Another earnings season, another crop of tremendous earnings beats.
According to data from FactSet's most recent estimates, 53% of S&P 500 companies have reported results for the quarter ended March 31, 2018. Among that majority, a whopping 79% of companies have reported a positive earnings surprise and 74% a positive sales surprise.
If 79% comes in as the final percentage of companies that beat Wall Street forecasts for the quarter, it will mark the highest percentage since FactSet began tracking the data in the third quarter of 2008.
Earnings growth also has boomed, with the blended earnings growth rate for the first quarter among S&P 500 companies at 23.2%, so far the highest quarterly earnings growth rate since the third quarter of 2010.
FactSet analysts found that all 11 sectors that constitute the S&P 500 have higher growth rates today than they did at the end of the first quarter because of positive earnings surprises. The estimated earnings growth rate for the first quarter on March 31, 2018, was 17.1%.
But moving into the second quarter may not be quite so rosy, FactSet suggested. For the second quarter, 26 S&P 500 companies have issued negative earnings guidance while 21 companies have issued positive guidance.
The forward 12-month price to earnings ratio for the S&P 500 currently comes in at 16.3. That's above both the five-year average, which is 16.1, and the 10-year average, which is 14.3.