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Showing posts from April, 2012

Earnings Acceleration as economic indicator?

We are about to begin another earnings season so I thought it might be a good idea to review how the most recent earnings season turned out.

I have focused first of all on earnings growth; ie, the change in quarterly earnings on a year-over-year basis. The change was converted into a percentage growth calculation in order to compare growth rates across multiple quarters. For 4Q-2011 (results for 4th quarter 2011 as reported during 1st quarter 2012) the numbers are as follows:

Out of our universe of roughly 5600 stocks that we follow (ETFs are excluded for the purposes of this analysis), 1445 companies showed earnings growth in the most recent quarter that exceeded the earnings growth registered in the previous quarter. This means that 25% of companies actually showed earnings growth acceleration. That seems to be to be pretty solid results.

To widen our net a bit, I then looked at stocks who did not have accelerating growth but whose earnings growth year-over-year was at least still p…