S&P 500 companies in the second quarter are expected to break their string of 16 straight quarters of year-over-year double-digit operating earnings growth, according to Standard & Poor's. Second-quarter operating earnings for companies in the S&P 500 are expected to reach $192 billion in aggregate, or $21.19 per share, up 9.1% from $177.5 billion, or $19.42 a share, in the 2005 second quarter. S&P analysts expect double-digit earnings growth to resume later this year.
"Our analysts are expecting a return of double-digit earnings growth later this year and for the full year," Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at S&P's equity research services, said in a news release. "While earnings growth slowed in Q2, it's important to note that the slowdown is not universal, with four sectors expected to report double-digit earnings growth, led by utilities (28.08%) and energy (26.13%)."