From BTIG’s Dan Greenhaus:Along that somewhat optimistic (for now) line, we believe S&P 500 earnings in Q3 should come in around $24.50 which puts the index squarely on pace to achieve earnings of at least $96 in 2011, a bit above our long held $95 forecast. Of the seven companies that reported before the close — AA, PEP, JPM, SWY, HST, FAST, PGR — all except JPM had growth in sales and all but PGR had growth in EPS. What should not go ignored though is that the growth in earnings/profits is clearly slowing; if $24.50 is achieved, the YOY change in S&P earnings would be about 13.6%, down from 16.4% and 19% in Q1 2011 and Q2 2011 respectively. This trend is likely to continue into the first half of next year.
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