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IF IT’S CORBIN, IT’S ACTIONABLE

1Q18 Earnings Primer Investor Sentiment Survey April 5, 2018 CORBINADVISORS.COM

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Inside The Buy-sideÂŽ 1Q18 Earnings Primer

Issue Date: April 5, 2018

For over a decade, we have surveyed global investors and analysts on the equity markets, world economies and business climate. We share our research broadly with corporate executives, investor relations (IR) professionals and the financial community.

Market Performance YTD*

YoY

(2.9%)

4.6%

0.8%

9.8%

S&P 500

(2.0%)

5.5%

Russell 2000

(1.3%)

2.1%

DJIA NASDAQ

Survey Scope: 75 participants globally, comprising 65% buy side and 35% sell side; assets under management total ~$2.2 trillion

* As of March 29, 2018

Survey Timeframe: March 5 – 26, 2018 By Type

By Region

By Investment Style

1

Multi

9%

N. America

Financials

8%

Europe

IT

3%

Materials

3%

Other

52% 36%

20%

GARP

12%

14%

Industrials

32%

Core Growth

57%

Generalist

Asia Pacific

Hedge Fund

7%

VC/Private Equity

7%

Income Value/Yield

4%

Sector Specific

4%

Other

6%

18%

Core Value

8%

1 For multiple coverage, sectors include: Cons. Disc.; Cons. Stap.; Energy; REITs; Telecom; and Utilities

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Word Cloud: Frequency of Occurrence

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Key Findings: Strong Economic Growth and Earnings Momentum Continue but Trump-induced Trade War Fears Come Home to Roost #1

Will a Confluence of Concerns, Including Trade War Reality, Reverse Global Economic Momentum? Management Tone and Outlooks on Upcoming Earnings Calls Will Be Telling

 Inflation, rising interest rates and broad-based labor shortages are viewed as detrimental to economic expansion

while tax reform is expected to contribute 0.25 – 0.50% to 2018 U.S. GDP  Ahead of Trump’s tariff announcement and China’s retaliation, trade wars were at the forefront of surveyed investors’

minds with 74% expressing Moderate to High concern about the potential to derail growth momentum  Nonetheless, on the heels of last quarter’s results, more than half describe their confidence level in the global

economy as Relatively High or High

#2

Back to the Regularly Scheduled Program: 1Q18 Performance Expected to Be Strong; Tax Reform Expected to Benefit “Near-Term” Results

 90% describe 2018 guidance outlooks as In Line to Better Than expected, further bolstering optimism about

continued growth and earnings momentum  60% expect sequential earnings improvement, while more than 90% forecast results will be In Line to Better Than

consensus  Organic growth, EPS and cash flow still largely expected to improve QoQ but at slightly muted levels; margin

outlooks temper somewhat amid rising input costs  Despite identified concerns, investor sentiment and perceived upbeat management tone registered only slightly

below last quarter’s highest positive levels and outright executive optimism saw an uptick  Tax reform cited as the number one driver of bullish sentiment heading into 1Q18 earnings season

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A Lookback: Prior Quarter Came in Strong as Expected; Continued Positive Outlook Driven by Management Tone Despite Inflation Concerns Top Takeaways from 4Q Earnings Calls

1 2

“Good attention to spending and cost control; New tax law; No recession in sight.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

Positive Outlooks

“Working in a strong economy; Little confidence in D.C.” Buy Side,

Rising Costs, Wage Pressure

“Taxes providing a boost for 2018 EPS and cash flow; Management outlooks are generally favorable for business; Clarity beyond late 2018 is not that good.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

Generalist, N. America

“Cash flow strength from tax reform; Margin headwinds from inflation; Duration of the cycle.” Buy Side, Industrials, N. America

3

“Strong capital return in 2018; Credit quality is something to monitor.”

Favorable Macro Environment

Buy Side, Financials, N. America

“Tax cuts to drive capex and buybacks; Bonus and wage increases; Commodity price inflation.” Buy Side, Generalist, Europe

2018 Full-year Guidance Outlooks Vs. Expectations

Tax Reform Economic Growth

Better Than

“Tax reform more beneficial than expected for several; Economic momentum is still only improving gradually; CEO confidence is high and this should lead to more M&A and capex.” Sell Side, Financials, N.

