If you missed John Mauldin’s weekend piece (2008: Annus Horribilis, RIP), have a look at these estimates for earnings in 2008. They started at $92 (early ’07) and came down to $48:
Not exactly confidence inspiring when it comes to stock analysts.If you want to understand why we prefer to rely on objective data rather than analysts, this is the precise reason.
On a trailing one-year basis, that puts the Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E) at over 19 as of today. This does not make the market cheap.
And what about 2009? Again, the analysts are in a race to find the bottom.
The current projections are for $42.26 for 2009. That makes the forward P/E 22. That doesn’t look like value at all, when the historical average is closer to 15.
In 2001, as-reported earnings were $24.67. Operating earnings in 2002 were $27.57. Does anyone think the current recession will be milder than the last one? Or shorter?
2008: Annus Horribilis, RIP