STRONG EARNINGS MOMENTUM TO START 2022
Corporate America has capped off an outstanding 2021 with an excellent fourth quarter earnings season so far. Entering 2021, the consensus estimate for S&P 500 Index earnings per share (EPS) was less than $170. Now with fourth quarter results mostly in the books, that number is 22% higher at $208. Here we recap another solid fourth quarter earnings season and discuss what the results could mean for earnings growth and stock market performance in 2022.
DELAYED INVESTOR SHIFT FROM MACRO TO MICRO
n our earnings preview on January 10, we noted that we welcomed a shift from the macro to the micro. Well, given the path of inflation, the resulting dramatic shift in Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike expectations, and the escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict, that shift hasn’t really happened. However, when we turn our attention away from macro headlines to corporate America, we find that companies have again showcased their ability to effectively manage through the pandemic’s challenges, notably supply chain disruptions and labor and materials shortages that have pushed costs higher.