesday AMC
WESTAMER BANCP WABC 0.64 0.75 -1.54 Tuesday N/A
WINTRUST FINL WTFC 0.61 0.52 10.17 Tuesday AMC
YAHOO! INC YHOO 0.26 0.27 36 Tuesday AMC
ABBOTT LABS ABT 0.44 1.23 0 Wednesday BTO
ALBEMARLE CORP ALB 0.99 1.24 -7 Wednesday AMC
AMER EXPRESS CO AXP 1.21 1.15 3.6 Wednesday AMC
ASML HOLDING NV ASML 0.61 1.13 -7.55 Wednesday BTO
ASTORIA FINL CP AF 0.12 0.13 7.69 Wednesday AMC
BANK OF AMER CP BAC 0.25 0.19 -13.04 Wednesday BTO
BANK OF NY MELL BK 0.58 0.57 9.62 Wednesday BTO
BOSTON PRIV FIN BPFH 0.19 0.14 -23.53 Wednesday AMC
CATHAY GENL BCP CATY 0.35 0.33 -6.25 Wednesday AMC
COHEN&STRS INC CNS 0.44 0.36 7.32 Wednesday AMC
CORE LABS NV CLB 1.31 1.14 6.09 Wednesday AMC
COVANTA HOLDING CVA 0.04 0.15 -61.54 Wednesday AMC
CROWN HLDGS INC CCK 0.93 0.84 4.17 Wednesday AMC
CVB FINL CVBF 0.21 0.23 -4.55 Wednesday AMC
EAST WEST BC EWBC 0.51 0.47 0 Wednesday AMC
EBAY INC EBAY 0.54 0.52 3.7 Wednesday AMC
EL PASO PIPELIN EPB 0.47 0.44 7.41 Wednesday AMC
FIRST CASH FINL FCFS 0.57 0.56 0 Wednesday BTO
FIRST REP BK SF FRC 0.63 0.6 0 Wednesday BTO
GRAINGER W W GWW 2.96 2.63 7.69 Wednesday BTO
GREENHILL & CO GHL 0.45 0.07 -34.78 Wednesday AMC
HNI CORP HNI 0.25 0.17 250 Wednesday AMC
IGATE CORP IGTE 0.29 0.16 23.68 Wednesday BTO
INTEL CORP INTC 0.39 0.54 -4.76 Wednesday AMC
INTL BUS MACH IBM 3.78 3.51 -1.96 Wednesday AMC
KINDER MORG ENG KMP 0.62 0.37 0 Wednesday AMC
KINDER MORGAN KMI 0.31 0.36 -12.5 Wednesday AMC
KNOLL INC KNL 0.14 0.28 8.33 Wednesday BTO
LASALLE HTL PRP LHO 0.72 0.72 8 Wednesday AMC
M&T BANK CORP MTB 2.09 1.74 6.19 Wednesday BTO
MATTEL INC MAT 0.31 0.28 37.5 Wednesday BTO
NOBLE CORP NE 0.58 0.59 3.51 Wednesday AMC
NORTHERN TRUST NTRS 0.83 0.74 -1.39 Wednesday BTO
NOVARTIS AG-ADR NVS 1.31 1.38 4 Wednesday BTO
PACIFIC CONTL PCBK 0.21 0.17 35.71 Wednesday AMC
PIPER JAFFRAY PJC 0.43 0.31 9.09 Wednesday BTO
PLATINUM UNDRWT PTP 1.1 1.24 70.99 Wednesday AMC
PLEXUS CORP PLXS 0.58 0.66 1.96 Wednesday AMC
PNC FINL SVC CP PNC 1.64 1.25 12.1 Wednesday BTO
PREFERRED BANK PFBC 0.27 -0.43 36.36 Wednesday AMC
RLI CORP RLI 1.18 1.17 -1.89 Wednesday AMC
SANDISK CORP SNDK 0.88 0.15 12.86 Wednesday AMC
SELECT COMFORT SCSS 0.23 0.3 -4.55 Wednesday AMC
SLM CORP SLM 0.7 0.49 3.39 Wednesday AMC
ST JUDE MEDICAL STJ 0.94 0.88 0 Wednesday BTO
STEEL DYNAMICS STLD 0.13 0.2 5 Wednesday AMC
TEXTRON INC TXT 0.38 0.58 -14.89 Wednesday BTO
UMPQUA HLDGS CP UMPQ 0.22 0.21 -4.35 Wednesday AMC
