Q4 Earnings: Energy, materials lag; financials, healthcare shine
Just over two weeks into the 2012 fourth-quarter corporate earnings season and with some 200 companies on the S&P 500 having published their reports, a sufficient level of data is now available to allow an assessment and draw conclusions from the progress so far, says Peter Garnry, Head of Equity Strategy at Saxo Bank, in this video.
The most striking conclusion is the underperformance seen in the energy and materials sector which have laboured under sluggish sales – a key indicator in the current climate.
On the other side of the coin, the healthcare and financial sectors have stood out as winners, with major US banks putting in especially strong performances. One really big surprise was Goldman Sachs which beat the consensus forecast for revenues of USD 7.8 bn and posted a spectacular USD 9.2 bn.
The last trading day of this week has two major US oil companies on the schedule – Exxon Mobil (XOM:NYQ) and Chevron (CVX:NYQ). These could well deliver a surprise on the upside given oil price advances. In turn, this could reverse the overall weak performance in the oil sector during this earnings season.
Next week will see us passing the half-way mark in terms of reports published by S&P 500 companies. After this, the market’s preoccupation with earnings will fade and the focus will begin to return to the macro environment.