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Small-Cap Earnings Picture: 5 Sector ETF Stars

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Small capitalization, one of the most beaten-down zones in the coronavirus selloff, sprung back to life in April. iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM - Free Report) and SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap ETF (SLY - Free Report) are up 21.1% and 18.9%, respectively, in a month compared with the 15.3% gain in the S&P 500 Index (read: 5 Small-Cap ETFs Beating S&P 500 in April).

Extension of the paycheck protection program, some forgivable loans, a strong dollar and talks of reopening the economy and the relative previous underperformance to the large caps, supported the small-cap ETFs in April.

Coronavirus-led lockdowns and shutting down of businesses are causing a severe cash crunch among companies. Small caps with lesser financial support became more vulnerable to the virus-led fallout. Earnings underperformance has been prevalent for small-cap stocks for a long time.

This makes it important to have a look at the small-cap stocks’ earnings picture so that investors can spot the bright points.

Q1 Performance: S&P 600 Versus 500

First-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 are expected to be down 15.5% year over year on 1.5% higher revenues. This decline will follow a 0.4% uptick in Q4, 0.2% dip in Q3, 0.6% rise in Q2 and a 0.1% slip in Q1 of 2019.

Looking at Q1 as a whole for the small-cap index, total earnings are expected to be down 41.5% from the same period last year on 4% lower revenues. The decline in earnings will follow a 0.8% gain in Q4, a 14.5% slump in Q3, 12.1% decline in Q2 and 15.9% slide in Q1 of 2019, per the Earnings Trends issued on Apr 29, 2020.

Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few small-cap sector ETFs that are promising better earnings and revenue growth rate for the coronavirus-infected first quarter.

Construction — Invesco Dynamic Building & Construction ETF (PKB - Free Report)

The sector is likely to record 28.2% earnings growth in Q1 on 7.9% higher revenues. The fund has advanced 29.4% in the past month (as of May 5, 2020).

Utilities — Invesco S&P SmallCap Utilities & Communication Services ETF (PSCU - Free Report)

Earnings are likely to be 16.8% higher while revenues may see a 6.8% uptick. However, the fund PSCU has gained just 10% in the past month.

Finance — Invesco S&P SmallCap Financials ETF (PSCF - Free Report)

Earnings are likely to be up 1.4% year over year on 4.0% higher revenues. The fund has tacked on 15.8% gains in the past month.

Industrials — Invesco S&P SmallCap Industrials ETF (PSCI - Free Report)

The sector is likely to record a decline of 16.6% in earnings on 10.6% lower revenues. The aerospace segment is also likely to record a 12.4% decline in earnings on 4.6% lower revenues. The fund has gained 18.6% in the past month. However, the losses are pretty lower when compared with the other sectors.

Consumer Staples — Invesco S&P SmallCap Consumer Staples ETF (PSCC - Free Report)

The sector is likely to end the first quarter with a 28.7% decline in earnings and 1% revenue gains. The fund PSCC has gained only 11.6% in the past month.

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