UNIVL FST PRODS UFPI 0.72 0.67 2500 Wednesday AMC
US BANCORP USB 0.76 0.71 0 Wednesday BTO
VALMONT INDS VMI 2.89 2.24 15.6 Wednesday AMC
WNS HLDGS-ADR WNS 0.23 0.19 15.38 Wednesday BTO
XILINX INC XLNX 0.47 0.47 4.44 Wednesday AMC
ZHONE TECH INC ZHNE 0.02 -0.07 N/A Wednesday AMC
ACACIA RESEARCH ACTG 0.38 0.31 213.64 Thursday AMC
ADV MICRO DEV AMD -0.12 0.06 23.53 Thursday AMC
ALIGN TECH INC ALGN 0.28 0.34 13.04 Thursday AMC
AMER RIVER BSH AMRB 0.07 0.09 -12.5 Thursday AMC
AMPHENOL CORP-A APH 0.94 0.86 1.16 Thursday BTO
ASSOC BANC CORP ASBC 0.25 0.24 8 Thursday AMC
ATHENAHEALTH IN ATHN 0.08 0.12 33.33 Thursday AMC
AUTONATION INC AN 0.74 0.66 7.94 Thursday BTO
BADGER METER BMI 0.55 0.52 -58.33 Thursday AMC
BAXTER INTL BAX 1.13 1.12 0.96 Thursday BTO
BB&T CORP BBT 0.74 0.72 2.99 Thursday BTO
BLACKROCK INC BLK 3.82 3.1 1.67 Thursday BTO
BLACKSTONE GRP BX 0.53 0.19 1.85 Thursday BTO
CAPITAL ONE FIN COF 1.71 0.33 17.79 Thursday AMC
CELANESE CP-A CE 1.16 1.47 44.3 Thursday AMC
CHECK PT SOFTW CHKP 0.76 0.71 0 Thursday BTO
CHEMED CORP CHE 1.16 1.18 9.92 Thursday AMC
CHIPOTLE MEXICN CMG 2.8 2.56 9.81 Thursday AMC
CITY NATIONAL CYN 0.96 1.01 -2.17 Thursday AMC
COBIZ FINL INC COBZ 0.14 0.14 7.69 Thursday N/A
CYPRESS SEMICON CY 0 0.06 37.5 Thursday BTO
CYS INVESTMENTS CYS 0.29 0.49 -45.16 Thursday BTO
CYTEC INDS INC CYT 1.27 0.73 -12.79 Thursday AMC
DANAHER CORP DHR 0.85 0.81 -1.32 Thursday BTO
DOVER CORP DOV 1.3 1.15 1.85 Thursday BTO
EASTGROUP PPTYS EGP 0.77 0.77 -1.3 Thursday AMC
ELECTRN IMAGING EFII 0.18 0.23 56.25 Thursday AMC
ERICSSON LM ADR ERIC 0.16 0.11 50 Thursday BTO
FAIRCHILD SEMI FCS 0.08 0.14 -200 Thursday BTO
FIFTH THIRD BK FITB 0.44 0.36 12.82 Thursday BTO
FORWARD AIR CRP FWRD 0.53 0.48 -7.69 Thursday AMC
GATX CORP GMT 0.85 0.8 -11.76 Thursday BTO
GENUINE PARTS GPC 1.21 1.08 -6.06 Thursday BTO
GLIMCHER REALTY GRT 0.17 0.14 14.29 Thursday AMC
GOOGLE INC-CL A GOOG 9.01 8.82 13.25 Thursday AMC
HOME BANCSHARES HOMB 0.31 0.28 1.64 Thursday BTO
HOME LOAN SERVC HLSS 0.46 0.33 2.33 Thursday BTO
HUB GROUP INC-A HUBG 0.49 0.46 0 Thursday AMC
HUBBELL INC -B HUB.B 1.31 1.29 -0.9 Thursday BTO
HUNTINGTON BANC HBAN 0.16 0.17 6.25 Thursday BTO
ICU MEDICAL INC ICUI 0.65 0.63 28.89 Thursday AMC
INTUITIVE SURG ISRG 4.12 3.75 14 Thursday AMC
JOHNSON CONTROL JCI 0.75 0.64 0 Thursday BTO
KEYCORP NEW KEY 0.2 0.23 5 Thursday BTO
MARRIOT VAC WW VAC 0.49 0.33 10.2 Thursday AMC
