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Forget Earnings: Play Revenue Growth with 4 ETFs

Sanghamitra Saha

The Q1 earnings reporting cycle has kicked off and will be in full swing over the next few weeks.  Investors will now probably veer away their attention from Trump to earnings. So far this year, the broader market story has been all about the continuation of the Trump rally, which started fading from March. But as Q2 unfolds, another round of earnings reporting cycle will take centerstage and decide the fate of the market.

Why to Follow Revenue Growth This Reporting Cycle?

While earnings alone draw the attention of investors mostly, we would like to emphasize that sales also deserve equal attention.This is truer for this reporting cycle.Let’s tell you why.

Earnings projections started falling ahead of the Q1 earnings season from 10.6% expected at the end of 2016 to 6.6% expected currently.  Agreed, the days of earnings recession are over but concerns persist.

For Q1,  total  earnings  are  expected  to  grow  6.6% from  the  same  period last year on 6.5% higher revenues as per Earnings Trend issued on March 29, 2017. Earnings growth will likely slacken from Q4’s 7.4% rate while revenue growth will pace up from Q4’s 4.7%.

Seven out of the Zacks classified 16 sectors of the S&P 500 will likely witness a decline in earnings while just two are expected to witness a revenue decline.

Further, investors should note that sales are harder to be influenced in an income statement than earnings. A company can land up on decent earnings numbers by adopting cost-cutting or some other measures which do not speak for its core strength. But it is harder for a company to mold its revenue figure.

Below, we highlight four sectors and their related ETFs that could be used to book some profits on revenue growth potential. Each sector poses positive revenue growth estimates for Q1 and offers intriguing fundamentals to protect investors’ portfolios if Trump slump grips the market.

Technology – Ark Web X.0 ETF ARKW

This seems to be the star of the Q1 earnings on both lines. Expected earnings growth for the technology sector for Q1 of 2017 is 10.8% on 7% higher revenues, as per the Earnings Trends published on March 29. The earnings growth rate is the highest among the other industries. Revenue growth expectation is also decent compared with the other sectors (read: Buy Hot Tech ETFs to Avoid Trump Uncertainties).

Consumer Discretionary –   USCF Restaurant Leaders Fund MENU 

The consumer discretionary sector is projected to register the second highest revenue growth of 11.2% in Q1 on 2.8% earnings growth. With the job market strengthening, wages rising and energy prices still at lower levels, consumers are likely to splurge on leisure and entertainment activities and products.

Medical – iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF IHF

Medical or Health Care sector appears one of the best positioned with a 6.3% revenue expansion estimate. Non-applicability of Trumpcare, an aging global population and the sector’s non-cyclical nature amid uncertainty can make the sector a true star (read: ETFs Deserving a Close Watch If Health Care Plans Fail).

Industrial Products —  First Trust RBA American Industrial Renaissance ETF AIRR

Though the Trump rally seems to have passed its best period, industrial stocks (one of best Trump beneficiaries) can see a few more days of bull run. The sector enjoys seasonal benefits in April. And the U.S. manufacturing sector is also in decent shape right now (read: 5 ETFs Not Likely to Fool You in April).

Global economic improvement also point to an expected uptick in demand. All these may be beneficial to industrial ETFs. The sector is expected to log 7.3% revenue growth on 5.7% positive earnings.

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