Corporate USA is on track to report one of the best quarterly earnings seasons on record in terms of the number of companies that beat market expectations with their profits. Nearly four out of five S&P?500 companies that have reported fourth-quarter earnings have beaten consensus forecasts on the back of higher-than-expected jumps in revenue, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters. S&P companies are now set to break a run of nine consecutive quarterly declines in profits. But the performances have not translated into increased optimism over the outlook for 2010, with many analysts cautious over the impact of the withdrawal of economic stimulus programmes and reduced rebuilding of inventories held by companies.
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