Corporate Profits Drop 1.3%

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Q1 2014 adjusted after-tax corporate profits fell 1.3% quarter-over-quarter to $1.88 trillion, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens as PDF) released today .

After increasing 1.9% from Q3 to Q4 2013, this latest report marks the first corporate profit decline since Q4 2012. On a seasonally adjusted basis, Q1 2014's year-over-year 5.3% increase paints a positive light on these latest numbers, but profits still clocked in significantly below Q1 2013's 6% year-over-year boost.

US Corporate Profits After Tax Chart

Diving deeper, both financial and nonfinancial corporations took a sizable corporate profit slide. Adjusting for inventory valuation (effectively removing inventory "profits" from revaluation) and capital consumption (effectively removing tax-based accounting gimmicks), financial corporate profits fell $70.6 billion, while nonfinancial corporate profit dropped $102.3 billion. 

Despite the decline in overall profit, corporate taxes actually increased from Q4 2013 to Q1 2014, up 6.1% to $457 billion. For the same period, net dividends dropped off 9.4%, nearly erasing Q4 2014's 10.5% quarter-to-quarter gain. 

This report serves as the Commerce Department's preliminary estimate for Q1 2014 corporate profits. New numbers are scheduled to be released on June 25, along with more industry-level details.

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