Quarterly earnings announced so far by companies in key emerging and developed markets present a mix picture of a demand recovery.
An analysis by European private bank and asset manager LGT Group showed that in the US, 66% of S&P500 companies had reported September quarter earnings as on 4 November. Among them, 78% exceeded earnings per share (EPS) estimates. In the Europe, 58% of the Euro Stoxx 600 companies released their third quarter results and 59% of the reported beat EPS estimates. However, overall EPS growth was negative at -4% on a year-on-year basis for these set of companies. In Japan, 36% of TOPIX companies have reported results, with 52% beating EPS estimates, added LGT's earnings tracker report.
In China, results published so far point to a slight improvement in year-on-year growth in earnings per share, said analysts at London-based research firm Capital Economics on 30 October. But the recovery was more lacklustre than analysts had anticipated and, as a result, downward revisions to full-year earnings estimates have outnumbered upward revisions in recent weeks, they added.
Back home, interim earnings review by domestic brokerage Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd showed that aggregate earnings of Nifty50 companies have been in line with estimates. “Notably, the trend in earnings revision has remained balanced so far which was skewed significantly in favor of downgrades in the past quarters. This can be attributed to the revised lower tax assumptions," it said in a report on 5 November. At the time this report was published 28 of the 50 Nifty companies had announced their earnings.
Although earnings of Indian companies got some boost from corporate tax cut, recently concluded festive season failed to provide consumption demand the much-anticipated impetus. So, investors remain in a wait-and- watch mode hoping that measures taken so far by the government and Reserve Bank of India will soon yield desired results and improve demand. Also, despite the government's tight fiscal position, there are rising expectations that personal income tax would be reduced in the upcoming Union Budget.
Meanwhile, various central banks worldwide continue to ease interest rates to reverse the downturn. Globally, investors are closely watching developments related to US-China trade negotiations, which if resolved even partially, will be a big trigger for corporate earnings revival. After all, disruption in global supply chains due to the US-China trade conflict is the root cause of poor business sentiments and anemic demand across the world.