NEW YORK:

With results in from about two-thirds of companies, fourth-quarter 2023 S&P 500, tab earnings growth is now seen at 9.0%, almost double a Jan 1 forecast for 4.7% growth, according to LSEG data on Friday.

About 81% of reports are beating analysts’ expectations, compared with an average of 76% in the previous four reporting periods, the data showed.

“A lot of the surprises were in the earnings,” rather than in revenues, said Tim Ghriskey, senior portfolio strategist at Ingalls & Snyder. “So that simply means expanding margins,” he said. “There are a lot of headlines about companies reducing workforce. It’s companies wanting to be leaner and meaner.” The opening up of the supply chain also has helped companies, he said.

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S&P 500 rises to highest close of 2023

So far for the fourth quarter of 2023, 63.6% of reports are beating analyst revenue expectations, compared with an average of 66% over the past four reporting periods, based on LSEG data.

Revenue growth of 3.4% is now expected for S&P 500 companies in the fourth quarter over a year earlier. That is up slightly from a Jan 1 forecast for 2.6% growth, the data showed.

Paramount Global, CEO Bob Bakish on Jan 25 outlined the company’s strategic priorities, including that the company will continue to reduce its workforce globally.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2024.

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