RPT-Wall St Week Ahead-Strong U.S. sales could ease profit worries into 2019

RPT-Wall St Week Ahead-Strong U.S. sales could ease profit worries into 2019

(Repeats story from Friday.)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Sept 7 (Reuters) – A wholesome outlook for U.S. income progress stands to appease inventory buyers fearful in regards to the impact on company income from tax cuts carrying off subsequent yr.

S&P 500 income progress, which hit 9.5 % within the second quarter, its quickest tempo since 2011, is estimated at eight.2 % for 2018, in accordance with Thomson Reuters information.

While that progress is anticipated to sluggish to five % subsequent yr, it’s nonetheless on the excessive finish of the historic common. The falloff shouldn’t be as steep as what is anticipated for earnings progress, which acquired an enormous increase this yr from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that slashed the company revenue tax fee.

That could ease some buyers’ issues about profit progress, which is hitting its peak for the cycle this yr, whereas dangers are rising from prices associated to tariffs, rising rates of interest and a strengthening U.S. greenback.

“The revenue growth more than offsets any of the concerns we have on the earnings side,” mentioned Sameer Samana, international fairness and technical strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis.

“Of course there’s peak earnings growth. We had tax cuts,” he mentioned. “What we want to see is sustainable earnings growth driven by the top line, which is exactly what we’re seeing right now.”

The income good points are being pushed by sturdy demand from financial progress, with gross home product rising at a four.2 % annualized fee within the second quarter, the quickest in practically 4 years.

At least a part of the increase to income is coming from the strong U.S. labor market, whereas capital spending can be serving to, mentioned Bucky Hellwig, senior vp at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

Data on Friday confirmed U.S. wages in August notched their largest annual improve in 9 years, suggesting shopper spending will stay sturdy.

Rising wages are more likely to develop into an even bigger danger to earnings sooner or later, however that may not occur till 2020, mentioned Patrick Palfrey, vp and fairness strategist at Credit Suisse Securities in New York.

“Right now the earnings story is a revenue story. It is really allowing companies to continue to drive that bottom line growth, and it will be able to make up for any bump in the road from higher costs,” Palfrey mentioned.

Most economists polled by Reuters in late August anticipated financial progress to edge off the current four-year excessive within the coming quarters however nonetheless noticed little probability of a recession over the following two years.

The tax minimize package deal, the most important overhaul of the U.S. tax code in additional than 30 years, resulted in a surge in profit progress, making a peak later within the earnings cycle than usually, strategists mentioned.

Analysts have forecast S&P 500 earnings progress of 23.three % for 2018 – the best annual progress since 2010 – and 10.2 % for 2019, primarily based on Thomson Reuters information.

Earnings grew an estimated 24.9 % within the second quarter from a yr in the past, and analysts count on progress of 22.three % for the third quarter, primarily based on Thomson Reuters information.

Results can proceed to extend even after progress peaks, strategists mentioned.

For instance, S&P 500 earnings progress peaked within the fourth quarter of 2003, but remained within the double-digit vary for at the very least three years after that, whereas income stayed effectively above pattern in that interval, mentioned Nick Raich, CEO of The Earnings Scout, an impartial analysis agency.

In the final 80 years, S&P 500 earnings progress averaged about 6 % to eight % a yr, he mentioned, whereas sales grew about three % to five %.

“Early indications are that this is looking like 2003, where we could see above-trend growth persist longer than consensus expects,” Raich mentioned. “When you have this type of revenue growth, companies can extend above-trend profit growth.” (Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; enhancing by Alden Bentley, Rosalba O’Brien and G Crosse)

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