SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

October 24, 2012 08:20 ET

Collective Third Quarter Profits of the S&P 500 Index Expected to Decline

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on and Caterpillar

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 24, 2012) - The S&P 500 Index has performed admirably so far in 2012, gaining roughly 15 percent year-to-date, but is expected to experience a bit of a slowdown as we head into third quarter earnings season. Approximately 69 percent of S&P companies who have reported third quarter results so far have beat analysts' estimates on earnings, while 59 percent of companies have missed sales forecasts according to data from Bloomberg. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the S&P 500 Index and provides equity research on, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG).

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Collective third quarter profits for companies in the S&P 500 are expected to decline in the third quarter for the first time in three years according to analysts' estimates collected by Bloomberg. Analysts have now lowered their projection to a 0.3 percent drop in S&P 500 earnings for the third quarter, compared with an estimate of a 2 percent decline in late September.

"The market has been decently resilient," Tim Hoyle, director of research at Haverford Trust Co., said in a recent phone interview. "We went into the earnings season with very dire expectations. So far they haven't been specifically horrible, but there are definitely specific cases where we do see earnings came in weaker than expected."

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Amazon is scheduled to release their third quarter 2012 financial results on October 25, 2012. Apple's recent introduction of a smaller iPad is expected to be a major competitor to Amazon's Kindle Fire. IHS iSuppli estimated that Amazaon shipped 2.2 million Kindle Fires during the first six months of 2012. "A smaller, cheaper iPad will devastate competition," predicted Forrester mobile device analyst Sarah Rotman Epps.

Shares of Chipotle fell 15 percent after reporting third quarter results that fell short of estimates. The company reported their slowest sales growth in 10 quarters of 4.8 percent. "It looks like there is a little bit of slowing of consumer confidence," said Jack Hartung, Chipotle's CFO, on a recent conference call. "We've seen kind of a leveling off of our transaction trends."

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