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Alphabet, McDonald's, Caterpillar and GM are part of Zacks Earnings Preview

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 24, 2017 – Zacks.com releases the list of companies likely to issue earnings surprises. This week’s list includes Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL Free Report), McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD Free Report), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT Free Report) and GM (NYSE: GM Free Report).

To see more earnings analysis, visit https://at.zacks.com/?id=3207.

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4 Takeaways from Q2 Earnings Season

Earnings reports are front and center this week, with more than 800 companies coming out with quarterly results, including 183 S&P 500 members. With results from 97 S&P 500 members already out, as of Friday, July 21st, we will have crossed the halfway mark by the end of this week. The results thus far provide a positive and reassuring view of corporate earnings, which will most likely get strengthened and reconfirmed through the remainder of this reporting cycle.

Here are some of the positives that we can glean either from the results that have come out already or can reasonably be expected to transpire in the coming days.

First , an abundance of positive surprises. We typically don’t give this factor a lot of weight in evaluating or assessing an earnings season since we all know that management teams are experts in managing expectations. Even then, the trend emerging in the Q2 earnings season is noteworthy for two reasons. First, estimates for the quarter had not fallen by as much as had historically been the case. Second, the proportion of positive revenue surprises, a much harder variable to manipulate relative to earnings, is really off the chart.

Second , the earnings and revenue growth pace is steadily going up relative to pre-season expectations. Total Q2 earnings for the index are currently expected to be up +8.6% from the same period last year +4.7% higher revenues.

Please note that the +8.6% growth rate is the blended growth rate; it combines the actual growth for the 97 S&P 500 members that have reported with estimates for the still-to-come 403 index members. At the start of the quarter, the expectation was for earnings growth of +7.9%, which came down as the quarter unfolded, reaching as low as +5.6% just ahead of the start of the reporting season. Since plenty of results are still to come, the actual Q2 earnings growth could very well go above +10%, which will follow the +13.3% earnings growth in the preceding quarter.

Q2 earnings growth may be on track to come below the prior-quarter’s level, but the quarter’s dollar tally of earnings is on track to reach a new all-time quarterly record, surpassing the 2016 Q4 level.

Third , Q2 growth is broad-based and not dependent on one or two sectors. There is strong growth contribution from the Finance, Technology and Energy sectors in Q2, but we have 11 of the 16 Zacks sectors on track to produce more earnings than the year-earlier period.

Fourth , estimates for the September quarter have started coming down, but the pace and magnitude of negative revisions compares favorably to other comparable periods. Total Q3 earnings are currently expected to be up +5.4% from the same period last year, down from +6.3% at the start of July. This is a reassuring start on the revisions front, but we will have to see if this trend will remain in place through the rest of this earnings season.

Here are this early week’s key earnings reports:

Monday (7/24) : Google’s parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL Free Report) is one of three index members reporting after the close.

Tuesday (7/25) : On a very busy reporting docket with 37 S&P 500 members reporting results (22 before the market’s open), the notable reports are fromMcDonald’s (NYSE: MCD Free Report) , Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT Free Report) and GM (NYSE: GM Free Report).

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Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
McDonald's Corporation (MCD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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