NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 18, 2013) - The S&P 500 Index has continued its surge throughout this earnings and has topped the 1500 mark for the first time in five years. The S&P Index has posted a gain of nearly 7 percent year-to-date. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the S&P 500 Index and provides equity research on Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) and Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB).
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Signs of an improving U.S. economy combined with a relatively strong earnings season has helped fuelled the S&P Index's rally in the early parts of 2013. Of the 354 companies in the S&P 500 Index that have reported earnings this year approximately 74 percent have exceeded projections, according to data from Bloomberg.
"The early months of any year are often seasonally strong for the stock market, and this year was no exception," said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors, which oversees $380 billion. "The important question is, were those gains earned? Based on the earnings results that we've gotten so far, it seems as though they were."
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Avon is a leading global beauty company with nearly $11 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon is sold through more than 6 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives. The company reported adjusted EPS of $0.37 per share in the fourth quarter, surpassing analysts' estimates of $0.27 per share. Shares of Avon have soared over 40 percent year-to-date.
Campbell Soup Company is a manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals. The company recently reported that sales for the fiscal second quarter increased 10 percent year-over-year to $2.33 billion. Berkshire Hathaway's recent acquisition of Heinz Co. has raised speculation more deals may occur within the packaged food industry.
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