Companies representing more than a third of the S&P 500's market cap will report earnings in the coming week, with investors expected to focus on results for tech heavyweights Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., as well as energy giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Eight of the 30 components making up the Dow Jones Industrial Average are scheduled to report, including Apple (AAPL) and Exxon Mobil (XOM). Additionally, a third of the companies on the S&P 500, representing $6.8 trillion in market cap, report results. The largest non-blue-chip S&P 500 component to report on the week is Facebook (FB).
Apple and Facebook earnings will likely fall under closer-than-usual scrutiny given that the tech sector has been getting clobbered this season with disappointing results from Microsoft Corp and Google parent Alphabet Inc, another revenue decline from IBM Corp, and announced layoffs at Intel Corp. For its part, Apple is expected to report its first year-over-year decline in unit sales of the iPhone, the consumer tech company's flagship product, and be the biggest drag on tech sector earnings this quarter. "If Apple reports actual EPS equal to or below the mean EPS estimate for the quarter, it will mark the first time Apple has been the largest detractor to earnings growth for the Information Technology sector since the calendar third quarter of 2013," said John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet, in a report.
Energy companies are going into the season with drastically reduced expectations, with those for the three biggest names reporting this week having plummeted over the first quarter. Since the beginning of the first quarter, estimates for Exxon Mobil dropped to 31 cents a share from 75 cents a share, those for Chevron (CVX) swung to a 13-cents-a-share loss from a profit of 55 cents a share, and expectations for ConocoPhillips's (COP) estimated per-share loss plunged to $1.05 from 19 cents, according to FactSet data.
The energy sector, as a whole, is expected to turn in a year-over-year loss for the quarter, the first time any sector in the S&P 500 has reported an overall loss since the financials sector reported one in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to Butters. The one upside to that, given the sharp rebound from sub-$30 a barrel oil prices seen in February, is that earnings declines in the sector will decrease moving forward, he said.