Everyone’s talking about President Donald J. Trump. It’s almost impossible to avoid a conversation without him or his policies coming up.
There’s one group that may be showing preliminary signs of pulling back from discussing the president and his administration and that’s the big company CEOs.
“Over the course of the previous (fourth quarter) earnings season, a number of S&P 500 companies commented on potential changes to government policies due to the election of Donald Trump as president,” FactSet wrote in a recent report. “Given the Trump administration has now been in office for about three months, have companies in the S&P 500 continued to comment on the Trump administration and potential policy changes during their earnings conference calls for the first quarter?”
FactSet analysts reviewed the earnings announcements and conference calls of companies that have published their Q1 financial results in recent weeks.
According to their findings, of the 25 S&P 500 companies that reported first-quarter earnings through April 12, only 8, or 32%, cited “Trump” or “administration” during their earnings calls. That’s compared to 16 of 24 companies, or 67%, citing “Trump” or “administration” on fourth-quarter earnings calls during by January 12.
Of course, it’s too early to draw a firm conclusion that CEOs are pulling back from discussing Trump on earnings calls.
So far, FactSet’s analysis has looked at only 5% of the S&P 500 companies, all of which reported before Wednesday, April 12. Many are scheduled to report earnings results over the coming weeks.
Just last Thursday, on April 13, Citigroup (C) CEO Mike Corbat weighed in on the president, saying on the earnings call that it’s “a matter of when and not if” Trump’s policies such as infrastructure and changes to the tax code get worked out.
“There will be ups and downs, wins and loss stuff like that,” Dimon said. “And what you see is a pro-growth agenda, tax infrastructure, regulatory reform and that is a good thing all things being equal. And we think that it should be helpful for Americans. To expect it to be smooth sailing, that would be silly.”
So CEOs are still talking about him. And there’s one thing they’re particularly focused on — tax policy.
According to FactSet, tax policy was cited the most by S&P 500 companies during the fourth quarter and first quarter earnings calls.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.