After declining for five straight quarters, are earnings for U.S. companies about to turn a corner? Low oil prices, a strong U.S. dollar and weak industrial activity have dampened corporate profits. These headwinds could become weaker in 2017.
Already, aggregate earnings for companies in the S&P 500 Index have moved into positive territory. Preliminary results show earnings rose 2.8% year over year in the third quarter. That figure includes actual results from the 90% of companies that have already reported and estimates for the remainder.
The United States’ economy is in the midst of an extraordinary transformation, one that has the power to redefine America’s future. Across the country, the nation’s resilience in the face of adversity and its entrepreneurial spirit are providing unprecedented opportunities for companies and investors.
In the fall of 1995, Mike Kerr was a young oil and gas analyst visiting the site of a new discovery in Papua, New Guinea. After a long day spent examining the intricacies of the oil rig — thanks to the rugged terrain, a helicopter was needed to get around — Mike decided to join a half-dozen colleagues on a hike to take in the exotic scenery and clear his mind. The group came upon a handmade vine bridge traversing a deep gorge. As he made his way across the bridge, Mike heard a loud snap and felt the bridge give out from under him. “Okay, so this is how it’s all going to end,” he thought. Fortunately the bridge only dropped a couple of feet. He caught his breath and gently made his way off the bridge.