Despite Tariff Fears, 2019 And 2020 S&P 500 EPS Estimates See First Signs Of Improvement

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May seem like a small data point, but this week showed the first sequential improvement in the “4-week” rate of change in the S&P 500 2019 and 2020 EPS estimate since – guess when – September 21, 2018.

At least for the 2019 EPS estimate.

The spreadsheet shows the actual data in the highlighted blocks.

Geeky stuff – but it’s part of what this blog is all about every weekend.

S&P 500 earnings data – by the numbers:

  • Fwd 4-qtr est: $171.87 vs. $172.03 last week
  • PE ratio: 16.8x
  • PEG ratio: 3.3x
  • S&P 500 earnings yield: 5.96% vs. last week’s 5.84%
  • Year-over-year growth of fwd est: 5% vs. 5.2% last week

Summary/conclusion: After the Q4 ’18 correction, the data was reviewed and I noticed the “4-week” rate of change turned lower around the 3rd week of September 2018. For 2019, the “4-week” rate of change has sequentially improved for the first time since that September 2018 date, so let’s see if the 4-week rate of change is an effective forecasting tool, at least in terms of earnings recessions. The S&P 500 “earnings yield” remains near 6% as it has the last 4-6 weeks, and that’s usually a good sign. Relative to earnings and expected growth, the market is not terribly or even unreasonably valued, and this is after a week of “tariff fear”.

One final metric: Q1 ’19 S&P 500 expected revenue growth of +5.6% is actually stronger than than Q4 ’18’s +5.1%. Health Care is unusually strong for Q1 and Q2 ’19 and I’ve asked IBES by Refinitiv for some clarification. Health Care revenue is expected to grow 14% in Q1 ’19, well above its longer-term average.

Editor’s Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.