Stocktake: A record-breaking cheating season
Most US firms have reported earnings and a record 82% have beaten estimates
The ‘Fearless Girl’ statue stands in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. Photograph: Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images
US earnings season is shaping up to be a record-breaking one. No, we’re not talking about record pandemic-related losses – we’re talking about the number of companies beating estimates.
Most companies have now reported earnings and a record 82 per cent have beaten estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices’ Howard Silverblatt.
Of course, earnings have been awful, just not as awful as companies had indicated; estimates had been lowered by 48 per cent, allowing firms to “beat” deliberately lowballed numbers.
Every quarter a majority of companies beat these rigged expectations; little wonder that earnings season is known as cheating season.