Tags: Analysts | slowdown | US | earnings

Analysts Warn of Slowdown in US Earnings Growth

By    |   Tuesday, 03 July 2012 10:35 AM

Europe’s financial crisis and the global economic slowdown will depress U.S. corporate earnings, analysts say.

That’s bad news for the stock market, of course, as weaker earnings mean lower stock prices.

The consensus forecast for full-year 2012 earnings has just begun to slide, standing at $104.55 a share for the Standard & Poor's 500-Index, down 0.8 percent from three months ago, according to FactSet, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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But estimates for companies heavily dependent on Europe, such as some auto makers, already have decreased substantially.

And Ed Yardeni, an independent economist, tells The Journal more forecasts will drop after companies release their second-quarter earnings and update their outlooks.

S&P 500 earnings will total $102 a share this year, he predicts. That would produce a mere increase of 5 percent, compared to hefty gains of 14 percent last year and 39 percent in 2010, as the economy began to rebound from the Great Recession.

"If there are any disappointments [in earnings reports], I'm sure most of them will be out of Europe," Yardeni says.

A Thomson Reuters study of 85 S&P 500 companies that have warned their earnings will be worse than expected in the quarter shows that at least 20 named Europe as a factor, 15 cited currency shifts, and 12 referred generally to uncertainty created by global economic conditions.

"Europe is clearly a headwind impacting demand for goods and services," Kathy Karlic of Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors tells Reuters.

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