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S&P Dow Jones Indices recently reported foreign sales data for S&P 500 companies for 2012. In the report, S&P 500 Foreign Sales Edge Up, it is noted there is some difficulty in obtaining foreign sales data since companies are not required to provide a breakdown when providing financial reports. Nonetheless, S&P explains the procedure used in reporting the information. In the final analysis the data shows foreign sales increased to 46.6% in 2012 versus 46.1% in 2011. Some highlights of the foreign sales breakdown are as follows:

  • In 2012, European sales represented 9.2% of all S&P 500 sales, down from 11.1% in 2011 and 13.5% in 2010.
  • The U.K. represented 1.7%, down from 2.4% in 2011, which had risen from 1.4% in 2010. The result is that European ex-U.K. sales represented 7.5% of all S&P 500 sales in 2012, down from 8.7% in 2011 and 12.0% in 2010.
  • Asian sales increased to 7.7% from 7.2% in 2011 and 6.1% in 2010.
  • Canadian sales continued to be volatile, even as Canada boasted a larger portion of sales than any other single country. Accounting for 4.0% of S&P 500 sales, Canadian sales are down from 4.3% in 2011, but up from 1.9% in 2010.
  • Information technology continued to be the most successful (and exposed) sector in terms of foreign sales. In 2012, 58.6% of its declared sales were foreign.

The breakdown by sector is displayed in the below table.

From The Blog of HORAN Capital Advisors

Given the large percentage of foreign sales by S&P 500 companies, investor should be mindful of the impact of currency exchange rates as the foreign sales are converted back to the U.S. dollar. The country with the largest portion of foreign sales is Canada at 4.0%. Regionally, Europe accounts for 9.19%, Asia 7.66%, North America 4.73% and Africa 3.71%.

Source:S&P 500® Foreign Sales Edge Up (page 15)