Overseas demand is driving the best earnings season for U.S. companies in 13 years, with top executives from Dow Chemical Co. to Morgan Stanley citing rising foreign sales, a dynamic that should help propel gains in the second half.
With nearly every global economy showing growth, corporate profits in the second quarter have beaten estimates at more than three-quarters of the Standard & Poor’s 500 member companies. In every sector, at least half of the companies have surpassed or met expectations, with many also getting a boost from a sinking U.S. dollar.
“Growth was particularly strong in key regions of North America and Europe, where we grew sales greater than twice GDP, as well as throughout Asia-Pacific,” Dow Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said on a conference call to discuss quarterly profit of $1.3 billion, which surpassed analysts’ expectations.
While Europe was the source of earnings strength in the first three months of 2017, emerging-market sales were the driving force from April through June, said Jill Carey Hall, a U.S. equity strategist at Bank of America Corp. American companies with large overseas revenue beat estimates for sales and earnings twice as often as those with a domestic focus, she said.