Wednesday, February 10, 2021
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People keep calling bubbles, but this cycle is just getting started.
Fourth quarter earnings season is rolling along and results to date have been fantastic.
As Sam Ro chronicled in Monday’s Morning Brief, through last week 81% of companies in the S&P 500 that had reported earnings so far beat expectations by an average of 15.2%.
At the end of 2020, we argued in this space that what had in part gotten investors enthusiastic about stocks last year was the anticipation of corporate results rebounding more quickly than feared. And indeed these results continue to confirm what the market has been out in front of for some time now.
Fourth quarter earnings results are currently tracking to a 1.7% year-over-year increase. In other words, corporate profits are on pace to exceed pre-pandemic highs even before additional stimulus, wider distribution of vaccines, and a more robust economic re-opening even take hold.
And while the rally in the overall markets alongside more speculative activity in heavily shorted stocks or some cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin (DOGE-USD) might have some investors nervous, this return to earnings growth is textbook early cycle behavior.
In his latest note to clients published Tuesday, Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at Truist Advisory Services, highlighted the following chart showing the present rebound in earnings tracking right alongside what we saw coming out of the financial crisis.
“Indeed, the earnings power of corporate America remains under-appreciated,” Lerner writes.
“This is aligned with the view that we laid out last summer that surviving companies were set to come out on the other side of this crisis more efficient and profitable than ever, aided by the acceleration of technology and productivity trends.”
Readers of the Morning Brief will be familiar with this idea from our prior work on operating leverage and how this force can boost corporate bottom lines as we return to economic growth.
We’d also note that holding a constructive view on the market does not mean Lerner or anyone else with this position is blind to elevated valuations, which are almost uniformly high relative to history. Though as Lerner notes, we haven’t exactly seen valuations rise over the last six months as earnings expectations have outpaced the market’s gains.
“The market is not cheap on an absolute basis; however, it also does not appear to be in a bubble either,” Lerner adds.
“Our work shows that it is typical for stocks to see positive returns but a notable moderation of gains after the initial snapback from a bear market low. In the current phase of the bull market, we continue to expect the driver of equity gains to be an earnings recovery.”
By Myles Udland, a reporter and anchor for Yahoo Finance Live. Follow him at @MylesUdland
What to watch today
7:00 a.m. ET: MBA Mortgage Applications, week ended February 5 (8.1% during prior week)
8:30 a.m. ET: Consumer Price Index, month-over-month, January (0.3% expected, 0.4% in December)
8:30 a.m. ET: Consumer Price Index excluding food and energy, month-over-month, January (0.2% expected, 0.1% in December)
8:30 a.m. ET: Consumer Price Index year-over-year, January (1.5% expected, 1.4% in December)
8:30 a.m. ET: Consumer Price Index excluding food and energy year-over-year, January (1.5% expected, 1.6% in December)
8:30 a.m. ET: Real Average Hourly Earnings year-over-year, January (4.1% in December)
8:30 a.m. ET: Real Average Weekly Earnings, year-over-year, January (5.3% in December)
10:00 a.m. ET: Wholesale inventories, month-over-month, December final (0.1% expected, 0.1% in prior print)
2:00 p.m. ET: Monthly Budget Statement, January (-$150.0 billion expected, -$143.6 billion in December)
6:55 a.m. ET: Coca-Cola (KO) is expected to report adjusted earnings of 42 cents per share on revenue of $8.64 billion
6:55 a.m. ET: Under Armour (UAA) is expected to report an adjusted loss of 7 cents per share on revenue of $1.26 billion
7:00 a.m. ET: CME Group (CME) is expected to report adjusted earnings of $1.37 per share on revenue of $1.09 billion
7:30 a.m. ET: General Motors (GM) is expected to report adjusted earnings of $1.57 per share on revenue of $35.88 billion
4:00 p.m. ET: iRobot (IRBT) is expected to report adjusted earnings of 20 cents per share on revenue of $484.6 million
4:05 p.m. ET: Uber (UBER) is expected to report an adjusted loss of 42 cents per share on revenue of $3.22 billion
4:05 p.m. ET: Zillow Group (ZG) is expected to report adjusted earnings of 28 cents per share on revenue of $739.15 million
4:05 p.m. ET: Zynga (ZNGA) is expected to report adjusted earnings of 8 cents per share on revenue of $679.00 million
4:05 p.m. ET: Sonos (SONO) is expected to report adjusted earnings of 98 cents per share on revenue of $589.83 million
4:10 p.m. ET: Spirit Airlines (SAVE) is expected to report an adjusted loss of $1.49 per share on revenue of $515.08 million
4:15 p.m. ET: MGM Resorts International (MGM) is expected to report an adjusted loss of $1.00 per share on revenue of $1.52 billion
4:30 p.m. ET: O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY) is expected to report adjusted earnings of $5.12 per share on revenue of $2.78 billion
European stocks rise as US and China inflation data comes into focus [Yahoo Finance UK]
Amazon-backed EV-maker Rivian aims for IPO this year [Bloomberg]
Lyft Q4 active rider metric misses estimates but co-founder says company is ‘like a coiled spring’ [Yahoo Finance]
Twitter warns user growth to slow, beats sales and profit targets [Reuters]
PepsiCo announces rebrand of Aunt Jemima as Pearl Milling Company [Yahoo Finance]
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