First-quarter earnings season is close to over, and it looks like it may be the worst once since the Great Recession. Overall profits for S&P 500 companies in the quarter so far have been their weakest in six and a half years.
A full 98.4 percent of S&P 500 companies have now reported as of yesterday, and earnings per share is down 7 percent from a year ago, according to FactSet. That's the biggest drop since the third quarter of 2009. On the heels of a 3.2 percent decline in the fourth quarter, it also marks the fourth straight quarter of year-over-year earnings declines.
With oil prices continuing to be low, energy was the worst performer, with a staggering 108 percent decline in earnings for the quarter.The materials subsector was second weakest with a 14.5 percent decline, followed by the financial sector, which was down 12.2 percent.