S&P 500 Earnings Data You'll Want To Bookmark

May.17.14 | About: SPDR S&P (SPY)

Summary

Retail investors don’t always have access to information that institutional investors can access in the blink of an eye.

S&P 500 earnings information can be a useful tool when forming an opinion about the markets.

This article provides 20 years of historical S&P 500 earnings data as well as recent forward projections.

I recently attended a luncheon at a local Fidelity branch during which clients watched a live broadcast of one of the featured presentations at Fidelity's "Trader's Summit 2014." The speaker, Jurrien Timmer, co-portfolio Manager of Fidelity Global Strategies Fund and Director of Global Macro for Fidelity Management & Research Company, gave what I thought was a balanced look at the "State of the Market."

Afterward, a regional representative from Fidelity took questions from the local audience. At one point, the conversation shifted to earnings and valuations, and a client noted that while he is able to find earnings information for individual stocks, he struggles to find the same type of data for the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY). Several other clients immediately concurred.

With that in mind, and in the hope of helping any retail investors who struggle to find such information, this article provides historical-and-projected operating earnings and as-reported earnings for the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:IVV). To the historical data, I also add year-end values of the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:VOO).

The table below shows 20 years of historical data:

Year End

Operating Earnings

As-Reported Earnings

S&P 500

2013

$107.30

$100.20

1848.36

2012

$96.82

$86.51

1426.19

2011

$96.44

$86.95

1257.60

2010

$83.77

$77.35

1257.64

2009

$56.86

$50.97

1115.10

2008

$49.51

$14.88

903.25

2007

$82.54

$66.18

1468.36

2006

$87.72

$81.51

1418.30

2005

$76.45

$69.93

1248.29

2004

$67.68

$58.55

1211.92

2003

$54.69

$48.74

1111.92

2002

$46.04

$27.59

879.82

2001

$38.85

$24.69

1148.08

2000

$56.13

$50.00

1320.28

1999

$51.68

$48.17

1469.25

1998

$44.27

$37.71

1229.23

1997

$44.01

$39.72

970.43

1996

$40.63

$38.73

740.74

1995

$37.70

$33.96

615.93

1994

$31.75

$30.60

459.27

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The table that follows shows forward earnings estimates for the S&P 500 as provided by S&P Dow Jones Indices:

Year End

Operating Earnings Estimates (bottom up)

As-Reported Earnings Estimates (top down)

S&P 500 on 5/16/2014

2015

$137.34

$144.60

1877.86

2014

$119.71

$114.40

1877.86

Q2, 2014

$112.01

$104.71

1877.86

Click to enlarge

Investors looking for suggestions about how to think about this data might find the following of interest:

1. Using the historical earnings data, you can easily calculate both year-end P/Es and rolling P/Es for a variety of time periods. This will be useful for investors who like to track trailing P/Es.

2. Regarding forecasted earnings, seeing the actual estimates, rather than simply hearing from market pundits what the forward P/Es are, helps puts into perspective just what it will take to reach those forward P/Es that professionals use to justify a cheap market. At this time, analysts are forecasting 14.73% earnings growth for 2015, and 6.87% earnings growth for the second half of 2014. To even have a chance of reaching that year end 2015 number, I think corporations are going to have to put the cost cutting and stock buybacks into overdrive.

3. It is also worth noting the difference between operating earnings and as-reported earnings. When you hear market pundits quote P/Es, they are most likely using operating earnings.

Disclosure: I am long SPY. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.