Yes I am swept up in the hype of the release of the movie "Crazy Rich Asians." As an Asian-American, I am hyped to finally see a major motion picture with an all Asian cast which we haven't seen since 1993's Joy Luck Club. Please go out and support the film! But today's blog post isn't about the film, but about S&P earnings season which I'm calling crazy rich earnings. We have been bullish on the market because of the extremely strong earnings coming out of corporate America. While others have been warning about valuations (for years), remember that no bear market was caused by solely by over-valuation. How good has earnings season been? Let's take a look.
Hot earnings seasons
The second quarter earnings season has just about wrapped up with 95.6% of the S&P 500's market cap reported. Companies have beaten estimates by 5.3% with 76% beating earnings estimates -- this compares to 4.8% and 69% over the past 3 years according to CSFB research. The 2nd quarter expectations are for revenues, earnings and EPS growth of 9.6%, 23.4% and 25.5%, respectively. These are impressive numbers across the board. Tax reform has been a boost for US corporations with the tax change adding 7.9% to EPS. I'm kind of blown away by the thought that the economy is so strong that even without tax reform, earnings would have growth 17.6%.
The good news is that earnings are expected to continue to strengthen through year end with 4th quarter expectations for over 30% earnings growth.
Strong retail numbers
This week, Walmart and Home Depot posted extremely strong numbers which shows that retailers are still able to thrive against Amazon. Walmart delivered their strongest comp store sales growth, +4.5%, in a decade. Shoppers not only visited their stores more often but they also spent more per trip. CEO Doug McMillon said, "Customers tell us that they feel better about the current health of the U.S. economy as well as their personal finances. They're more confident about their employment opportunities." Home Depot also reported similar strength in their business. Sales on a per-square-foot basis climbed 8.6 percent during the quarter. It also said the average shopper's ticket jumped 5 percent to $66.20. Clearly consumers are feeling good about their financial outlook. This bodes well for the US economy which is largely dependent on strong and healthy consumer spending.