markets

Earnings Estimates for Companies Around the Globe Are Hitting Record Highs

  • Profit forecasts for global equities rise to all-time highs
  • Sanford Bernstein sees conditions as good as can get

Ward Says Be Prepared for More Difficult Times

Never mind the three bears, it looks like Goldilocks has introduced global analysts to her friend Pollyanna.

Forward earnings estimates for stocks across developed and emerging markets have risen to the highest on record, according to calculations by Bloomberg.

The bullish consensus on future corporate profits is not limited to one particular region. For stocks from the U.S. to Europe, Asia Pacific to emerging markets, analysts have been increasing their 12-month forward earnings estimates all year.

The stars have aligned almost perfectly for equities in 2017. Global growth has not only picked up but become synchronized across regions, while inflation has remained low, especially for wages, despite a drop in unemployment. As a result, the ‘Goldilocks’ economy has bolstered corporate margins and profitability, causing earnings to soar.

Still, as markets look forward to 2018, some analysts caution the bullish sentiment may be due a breather.

“While the upgrades are not so extreme as to make us worry about a sharp reversal, and this remarkably consistent positive earnings momentum could be a positive for the market in the near term, it seems unlikely that things can keep getting progressively better in terms of earnings expectations,” said Sanford C. Bernstein strategists including Alla Harmsworth in a recent note.

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