The growth story isn't stopping here.

The first quarter of 2018 brought monumental 24.7% earnings growth for the S&P 500 , the highest growth since the second half of 2010. The rapid growth was due in large part to tax reform, which began to impact firms' bottom lines at the start of the year.

Many on Wall Street have expressed concerns that companies won't be able to top last quarter as the threat of a trade war, continued rising interest rates and what has been somewhat sluggish economic growth in some countries weigh on sentiment and expectations. That's reintroduced the notion of peak earnings into equities markets, spooking some investors into believing the fun could be over as the second quarter wraps up this month.

But that's not the case, according to FactSet research analysts.

They're calling for second-quarter earnings growth of about 19%, which is considerably higher than the 10.3% expected before the first-quarter reporting season started this year. Analysts said that, on March 31, the estimated earnings growth rate for the second quarter of 2018 was 18.6%. That's climbed to 19% as five sectors, led by energy, have higher growth rates today given upward revisions to earnings estimates.

Analysts found in their weekly Earnings Insight report that if earnings for the second quarter grow 19% it would be the second-highest earnings growth since the first quarter of 2011.

The forward 12-month price-to-earnings ratio for S&P 500 constituents is 16.6, above the five-year average of 16.2 and the 10-year average of 14.4, FactSet found.

Source: FactSet
Source: FactSet

FactSet discovered that for the the second quarter 61 S&P 500 companies have issued negative earnings guidance, though. At the same time, 47 companies have issued positive earnings guidance.

FactSet added that among the 10,909 ratings on stocks in the S&P 500 53.2% were buy ratings, 42.1% were hold ratings and 4.7% were sell ratings. Analysts were more optimistic on information technology, health care and energy sectors, all of which have 59% buy ratings.

Source: FactSet
Source: FactSet

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