63%

America

Macro

27%

In Line

“Mainly low-quality beats and raises, such as through share buybacks, tax reform.” Buy Side, Healthcare, Europe

10%

“Environment is positive; We continue to ameliorate structures; We will increase capex.” Sell Side, Generalist, Europe

Worse Than

“Prices seem to have bottomed out; Diversification wasn’t as beneficial as hoped; Companies with captive power plants will continue to fare better.” Sell Side, Materials, Asia

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Global Growth Momentum and U.S. Tax Reform Drive Continued Strong Expectations Expectations Regarding 1Q18 Earnings Performance Relative to Consensus

Tax Reform Consumer Confidence

GDP Growth Tax Reform

Mar '17

52% 49% 50% 48%

Jun '17 Sep '17 Dec '17

44% 36%

39%

43% 43%

38%

Mar '18 18%

15%

11% 5%

Better Than

60%

Expect Sequential Improvement

In Line

91%

vs. 72% Last Quarter

9%

Worse Than

Expect In Line to Better Than Consensus Results vs. 95% Last Quarter

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KPI Improvement Largely Still Expected but Enthusiasm Sees Slight Pullback Key Performance Indicators Expectations Versus Last Quarter Organic Growth

EPS Growth

61% 54% 46%46%

41%

63% 59%

46% 35%

29% 13%

Improving

68% 68%

Staying the Same

30% 27%

17% 8%

17% 7%

4%

Worsening

Improving

Cash Flow 56%

62% 52%

Staying the Same

59% 50% 35%

28% 12% 15%

Staying the Same

6% Worsening

40% 30%

53% 47%

29%

24%

15%

15%

3% Improving

15%

14%

Operating Margins

57% 32% 33% 35%

26%

Worsening

Jun '17

Sep '17

Improving

Dec '17

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Staying the Same

11% 7%

Worsening

Mar '18 7


Commentary on Earnings Expectations Vs. Consensus

Better Than – 43%

In Line – 48%

Worse Than – 9%

“GDP growth and tax cuts.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

“Weak USD, new tax laws, strong U.S. consumer.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

“No underlying gain in earnings; the market is driven by animal spirits from bad U.S. tax policy.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

“Momentum for our companies is very good and we expect that to continue.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America “Weaker dollar and higher tax benefits.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America “Strong global growth and low inflation pressure, especially no wage pressure.” Buy Side, Generalist, Europe “Tax cuts and improving economy.” Sell Side, Multi, N. America “Economic activity is very, very strong.” Sell Side, Information Technology, N. America “Strong real estate market.” Sell Side, REIT, Europe “Oil price and exports.” Sell Side, Multi, Asia

“Tax rate changes and positive expectations for GDP.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

“Leading indicators.” Buy Side, Generalist, Europe

“Earnings seem to remain steady or going up.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

“Index for Industrial Production (IIP) and GDP growth.” Buy Side, Generalist, Asia

“It’s a mixed bag on expectations; it depends if a company took a repatriated tax hit in 4Q.” Sell Side, Industrials, N. America

“Trade data.” Sell Side, Multi, Europe

“Weaker dollar is helping global large caps but is partially offset by trade fears.” Sell Side, Energy, N. America

“Anticipated decline in sales.” Sell Side, Energy, Asia

“Overheated expectations.” Sell Side, Information Technology, N. America

“Better environment and improved company structures.” Sell Side, Generalist, Europe “Higher fuel prices and increasing rivalry between industry players.” Sell Side, Materials, Asia

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Topics of Interest for 1Q18 Earnings Calls

1

Economic Outlook

2

Path to Expand Margins

3

Sales Momentum

Out of N. America

Out of Europe

“Revenue growth and expenses.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

“Guidance.” Buy Side, Generalist, Europe

“Mid-range outlook.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

“Tax cut and investment spending.” Buy Side, Generalist, Europe

“How they intend to expand margins and the top line.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

“Margins.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

“Market outlook.” Buy Side, Multi, Europe “Impact of technology and digitalization.” Buy Side, Multi, Europe

“U.S. macro demand.” Buy Side, Industrials, N. America

“General environment and strategic options.” Sell Side,

“Inflation and bank credit quality.” Buy Side, Financials, N. America

Generalist, Europe

“Tax impact and economic outlook.” Sell Side, Multi, N. America

“Margins to improve or not?” Sell Side, Financials, Europe

“Backup plans in case of real war.” Sell Side, Industrials, N. America

“Sales momentum.” Sell Side, Multi, Europe

“Impact of economic strength.” Sell Side, Information Technology, N.

