Unexpectedly Intriguing!
19 February 2014

Roughly every three months, we take a snapshot of Standard & Poor's earnings forecast for the S&P 500's earnings per share. The chart below shows what's changed since our last snapshot of earnings forecasts in November 2013:

Forecasts for S&P 500 Trailing Twelve Month Earnings per Share, 2010-2014, 12 February 2014 Snapshot

Looking just at the fourth quarter of 2013, there isn't much change, as the S&P 500's expected trailing year earnings per share clocked in at $101.43, up $3.61 per share from the figure reported on 14 November 2013.

But check out what happened with forecast earnings going throughout 2014! It would appear that S&P's forecast for earnings through 2014 dramatically shifted upward in each quarter. Looking ahead at the new expectation for earnings at the end of 2014, we see that the amount of trailing year earnings per share increased to $120.60 from $108.11 per share, a jump of $12.49, or nearly 12% from what was expected just three months ago.

Beyond 2014, S&P's Howard Silverblatt, has begun projecting the S&P 500's earnings per share through the end of 2015, but at present, he is still populating the data behind the forecasts (he anticipates the double-digit gains he shows through the end of 2014 will carry through 2015 from the data he has populated already.) We're going to hold out showing that forecast until our next snapshot, when we'll expand our chart to extend through the end of 2015.

Data Source

Silverblatt, Howard. S&P Indices Market Attribute Series. S&P 500 Monthly Performance Data. S&P 500 Earnings and Estimate Report. [Excel Spreadsheet]. Last Updated 12 February 2014. Accessed 15 February 2014.

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