Category Archives: corporate earnings

31/7/19: Fed rate cut won’t move the needle on ‘Losing Globally’ Trade Wars impacts

Dear investors, welcome to the Trump Trade Wars, where 'winning bigly' is really about 'losing globally':

As the chart above, via FactSet, indicates, companies in the S&P500 with global trading exposures are carrying the hefty cost of the Trump wars. In 2Q 2019, expected earnings for those S&P500 firms with more than 50% revenues exposure to global (ex-US markets) are expected to fall a massive 13.6 percent. Revenue declines for these companies are forecast at 2.4%.

This is hardly surprising. U.S. companies trading abroad are facing the following headwinds:

  1. Trump tariffs on inputs into production are resulting in slower deflation in imports costs by the U.S. producers than for other economies (as indicated by this evidence:
  2. At the same time, countries' retaliatory measures against the U.S. exporters are hurting U.S. exports (U.S. exports are down 2.7 percent in June).
  3. U.S. dollar is up against major currencies, further reducing exporters' room for price adjustments.
Three sectors are driving S&P500 earnings and revenues divergence for globally-trading companies:
  • Industrials,
  • Information Technology,
  • Materials, and 
  • Energy.
What is harder to price in, yet is probably material to these trends, is the adverse reputational / demand effects of the Trump Administration policies on the ability of American companies to market their goods and services abroad. The Fed rate cut today is a bit of plaster on the gaping wound inflicted onto U.S. internationally exporting companies by the Trump Trade Wars. If the likes of ECB, BoJ and PBOC counter this move with their own easing of monetary conditions, the trend toward continued concentration of the U.S. corporate earnings and revenues in the U.S. domestic markets will persist. 

17/5/16: US Earnings Recession: Four Quarters Long… but How Much Longer?

Recently, I have been highlighting in my Risk & Resilience course for MBAs at MIIS and on this blog the perils of corporate earnings gaming, including the rather worrying trend toward companies posting negative net cash flows (basically using debt to fund shares repurchases).

Here are two of my lecture slides from two weeks ago:

And to add to the pile of evidence, as 1Q 16 earnings rolled in, the numbers were coming in at a frankly put brutal squeeze: we had the fourth consecutive quarter for the S&P 500 earnings running in the red, with 1Q 16 decline being the steepest since 2008-2009 at 6.3%:

However, some interesting insight on the matter of forward earnings guidance was recently published by the Deutsche Bank Research and here is a link to the article discussing it:

Yes, DB's model for earnings for S&P500 is an interesting one. No, without seeing actual standard econometric tests, I can't tell if it makes any sense in reality or not (just because it has high R-sq means diddly nada without knowing how the residuals behave). And no, I am not sure I am buying the idea of 'all factors in favour' arguments presented by DB Research. I am, however, pretty certain that probabilistically a bet should be for more moderate earnings performance in 2Q compared to 1Q, which of course will prompt DB Research lads cheering confirmation of their own model. So I am skeptical, but... still, the article is worth a read.