Wall Street analysts have set the bar high for corporate America when it starts reporting earnings later this week. Or at least, their expectations aren’t as low as they usually are.
In the fourth quarter, analysts who forecast earnings metrics for the S&P 500 companies they cover made the smallest cuts to their estimates for any quarter since 2010, according to FactSet.
They lowered the bottom-up earnings-per-share estimate by 0.3%, to $34.90 from $35. That’s smaller than the average quarterly decline during the past year (-3.1%) and during the past five years (-4.2%), FactSet’s data showed.