AllMarket Outlook
logoArgusOctober 12, 2020

Daily Spotlight: 3Q EPS Season Gets Underway

Market Outlook
Bullish - Short term
Summary

Typically, the big banks are the first to report earnings. The second-quarter earnings season was historically bad, while coming in slightly better than abysmal expectations. Bloomberg, FactSet and Refinitiv originally forecast an approximately 40% drop in 2Q20 earnings; the actual decline was in the low-30% range. Specifically, the second-quarter decline for S&P 500 earnings from continuing operations was about 34%. Our model assumes a 22% decline for 3Q20. We had been looking for flattish earnings for 4Q20, but now expect a mid-single-digit decline in the final quarter of this extraordinary year. Taking all this into account, we reduced our 2020 estimate for S&P 500 earnings from continuing operations to $131, from a prior $133. On the other hand, we have boosted our forecast for 2021 EPS from continuing operations to $164, from a prior $161. Our revised estimates imply a high-teen percentage decline for 2020, followed by 25% EPS growth for 2021. Finally, we increased our preliminary EPS forecast for 2022 to $188, from a prior $183. Our 2022 estimate assumes 15% EPS growth.

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