The Long Odds CEOs Engineer Another Quarter of U.S. Profit Gains

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Alcoa Inc. will release its results Wednesday to unofficially kick off the season. Profit per share for S&P 500 companies is projected to be $28.55, 6.5 percent lower than this time last year.

Photographer: Stephen Morton/Bloomberg

For five years, U.S. companies have dodged the ignominy of falling profits, often by beating analysts’ estimates by just enough to push earnings higher than they were the previous year.

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