Today, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “Companies Fret Over Uncertain Outlook,” which discussed various aspects of corporate profitability and executives’ outlook on the business environment going forward.
Fourth-quarter operating earnings topped diminished expectations, rising 7.3% at the 339 members of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index that have reported results, while revenue rose 5.9%, according to Thomson Reuters. But the companies warn that the current quarter will be more challenging, and analysts project first-quarter earnings at S&P companies will rise just 1.7%, Thomson Reuters says, or less than half what they were predicting at the beginning of the year.
Sixty-three S&P companies have lowered their forecasts for first-quarter earnings, according to FactSet Research, while 17 have raised them, the largest disparity since the firm began tracking the data in 2006.
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