Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Just in from our crack team on the Calcbench research desk: a comprehensive review of financial performance in first-quarter 2018, looking at the data of more than 3,600 corporate filers.

The news is generally good. Revenue, assets, net income, cash, dividends — all up (anywhere from 4 to 21 percent) compared to the year-ago period. Capital and operating expenses, SG&A, cost of revenue, and inventory were also up.

Who were the big winners in the first quarter? To a certain extent, all the usual suspects. The five firms with the largest totals of net income were (in order) Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and AT&T. Apple, Google, and Microsoft were also among the top five in net income one year ago, with Facebook and AT&T in the top 10.

And the 50 largest firms by revenue accounted for 41 percent of all revenue, with the remaining 3,600 firms splitting the other 59 percent. Walmart, Exxon-Mobil, McKesson, CVS-Caremark, Amazon, Ford, among others. Again, all the usual suspects.

Trouble Microbrewing?

What is interesting is that we may have some trouble in micro-cap filers. Among all classes of filers we examined, micro-cap stocks had declines in capital expenditures, cash, operating expenses, SG&A, and cost of revenue — while all others stayed flat or had those line items increase from last year.

What does that mean? You tell us. We can’t help but recall one of our posts last week about the rising costs of SG&A and cost of revenue, and the implication that many companies might be stretched quite thin in their ability to increase profit. If a shock to the cost of operations comes (tariffs on raw materials, rising oil prices, rising labor shortages) that could tip your trend line into something like what we see with the micro-cap stocks.

You can download the complete Q1 2018 report on the Calcbench research page. It has more charts, more companies named as big gainers or losers, and lots of other data. We publish these reports after every quarter, so check back in late August for Q2.

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