Asian firms continued to receive earnings upgrades in July, highlighting sustained hopes of a recovery and optimism that equity prices will be bolstered in the second half of this year.
According to Refinitiv data, Asian companies' forward 12-month earnings estimates were lifted by 1.9per cent in July, which was the 13th consecutive profit upgrade by analysts.
Graphic: MSCI Asia-Pacific index's estimates change - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/akvezgjbbpr/MSCIper cent20Asia-Pacificper cent20index'sper cent20estimatesper cent20change.jpg
Goldman Sachs, which expects 35per cent EPS growth for MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan this year, said continued robust sales growth and margin recovery will be the drivers of stronger earnings.
"We expect 8per cent regional index upside in the second half of the year, but the path may be bumpy given the large number of macro concerns," it said.
After a rally in the first half of this year, Asian shares faltered in July, hit by rising cases of the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 in the region.
Australian companies led the region's upgrades in July as analysts raised their forward 12-month profit estimates 11.5per cent.
Analysts also raised their earnings estimates for Japanese, Taiwanese and South Korean firms by 2.4per cent, 2.3per cent and 0.8per cent respectively.
Graphic: Breakdown by country for estimates changes in last 30 days - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/byvrjobgzve/Breakdownper cent20byper cent20countryper cent20forper cent20estimatesper cent20changesper cent20inper cent20lastper cent2030per cent20days.jpg
"Japanese corporates have piggy-backed on the back of rising global trade. There are still potential upside surprises from inventory restocking, an upswing in global capex and a very sharp turn-around in European growth," brokerage Jefferies said in a report.
South Korean exports jumped to a record high in July, boosted by overseas demand for chips and biohealth products.
According to a Reuters poll, Taiwan's exports have likely risen for a 13th month as the global economy traces its path back to recovery with sustained work-from-home trends.
The earnings upgrades also came on the back of solid second-quarter results posted by Asian companies so far.
Refinitiv data showed 64per cent of companies that have announced second-quarter results have beaten the forecasts of analysts.
Meanwhile, China, Thailand, Philippine and Malaysian firms faced earnings downgrades in the last month.
Graphic: Breakdown by sector for estimates changes in last 30 days - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/zgvomwyqdvd/Breakdownper cent20byper cent20sectorper cent20forper cent20estimatesper cent20changesper cent20inper cent20lastper cent2030per cent20days.jpg
(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum)