Earnings: On Your Mark, Get Set Crunch

How to use the Scoreboard data and give yourself an edge

While stock prices were volatile in 1998--first up, then down, then up again--the profit trend was clearly one way: down. Corporate profits dipped, revenue growth slowed, and margins narrowed. At the beginning of 1998, earnings for the Standard & Poor's 500 stocks were expected to rise 13%. The latest guesstimate is that they'll decline 1.1%.

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