Earnings
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Outlook 2018 - Earnings: RY, TD, BNS, BMO, CM

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The anticipation of tax cuts in the US was very positive for US markets in 2017. The pending bill for the Christmas tax gift package may or may not cause government debt to increase in 2018. It depends on how much it will all contribute to growth and tax revenues. This will start to show in the financial data during Q1-2018, the public get to have their say again in the Nov-2018 midterms.

Cutting tax rates across the board, and hugely accelerating the expensing of capital costs, is intended to boost economic growth by enough to finance the cuts. This is at least how it goes in theory. A 20% tax on $1 of income provides the same revenue as a 10% tax on $2 but doubling revenues is no easy feat. Comments this week consider the potential impact of major changes to the US tax code on US government finances and interest rates.

For a Canadian perspective, earnings updates include the five Canadian chartered banks; TD Bank(TD), Royal Bank(RY), Bank of Nova Scotia(BNS), Bank of Montreal(BMO) and the CIBC(CM) for their 2017 fiscal year. The fiscal year for Canadian banks from Nov-1 to Oct-31 is different from the majority of public companies that report earnings on a calendar year basis. Year-end 2017 earnings for the majority of large cap Canadian companies will arrive in the same time frame the first quarter earnings for 2018 for the Canadian banks. Collectively the earnings reports for the 5 banks with $4.6T in assets provide an important reference point for 2018. The following comments are for background, and will be updated on release of Q2-2018 earnings.

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