March 17, 2020 / 3:08 PM / 13 days ago

Coronavirus outbreak seen hitting European first-quarter earnings further

LONDON (Reuters) - Expectations for first-quarter corporate profits in Europe continued to worsen as countries such as Italy, France and Spain went into lockdown to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Refinitiv’s latest data showed on Tuesday.

Companies listed on the pan-European STOXX 600 are now expected to post a 4.1% decline in earnings between January and March, down from a 3.1% drop forecast last week.

It’s a sharp deterioration from the 5% jump seen in early February, according to I/B/E/S Refinitiv data.

Analysts expected Europe to end its corporate recession in the last quarter of 2019 but the coronavirus outbreak quashed those hopes.

Reporting by Joice Alves, edited by Julien Ponthus

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