“In the early stages of the first-quarter reporting season, companies have beaten earnings forecasts at a rate of 81 percent and revenue at a rate of 76 percent, and expectations for overall corporate profit growth have almost doubled in a few short weeks, based on Thomson Reuters data for results through last week,” Caroline Valetkevitch reports for Reuters.
“Earnings reports so far show that economic weakness in the euro zone and a slowdown in parts of the Chinese economy have not hurt sales and margins as feared,” Valetkevitch reports. “The earnings beats also suggest that companies have kept costs, including hiring, under control, which may not be such an optimistic signal for the labor market and economy.”
Valetkevitch reports, “Less than two weeks into the reporting period, earnings for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 .SPX are expected to have increased 6.2 percent for the first quarter, up from an estimate of 3.2 percent just before earnings began, and only just above a 2-percent forecast in February, according to Thomson Reuters data. The low profit expectations have made it easier for companies to beat estimates than in recent quarters. The earnings period still has weeks to go and a lot can change, with results in from only about 25 percent of the S&P 500, but the omens are good.”
“Apple Inc (AAPL), with the largest market capitalization, has yet to report results. Expected growth for the S&P without Apple falls to 4.8 percent, and if Apple – which releases its results on Tuesday – easily beats expectations again, the overall earnings growth number will rise,” Valetkevitch reports. “Its earnings per share jumped 116 percent in the fourth quarter. Apple’s per-share earnings are expected to rise more than 50 percent for the first quarter, and Thomson Reuters StarMine data shows a high probability the company will beat that. StarMine weights forecasts based on analyst accuracy and other factors.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Note: Apple plans to conduct a conference call to discuss Q212 financial results on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 2pm PDT/5pm EDT. As usual, MacDailyNews plans to cover the call with live notes. Check our home page around 4:55pm EDT tomorrow for the coverage link.
Remember: Apple’s quarter is 13 weeks vs. holiday quarter’s extra 14th week – April 23, 2012
Apple to webcast Q212 earnings release conference call on April 24 – April 20, 2012