GCC-listed companies announced aggregate profits of $11.6 billion for the second quarter of this year, falling marginally short of analysts' estimate of $12 billion, said a report.
The shortfall was led mainly by Kuwaiti firms, according to the report by Bahrain-based Securities and Investment Company (SICO).
Forecasts were available for 124 firms compared with 103 for the first quarter of this year, with 57 per cent of firms announcing higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings.
The findings are included in SICO's GCC Equities - Result Snapshot second quarter research report.
Based on an analysis of 538 GCC-listed firms, their aggregate second-quarter profits declined 2.8 per cent year-on-year to $13.3 billion from $13.6 billion in the first quarter of 2012.
The report says 71 firms reported profit growth for four consecutive quarters, of which 48 have market capitalisation of more than $300 million.
Companies in the UAE and Oman outperformed those in other GCC countries, with 19 out of 25 UAE firms and nine out of 14 Omani firms surprising investors with higher-than-expected profits.
In absolute terms, only UAE and Omani firms surpassed analysts' estimates.
Nearly 70 per cent of Saudi companies posted better-than-expected profits, but their aggregate profit missed estimates by 7 per cent.
Excluding Bahrain, where estimates were available for three firms, Kuwaiti firms were the worst performers, with 73 per cent missing estimates, including leading names in banking and telecoms.
Real estate continued to be the best-performing sector, with eight out of 10 firms beating estimates for the second quarter of the year, followed by firms in the consumer sector.
In the banking sector, 22 out of 30 banks reported higher-than-expected profits, while the majority of companies in the building materials and telecommunications sectors missed analysts' estimates.
According to the report, overall trading activity in GCC markets dropped 37 per cent from average daily levels of $2.3 billion during the second quarter of this year, to $1.5 billion in the third quarter.
Looking ahead, SICO expects GCC-listed firms under its coverage to achieve a profit growth of 13 per cent year-on-year and 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2012.
Telecom, banking, consumer and logistic sector firms are forecast to report higher year-on-year earnings, while real estate and construction companies are expected to report a year-on-year decline in profit
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