Earnings reporting season kicks off next week. What investors should expect

Key Points
  • Earnings season gets underway next week when big banks and a few others release first-quarter results.
  • Q1 earnings for the S&P 500 are expected to have risen 24.2%, according to Refinitiv.
  • Analysts expect to see large earnings beats, but like last quarter, companies that did well may not see their stocks react on earnings day.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as VIZIO Holding Corp. (NYSE: VZIO) celebrates their Initial Public Opening.

Corporate profits grew at a solid pace in the first quarter, and companies, for the first time in a year, may share some insights into how their businesses will function in a post-pandemic world.

The quarterly earnings season kicks off next week with major banks, and a few other names, like Pepsico and Delta Airlines. The quarter's reports will provide the first results that can be compared to another quarter in the Covid era, since the virus began to spread rapidly last March, at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Analysts expect profits for the first quarter to be up 24.2%, according to Refinitv. But earnings for the second quarter are expected to be 54% higher than the second quarter of last year, when the economy was shut down and Americans stayed home.