The Outlook For Corporate Profits Is Getting Worse, Yet Stocks Continue To Surge

sam ro rollercoasterThe guy in the plaid shirt looks familiar.

Photo: Sam Ro / Business Insider

To date, 454 of the S&P 500 companies have reported their Q4 financial results. According to data compiled by FactSet, 66 per cent have beaten analysts’ estimates, which is below the trailing four quarter average of 73 per cent.Overall, Q4 earnings are on track to have grown 5.9 per cent year-over-year.

The outlook for corporate profits, however, continues to deteriorate.  According to FactSet, analysts now expect Q1 2012 earnings to fall 0.4 per cent.

Last week, those same analysts estimated that Q1 earnings would fall just 0.2 per cent.  And the week before, they were expecting 0.0 per cent growth.

Two weeks we ran this chart showing how Q1 earnings growth expectations had tumbled as stocks continued to surge.  This bizarre trend is continuing and it has got be driving the stock market bears crazy.

Is something gonna give?

Anyway, here’s a sector breakdown of analysts’ current Q1 earnings growth expectations and how they’ve fallen since December 31:

chart

Photo: FactSet

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