Energy Earnings Likely to Remain Weak in Q2, After Drop in Q1

With the first-quarter earnings season behind us, data from Thomson Reuters shows earnings grew at an anemic 2.3%, the lowest level in the last four quarters.
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With the first-quarter earnings season behind us, data from Thomson Reuters shows earnings grew at an anemic 2.3%, the lowest level in the last four quarters. You can blame that on weak results from the energy sector. Excluding energy, earnings would have been up a healthy 10.4%. Leading the way, was strong results from the healthcare industry. Sri Raman, a Senior Research Analyst at Thomson Reuters says healthcare really did standout in the first quarter. The healthcare sector experienced earnings growth that topped 18%, and was the strongest performing sector. Two companies that had huge growth in earnings were HCA Holdings (HCA), which saw earnings jump 61%, and Tenet Healthcare (THC), which had earnings growth of 116%, after reporting a loss a year ago. The second best performing sector was financials, which had earnings growth of 16%. But Raman says the number isn't as impressive as it looks. He says if you take out Bank of America (BAC) earnings, earnings growth rates fall to 9.1%. Raman also says results were driven by easy comparisons to last year. By far the weakest sector was energy, which had a 34.7% drop in earnings. According to Raman, energy earnings will be weak for some time now.