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What Story Are Retail Earnings Telling?

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One standout feature of the Q3 earnings season is the strong momentum emerging on the revenue front. What this means is that not only is revenue growth accelerating from other recent periods, but an above-average proportion of companies are beating top-line estimates. This is clear from the charts below  that compare the Q3 revenue performance with what we have seen in other recent periods.

The improving global growth backdrop and the lower exchange value of the U.S. dollar have contributed to this revenue momentum. We see this in the strong Q3 revenue gains from the more international oriented sectors like Technology, Energy, Basic Materials and Industrials. Faster growing and more globally oriented Tech companies like Apple (AAPL - Free Report) , Facebook (FB - Free Report) and Google’s parent Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) spotlight this trend. The year-over-year revenue growth for Apple, Facebook and Alphabet are +12.2%, +47% and almost +22%, respectively.

Including all of this morning’s results, we now have Q3 results from 462 S&P 500 members or 92.4% of the index’s total membership. Total earnings for these companies are up +6.8% from the same period last year on +6.1% higher revenues, with 72.7% beating EPS estimates and 66.5% beating revenue estimates.

The reporting focus lately has been on the Retail sector, for which we now have Q3 results from 26 of the 39 retailers in the S&P 500 index. Total earnings for these 26 retailers are up +2.5% from the same period last year on +9.1% higher revenues, with 80.8% beating EPS estimates and 61.5% beating revenue estimates.

The elevated revenue growth for the sector reflects strong growth at Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) . Excluding the Amazon growth, top-line growth for the rest of the Retail sector drops to +5.3% from +9.1%.

For more details about the ongoing Q3 earnings season, please check out our weekly Earnings Trends report.

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