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Most sectors of the U.S. economy had a stellar second quarter, with about 80% of S&P 500 companies reporting positive earnings surprises.
Plus, the earnings surprises averaged 25%, the second-highest level since the third quarter of 2010, according to FactSet, which recently shared data on firms reporting second-quarter earnings through Aug. 10.
In addition, there was a 3% beat on the sales side, with year-over-year revenue rising 10% on average.
As for the financial sector, its earnings rose 21% on average in the quarter. Of these firms, 64% reported earnings that topped estimates.
In the broker-dealer space, the average earnings-per-share increase in the March-to-June quarter was 38%, and net income improved an average of 35%, according to figures complied by ThinkAdvisor.
Several of the 12 firms highlighted in this slideshow had a notable turnaround in their performance, rising up in the ranks in the quarter.
In terms of stock performance, the iShares U.S. Broker-Dealer ETF (IAI) is up about 3.6% this year, while the iShares U.S. Financial Services ETF (IYG) has improved nearly 5% through Aug. 24 vs. 7% for the S&P 500.
Only one firm posted negative earnings growth in the most recent quarter.
As for what’s next, Stifel Financial Chairman and CEO Ronald Kruszewski said in a statement: “Barring a significant change in market conditions in the second half of the year, we expect that increases in investment banking and recruiting activity … will lead to improved results vs. the first half of the year.”
All figures cited in the slideshow reflect year-over-year changes in performance.
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