EarningsOutlook: If estimates hold, Q3 could see first earnings growth since Q2 2007

September 5, 2008


At this time, the estimated growth rate for the third quarter 2008 stands at 0.8%. On April 1, the estimated growth rate for third quarter 2008 was 17.3%. On July 1, the estimated growth rate was 12.6%.

If the final growth rate for third quarter 2008 is 0.8%, it will mark the first quarter the S&P 500 has recorded earnings growth since the second quarter of 2007 (7.7%).

Since the start of the quarter, most of the decrease in the third quarter 2008 growth rate (to 0.8% from 12.6%) can be attributed to downward estimate revisions in the Financials sector.

At the sector level, the Energy (60%) sector is expecting the highest earnings growth in Q3 2008. The financials (-49%) and Consumer Discretionary (-7%) sectors are expecting the weakest earnings growth.

(Ed’s note: John Butters is director, U.S. earnings for Thomson Reuters Proprietary Research Group. To see the full research on the outlook for third quarter earnings expectations, download the PDF here:


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

This article isn’t much use without a discussion of p/e ratios which, by some measures, remain very high and suggest the market remains overpriced.

Posted by Steve Davies | Report as abusive

John Butters really does his homework. Good one here, John!

Posted by Douglas Stambler | Report as abusive