Out of Asia

America

“Long-term outlook on the broader economy and whether individual companies’ fortunes depend on positive, underlying, long-term economic activity.” Sell Side, Information Technology, N. America “Outlook for the U.S. economy.” Sell Side, Financials, N. America “Input costs.” Sell Side, Energy, N. America

“Sector outlook.” Buy Side, Generalist, Asia “Hedges against possible changes in the global trade game, rising inflation and possibly slower consumer growth.” Sell Side, Materials, Asia

“Sales momentum, state of the balance sheet and cash flows.” Sell Side, Energy, Asia CORBINADVISORS.COM CORBINADVISORS.COM

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Investor Sentiment and Management Tone Remain Elevated and Near Highest Levels in Four Years Due to Strengthening Global Growth…Will Trade Wars Erase Gains?

Investor Sentiment

71%

23%

22%

Management Tone

66%

80%

75% 31%

27%

Bullish Neutral to Bullish 48%

44%

Neutral Neutral to Bearish

49%

48%

Bearish 12%

12% 15%

15%

2%

7%

4% 1%

Dec '17

Mar '18

Dec '17

15%

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22% 3% Mar '18

10


Commentary on Sentiment Drivers “Perhaps not as positive as I would have expected post tax reform but still reasonably upbeat.” Sell Side, Financials, N.

Bullish – 22% “Unit volume strength and a little inflation.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

America

“Conversations with management.” Sell Side, Generalist, Europe

“Taxes.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

“Exports.” Sell Side, Multi, Asia

“Market technicals.” Buy Side, Financials, N. America

Neutral to Bearish – 15%

“This year’s correction has been excessive.” Buy Side, Multi, Europe

“Tax cuts, an improving economy.” Sell Side, Multi, N. America “Underlying economic activity and positive trends in my segments.” Sell Side, Information Technology, N. America

“While macro and bottom-up data points are supportive of improving fundamentals, I worry about potential air pockets in growth in 2H17, especially as commodities have pulled back and management teams await policy before making significant capital investment decisions.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America “Not enough growth in the economy to sustain valuations.” Sell

“Strong underlying demand along with delayed capacity expansions.” Sell Side, Materials, Asia

Side, Generalist, N. America

“Trump’s plans are stalling in Congress and the market is too bullish on its success.” Sell Side, Tech, Europe

Neutral to Bullish – 44% “Worried about inflation and margins. Every management team we meet with discusses costs, especially labor.” Buy Side,

Neutral to Bearish – 7% “Trade wars, rising interest rates and slowing housing.” Buy Side,

Generalist, N. America

Generalist, N. America

“This is the most hated bull market ever. Valuations are getting stretched.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America Side, Multi, N. America

“The broader stock market is overvalued and technically overbought vs. our models. Healthcare (mainly Biotech, Spec Pharma & Generics and some HC services groups) stand out as being significantly undervalued.” Buy Side, Healthcare, Europe

“Again, global growth outlook and high guidance.” Buy Side,

“Increasing interest rates, tax rules.” Sell Side, REIT, Europe

“Listening to analysts and senior execs when interviewed.” Buy

Generalist, Europe * Bearish (7%)

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Tax Reform Expected to Contribute 0.25 – 0.50% to 2018 U.S. GDP Growth 0 – 0.25% “Unintended consequences and not necessary.” Buy Side, Generalist, N.

Tax Reform Impact on 2018 U.S. GDP Growth

America

“One-time gasoline on the fire and it hurts the deficit hugely.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

47%

0.25 – 0.50% “Borrowing from the future; rates will go back up.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

“Corporate tax rates had to be brought closer to international norms and the effect on fiscal [policy] is bad.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

28%

“Too much stimulus at this point in the cycle.” Buy Side, Generalist,

19%

Europe

“Short-term sugar pill but will do significant, long-term damage by increasing the deficit and will hurt U.S. long-term economic security.” Sell Side, Information Technology, N. America

6%

0.50 – 0.75% “Positive for companies’ EPS.” Buy Side, Generalist, Europe

0 - 0.25%

0.25 - 0.50% 0.50 - 0.75%

>0.75%

“Positive for economy but bearish for bonds.” Sell Side, Energy, N. America

>0.75% “Very, very positive.” Sell Side, Information Technology, N. America

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Confidence in the Economy Moderate to Relatively High with the Peak Anticipated in 2019; Trade Wars Largest Risk to Growth Momentum How Much Confidence Do You Have in the Economy Following the 4Q Earnings Cycle?

