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As the bulk of earnings season in the US recedes from view, it is important to see how well or badly the US corporate universe has performed. During the hubbub of the period, when company reports are in full flow, it is often difficult to gauge the overall picture.
Out of the 498 companies in the S&P 500, 453 have reported as of 10 August. Data from Bloomberg shows that only the oil and gas sector has disappointed overall on earnings, with an average miss of 6.4%. Meanwhile, only the telecoms sector missed overall on sales, by just 0.2%.
Overall, growth in sales has been up 10.09% over the previous quarter, while earnings are up by 25.5%. Earnings growth has accelerated for the past five quarters, as has sales growth, painting a very positive picture of the outlook for the US economy and US corporates.
In further encouraging developments, two key metrics have held at their post crisis highs. In the first graph, we can see trailing 12-month earnings per share (EPS), in dollars. This remains at the post-crisis high seen in the first quarter, while the second, trailing 12-month operating margins, are at near the peaks seen in 2014 and 2018: