Second quarter express leaves the station--but watch for revenue roadblock

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images

The second quarter earnings season starts today, with Alcoa checking in after the close. According to S&P Capital IQ, we are expecting an improvement in Q2 earnings for S&P 500 components over the first quarter:

Quarter percentage

Q1: 3.4 percent

Q2 (est).: 6.6 percent

Q3 (est): 8.8 percent

The Q2 projection is a pretty hefty number. It's typical for the final number to beat by two or three percentage points, so it's possible we could see earnings growth of 8 percent or more.

Pisani's market open: Revenues modest

The problem, however, is revenues are not reflecting big growth:

Quarter percentage

Q1: 4.0 percent

Q2 (est): 4.0 percent

Q3 (est): 4.0 percent

Source: S&P Capital IQ


1) It's hard to describe how big Samsung is, with revenues north of $200 billion annually. So it's a big deal when they say they expect a third consecutive quarter of an earnings decline due to weak demand. The company points to an oversupply of smartphones, which also weighed on its microprocessors and displays unit.

Samsung is struggling amid a smartphone market in developing countries that is nearly saturated, as well as stiff price competition in emerging markets. Mobile devices are a key earnings driver for Samsung, accounting for about three fourths of its bottom line. They are also a huge part of the company's business:

Information Tech. & Mobile 60.7 percent

Consumer Electronics 22 percent

Semiconductors 9 percent

(Source: Factset)

Consumer electronics cuts across cable television, printers, air conditioners, and refrigerators. However, it's dwarfed by info tech and mobile, which include computers and digital cameras in addition to smartphones.

2. Philips, which operates primarily in the healthcare and lighting space, said its healthcare unit will miss earnings estimates after production was suspended at a Cleveland, Ohio, plant in January, following an inspection by the Food and Drug Administration. Despite the warning, the stock rose after Philips also announced its healthcare chief Deborah DiSanzo will leave the company, with CEO Frans van Houten assuming her role of overseeing the healthcare division.

Even though healthcare earnings are expected to disappoint, Philips told investors overall earnings should be in line with forecast.

2) A slew of European banks are on the defensive Tuesday: Commerzbank, Banca Popolare, UniCredit, Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, among others. There is concern Commerzbank, may face potentially heavy U.S. sanctions for violations similar to those leveled against BNP recently.

--By CNBC's Bob Pisani