Where Are We in the Economic Cycle? 55% 48% 42%

Tax Reform Jobs Growth 41%

2%

5%

No Confidence

Relatively Low

31%

41%

11% Moderate

Relatively High

High

17% 13% 0% 1% 0% Early

6% 5% 5% Early-toMid Sep '17

How Much Concern Do You Have About The Following in Terms of Their Impact on the Generally Positive Growth Momentum Companies Are Experiencing? 37%

34%

22%

40%

36%

26%

23%

30%

Trade Wars

Rising Input Costs

Rising Interest Rates

No Concern

74%

Moderate

36%

Mid Dec '17

Late

Mar '18

42% 19%

17%

49% Volatile FX

Mid-toLate

When Do You Think We Will Peak?

15%

52%

30% 26% 21%

2018

2019

2020

10%

12%

2021

2022

High

Expect YE 2018 Fed Funds Rate to be 2.0% or 2.25% CORBINADVISORS.COM CORBINADVISORS.COM

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Top Concerns from around the Globe

1

Trade Wars

2

Interest Rate Hikes

Out of N. America

3

Inflation

Out of Europe

“Rates; Inflation; Geopolitics.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

“China’s growth; Fall of the USD; Trade war.” Buy Side, Generalist, Europe

“Rising rates due to inflation; Global economic deceleration; Federal budget deficit and debt levels in a rising rate environment.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

Generalist, Europe

“War; Federal Reserve missteps; Political turmoil continues in mature Europe.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

“Fast and too high of an interest rate rise from Fed; Surprising rise in inflation; Trade and currency war.” Buy

“Trade war; Valuation; Debt levels.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

“Global trade wars; Spike in commodity costs; Rising interest rates.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America “Trade wars; Interest rates; Irrational exuberance.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

“U.S. tax and trade policy; Lack of GAAP earnings; Brexit.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

“Trade wars; Global threat environment; Materials costs.” Buy

“Instability in Washington; Trade wars.” Buy Side,

Side, Generalist, Europe

“Trade wars are here to stay; China’s financial and housing bubbles; Brexit.” Buy Side, Multi, Europe “Trump starts a war with North Korea; Trump keeps on heading towards a trade war with the EU.” Buy Side, Healthcare, Europe

Out of Asia “Global Trade War triggering protectionist policies; Chinese demand slowing down due to credit slowdown; Rising tensions in the Middle East leading to higher oil prices.” Sell Side, Materials, Asia

Side, Industrials, N. America

“U.S. equity market valuation; U.S. interest rates and yield curve; Inflation.” Buy Side, Financials, N. America

“Fiscal deficit; Mutual fund redemption.” Sell Side, Financials, Asia

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Commentary on Confidence in the Economy

Moderate – 41%

Relatively High to High – 52%

“We continue moving along moderately but tax law could heat up the economy faster.” Buy Side, Generalist, N.

“Jobs and wages.” Buy Side, Generalist, N. America

America

“It’s been a long time since we’ve enjoyed even average economic growth and the time may have come.” Buy Side,

“Synchronized global growth, like everything else, tempered by concerns over U.S. trade policy.” Buy Side,

Generalist, N. America

Multi, N. America

“Taxes.” Buy Side, Multi, N. America

“General commentary on the markets.” Buy Side, Multi, N.

“Tailwinds will have several quarters of runway.” Buy Side,

America

Industrials, N. America

“Global growth.” Buy Side, Generalist, Europe

“Jobs growth, low unemployment and interest rates are still historically low.” Buy Side, Financials, N. America

“Current GDP growth is greater than potential growth and the world unemployment rate is close to a record low.” Buy Side, Generalist, Europe

“Tax cuts drive deficit and debt.” Buy Side, Generalist,

“Strong growth and tax reform.” Sell Side, Energy, N.

Europe

America

“The foundations of growth are still strong.” Buy Side, Multi, Europe

Materials, Asia

“High consumer sentiment.” Buy Side, Generalist, Europe “Tax cuts; deregulation.” Sell Side, Information Technology, N. America

“All companies have restarted their growth engines.” Sell

* Relatively Low to Low (7%)

“Conversations with management.” Sell Side, Generalist, Europe

“There are widening twin deficits that cause concern; however, inflation is in check with substantial government spending expected in the run-up to elections.” Sell Side,

Side, Financials, Asia

“Still not firing on all cylinders but management confidence is pretty good.” Sell Side, Financials, N. America

“Very positive tailwind from 2017.” Sell Side, Financials, Europe

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Concerns Dampen Enthusiasm but Outlook for Growth Still Generally Positive Global Economy Expectations Over the Next Six Months Eurozone

61%

29%

10%

-13 pts

+6 pts

U.S.

