Fourth quarter 2012 earnings season kicks off today with Alcoa

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After all the anxiety about fiscal cliff’s and the U.S. debt ceiling in recent weeks, its back to good ol’ corporate earnings from later today with the start of the fourth quarter 2012 earnings kicking off after the Wall Street close with results from aluminium giant, Alcoa.

A report from Factset released last week (see below) has highlights the key metrics expected from the earnings season, with the most significant number being the 2.4% growth in expected earnings.

Investors will be looking for news from corporate America on the potential impact of several issues, particularly during the key conference calls with analysts which are freely available to read through transcribing services or directly through web links. These include the continued weakness of the European economy and the negative effect it is having on earnings, whether there are any signs of a rebound in China or whether demand remains subdued, whether the Fed’s intervention to stimulate the U.S. economy is showing results or whether Hurricane Sandy, the Fiscal cliff or debt ceiling is hurting.

For Alcoa, the company is expected to earn 6 cents a share in the fourth quarter, versus the 7 cents they forecast at the end of September.

Contrarian investor UK

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