As earnings season heats up, it's an opportune time to examine analysts' quarterly expectations. Over the three months ended Sept. 30, analysts lowered their earnings per share estimates for S&P companies by an aggregate of 6.6%, to a median of $55.51. The quarterly decrease compares to 1% and 1.2% declines during the first and second quarters, respectively. Before the start of this year, analysts raised their estimates for six consecutive quarters.
Analysts lower S&P 500 quarterly earnings estimates
Analysts increased their third-quarter earnings estimates by 7.9% for the energy sector and lowered them for the other 10 sectors. Consumer discretionary, communication services, and materials saw the biggest drop in quarterly estimates.
An analysis of third-quarter earnings guidance provided by management shows that 41 companies gave a higher outlook than the consensus estimate and 65 were below. The last time more companies issued positive guidance than negative was a year ago.
The real estate sector was the only one that had more companies issuing positive earnings guidance than a negative one.