DAVID ROSENBERG: There are 2 myths about a 'profits recession' I'd like to dispel

Earnings for S&P 500 companies are forecast to fall -2.8%, according to FactSet.

Ahead of peak reporting season, Bank of America Merril Lynch analysts noted that year-on-year profits were forecast to decline, causing what they called an “earnings recession.”

In a note Tuesday, Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg clarifies two quick things about this so-called “earnings recession” or as Rosenberg calls it, a “profits recession.”

  • First, the unprecedented nature of the oil crash meant that energy companies were bound to take a hit, and drag the consensus forecast for growth down.

Rosenberg notes that excluding energy companies, earnings are set to grow 6.2% year-over-year in Q1, 5.2% in Q2, 6.7% in Q3, and 9% in Q4.

  • Second, the decline in profits is not a reason to be bearish about stocks.

Rosenberg adds that multiple expansion is being helped by the strong dollar, and highlights that in the mid-1980s and late-1990s, when the economy was not in recession, FX headwinds and low oil prices also shrunk earnings.

But that did not stop the S&P 500 from gaining more than 30%.

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