Citigroup kicks off Q4 earnings season on a strong note
The US Q4 earnings season started in high spirits as Citigroup posted strong results in its consumer and commercial banking divisions. Shares gained 4% on the news.
Head of Equity Strategy
Summary: In our latest assessment of the current corporate earnings season we take a look at three blue-chip bellwethers of the health of the Chinese economy.
China’s second-largest e-commerce business is reporting Q3 earnings today before the US market opens. Analysts are expecting EPS of $0.85, down 44% y/y as the US-China trade war is impacting growth in China. Analysts have lowered their Q3 EPS estimate by 49% in the past six months. Revenue is expected to reach CNY 100.8bn, up 26% y/y.
The divergence in top and bottom line growth is an indication of the margin squeeze that many Chinese companies have reported lately. Alibaba’s Q3 earnings also showed weakness so we expect JD.com to show similar trends. JD.com is particularly vulnerable during the US-China trade war due to the larger share of high-end cyclical consumer goods being sold on its platform. The company’s Q3 conference call will be interesting for investors to gauge the softness in the Chinese economy.
The US maker of farm machinery and equipment reports FY18 Q4 earnings on Wednesday with analysts expecting EPS of $2.45, up 56% (driven by tax reform and share buybacks) but expecting EBITDA of $1.16bn, down 22% y/y due to rising input costs. Revenue is expected at $8.63bn, up 8% y/y. Farm machinery demand is impacted by interest rates and demand for agricultural crops so any indications from management is interesting to listen to in terms of guidance on financial conditions.
The large German industrial company reports Q3 earnings on Wednesday before the market opens. Analysts are expecting Q3 EPS of €0.59, up 213% y/y with analysts having increased the Q3 EPS estimate 48% in the past six months. Revenue is expected at €10.5bn, up 2%. The company gets around 7.5% of its revenue in China so thyssenkrupp is a good indicator on housing and industrial activity there. This is an important earnings release to gauge the health of the economy related to housing.