59%

27%

14%

-8 pts

+11 pts

India

49%

39%

12%

-2 pts

+4 pts

Brazil

48%

30%

22%

-6 pts

+7 pts

Southeast Asia

47%

46%

7%

-4 pts

+2 pts

LatAm (ex-Brazil)

35%

43%

22%

-7 pts

Japan

+11 pts

28%

58%

14%

-16 pts

Mexico

+9 pts

25%

47%

28%

-13 pts

China

+12 pts

23%

54%

23%

-1 pt

-5 pts

Improving

Staying The Same CORBINADVISORS.COM CORBINADVISORS.COM

Worsening

16


Markets Crying Uncle! More Expected a Contraction but Still Held Steady or Bought U.S. Equity Valuation Classification Mar '17 3%

30%

QoQ Investment Trends

67% 43%

Jun '17 8%

45%

Sep '17 8%

47%

48%

36%

34% 32% 31%

44%

30% 26%

Dec '17 5%

39%

56%

Mar '18 1%

42%

57%

Under

Fairly

18%18% 14%

Over

8%

6%

2018 U.S. Equity Valuation Expectations

Dec '17

40%

38%

22%

2% 1% 1%

Net Buyer

Net Seller Sep '17

Mar '18

23%

Expand

42%

Remain Flat

Holding

Dec '17

Rotating

Liquidating

Mar '18

35%

Contract CORBINADVISORS.COM CORBINADVISORS.COM

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Europe, Asia Equities Seen as More Fairly Valued and Generally Expected to Remain Flat Europe Equity Valuation Classification

Dec '17

26%

Mar '18

24%

62%

Under

Dec '17

12%

50%

Mar '18

26%

Fairly

Over

2018 Europe Equity Valuation Expectations

Dec '17

Mar '18

54%

37%

Expand

35%

44%

Remain Flat

Asia Equity Valuation Classification

24%

52%

22%

Under

Fairly

Over

2018 Asia Equity Valuation Expectations

Mar '18

19%

9%

26%

Dec '17

11%

67%

Contract

CORBINADVISORS.COM CORBINADVISORS.COM

52%

30%

Expand

39%

55%

Remain Flat

9%

15%

Contract

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Technology Dethrones Financials; Utilities and REITs Continue to Drag

56% 61%

Technology

73%

Financials

47% 47%

Utilities

47%

REITs

38%

58%

Cons. Disc.

31% 18% 24%

Building Products

41% 34%

Energy

38%

Telecom

31% 34%

14%

Energy

22%

44%

Healthcare

34% 42%

Biotechnology

Industrials

32% 41%

Industrials

22% 6% 21% 29%

Cons. Staples

29% Dec '17

32%

Cons. Disc.

Mar '18

21% Dec '17

Ahead of Tech Sell-off, Sector Expected to Outperform while Industrials, Seen as a Top Beneficiary of Tax Reform, See Pullback in Bulls

Mar '18

Bears Remain Committed to Utilities and REITs; Industrials Get a Double-heaping of Bear

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CEO-to-Worker Compensation Ratios: Little Impact on Investment Decisions1

If CEO-to-Worker Ratios Will Influence Your Investment Decision, Do You Have a Threshold Ratio? How Much Influence Will CEO-to-Worker Compensation Ratios Have on Your Investment Decisions?

10%

62% 90%

Yes

29%

No

If a Company Is Over Your Threshold, Would it Prompt You to Sell? 6%

No Influence

Relatively Low

3% Moderate/ Some

0%

Relatively High

13%

High

87%

1

Yes

n = 65 CORBINADVISORS.COM CORBINADVISORS.COM

No 20


ABOUT US

CORBIN ADVISORS CORBINADVISORS.COM


About Us

Deep Experience. Deeply Committed. Founded

2007

Team Experience

~200 Years Combined

Location

Hartford, CT (US)

Client Size

$250M to $150B+

Founded in 2007 by Rebecca Corbin

Track record of value creation and committed to the highest quality standards and client satisfaction

Extensive C-suite and board-level advisory experience

Thought leaders: Leading-edge research on investor sentiment and best practices; quarterly surveys regularly featured on CNBC

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Our Proven Methodology

We Deliver Insights and Advice Resulting in Measurable Value Creation

Our proprietary approach combines stakeholder research, investor engagement and communication strategies to unlock embedded value. Leveraging deep experience across sectors, market-caps and various company situations, we engage with public companies on both high-level strategy and tactical execution. Our candid advice and actionable recommendations consistently result in value creation. Contact: Jeffrey Goldsmith Jeffrey.Goldsmith@CorbinAdvisors.com CORBINADVISORS.COM CORBINADVISORS.COM

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1q18 earnings primer  
1q18 earnings primer