Last days of US march quarterly reporting season

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

A test this week marks the last days of the US March quarterly reporting season. Only a handful of S&P 500 companies might be reporting, but a couple are going to be pretty influential, especially in the consumer sectors, with mighty Walmart and Home Depot, America’s biggest DIY group, both reporting on Thursday.

They will be reporting the same day as the April Consumer Price Index release is due and retail sales figures for April as well.

Seeing Walmart is reporting for its quarter ended April 30 and Home Depot for the March three months, the two giants (and the retail sales data) will give a good guide to the realities of consumer confidence and consumption and whether it is weakening, as surveys are now starting to show.

So far in the reporting season, 92% of S&P 500 companies have reported, with 79% beating the norm of 76%, and earnings growth expectations now at 10.2% yoy, up from 4.1% four weeks ago.

Tech earnings are up 38% yoy, with growth cooling, whereas ex-tech earnings are up 1% yoy, with growth accelerating. But Nvidia is yet to report; it does so on May 22, and that will go a long way to confirming the strength of the season.

Besides Walmart and Home Depot, other companies down to report are Conoco Phillips, Ross Stores—a chain of discount department stores—Honeywell, and Cisco.

Offshore companies from China, Japan, and Europe will report as well, including the likes of Alibaba, Vodafone, Allianz, Swiss Re, Singapore Airlines, Softbank, Sony, SAP, Siemens, and Baidu.

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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