Margins fall 32 basis points in 2012
Goldman Sachs' most recent analysis of fourth-quarter corporate earnings reveals that full-year margins fell in nearly every sector compared to 2011. Only the industrial sector saw margins expand during the year. Margins were flat for consumer staples firms, while the telecom, energy, materials and information technology sectors saw the biggest declines of 323, 70, 63 and 46 basis points, respectively, compared to 2011. Overall earnings per share for the S&P 500 index (ex utilities and financials), however, are up 1%, driven by sales growth of 3%.
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