MATTHEWS INTL-A MATW 0.72 0.6 -3.17 Thursday AMC
MICROSOFT CORP MSFT 0.75 0.73 7.46 Thursday AMC
MORGAN STANLEY MS 0.44 0.16 7.02 Thursday BTO
MYERS INDS MYE 0.21 0.17 -11.11 Thursday BTO
NETSCOUT SYSTMS NTCT 0.12 0.16 5.56 Thursday BTO
NOKIA CP-ADR A NOK -0.03 -0.1 33.33 Thursday BTO
NUCOR CORP NUE 0.3 0.44 4 Thursday BTO
OCEANFIRST FINL OCFC 0.28 0.3 -10.34 Thursday AMC
PEOPLES UTD FIN PBCT 0.19 0.19 0 Thursday AMC
PHILIP MORRIS PM 1.41 1.36 -4.44 Thursday BTO
POOL CORP POOL 1.42 1.34 16.67 Thursday BTO
POPULAR INC BPOP 0.69 0.63 -10.94 Thursday BTO
PPG INDS INC PPG 2.34 2.36 1.28 Thursday BTO
PREMIERE GLOBAL PGI 0.18 0.16 0 Thursday AMC
PRIVATEBANCORP PVTB 0.33 0.19 25 Thursday BTO
QUEST DIAGNOSTC DGX 1.09 1.17 -14.42 Thursday BTO
SAFEWAY INC SWY 0.5 0.5 -2.78 Thursday BTO
SANDY SPRING SASR 0.39 0.36 13.51 Thursday BTO
SAP AG ADR SAP 0.91 0.77 41.51 Thursday BTO
SHERWIN WILLIAM SHW 2.6 2.17 2.78 Thursday BTO
SIMMONS FIRST A SFNC 0.4 0.38 -9.76 Thursday BTO
SKYWORKS SOLUTN SWKS 0.44 0.35 -2.56 Thursday AMC
SNAP-ON INC SNA 1.43 1.3 4.48 Thursday BTO
SONOCO PRODUCTS SON 0.58 0.58 -5.66 Thursday BTO
STRYKER CORP SYK 1.03 0.98 1.98 Thursday AMC
SUPERVALU INC SVU 0.02 0.19 -200 Thursday BTO
TAIWAN SEMI-ADR TSM 0.27 0.27 13.04 Thursday BTO
ULTRATECH STEP UTEK 0.04 0.41 -2.04 Thursday BTO
UNION PAC CORP UNP 2.35 2.1 3.57 Thursday BTO
UNITEDHEALTH GP UNH 1.26 1.27 0 Thursday BTO
UTD FINL BCP UBNK 0.26 0.21 0 Thursday AMC
VERIZON COMM VZ 0.73 0.64 3.03 Thursday BTO
WATSCO INC WSO 1.41 1.15 18.18 Thursday BTO
WESTERN ALLIANC WAL 0.27 0.16 14.29 Thursday AMC
AUTOLIV INC ALV 1.38 1.33 1.57 Friday BTO
BAKER-HUGHES BHI 0.64 1 4.84 Friday BTO
BANCO LATINOAME BLX 0.54 0.61 -21.82 Friday BTO
FIRST HRZN NATL FHN 0.19 -0.5 0 Friday BTO
FIRST NIAGARA FNFG 0.18 0.17 5.88 Friday BTO
GENL ELECTRIC GE 0.35 0.38 11.43 Friday BTO
HONEYWELL INTL HON 1.22 1.14 6.14 Friday BTO
INGERSOLL RAND IR 1.07 1.15 2.44 Friday BTO
INTERPUBLIC GRP IPG 0.22 0.22 -7.69 Friday BTO
KANSAS CITY SOU KSU 0.95 0.85 2.3 Friday BTO
LABORATORY CP LH 1.8 1.77 -1.69 Friday BTO
MANPOWER INC WI MAN 0.89 0.76 40 Friday BTO
METROCORP BANCS MCBI 0.15 0.16 14.29 Friday AMC
MOSYS INC MOSY -0.11 -0.15 21.43 Friday BTO
ROCKWELL COLLIN COL 1.15 1.14 0.86 Friday BTO
SCHLUMBERGER LT SLB 1.11 1.05 2.02 Friday BTO
STATE ST CORP STT 1.19 1.01 3.23 Friday BTO
SUNTRUST BKS STI 0.67 0.5 3.28 Friday BTO
V F CORP VFC 1.17 1.11 11.98 Friday N/A