Earnings Outlook: 5 trends you need to follow this earnings season to make sure your investments are on track. Yes, inflation is one.

by | Oct 12, 2022 | Stock Market

The third-quarter earning season kicks off this week with the first reports from big banks and investors can expect many of the same themes and talking points seen earlier this year. Inflation, supply-chain snags, the strong dollar and consumer spending are all expected to feature prominently in releases and on conference calls with analysts, along with evidence of slowing demand that’s already showing up in profit and revenue warnings in recent weeks.

Read also: Chip stocks could suffer worst year ever as effects of shortage-turned-glut spread The overall season is expected to show per-share earnings growth for the S&P 500 of just 2.4% compared with the year-earlier period. But that number would drop to a 4% decline if it weren’t for the energy sector, which has outperformed all year amid strong oil and gas prices and record profits for energy companies. That was already the case in the second quarter, excluding energy. For more, see: S&P 500 would be in an ‘earnings recession’ if not for this one booming sector — but that may not last long As always, MarketWatch will be closely following earnings and bringing you the numbers in real time. But we’ve decided to take a slightly different approach to this preview. Instead of telling you what to expect, we want to guide you on how to get beyond the headline metrics to really see how individual companies and sectors are faring in the current challenging macroenvironment. That means not just looking at earnings releases, but scrutinizing the conference calls virtually every company holds with analysts, where some of the juiciest information can be found. Companies take earnings calls seriously. They often rehearse for them and try to anticipate what questions might arise. At the same time, the clubby familiarity between analysts and the companies they cover can encourage executives to drop their guard with some surprising outcomes. Here are the five trends we believe investors should be payin …

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