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Analysts’ 2013 earnings expectations subdued for now but optimistic over the long term

The good news is that industry analysts may be ready to take a rest through the end of this year after cutting their S&P 500 earnings expectations during October's third-quarter earnings season. They continued to lower their estimates for the fourth quarter during the week of Nov. 22, but they did less of that for the four quarters of next year.

Their 2013 estimate edged down last week, but should start to stabilize around $113 per share through the end of the year and until the next earnings season in January. For industry analysts, the long term is 2014, and their estimate for that year edged up to $127 per share last week, a projected increase of about 12% year-over-year. So while forward earnings were showing signs of stalling recently, they should be moving to new highs again if 2014 estimates hold up.

Source: Ed Yardeni — Ed Yardeni is the president and chief investment strategist of Yardeni Research Inc., a provider of independent investment strategy and economics research for institutional investors.