The Coronavirus Is Pushing Companies to Delay Quarterly Earnings

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In a note published Wednesday, Morgan Stanley strategists led by Todd Castagno said only 13% of companies in the S&P 1500 Composite Index have confirmed their earnings release date or announced earnings in the month of April. That stands in stark contrast to 45% of S&P 1500 companies reporting earnings in the same period last year.

“Delayed announcements likely signals continued volatility as the information flow is extended,” the strategists wrote. They warned that those delays could snarl investment strategies dependent on fundamental data.

So far, 35 firms have taken advantage of a Securities and Exchange Commission program that provides companies a 45-day extension for filing 10-K and 10-Q forms, the research shows.

“We expect to see a significant flow of extension filings the last week of April/first week of May, as companies file extensions” for the first quarter, the note said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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