The Fed is Subsidizing Corporate EPS
As we see miss after miss on the revenue line, companies have seemingly still been able to meet EPS estimates (or at least stop them from plunging). How? (outside of releasing any and all reserves), simple - fed funded share buybacks. Indeed, contrary to popular belief of other "business" sites, this is not a recovery driven by fundamentals.
Corporate share buybacks are on the rise, as companies struggle to figure out who else to lay off in order to hit OP targets in light of shrinking demand
Isn't this expensive you ask? No, not when rates are trending lower, and there are no more projects to invest in that will deliver immediate results (you kind of need demand for that). And thanks to the Federal Reserve, and banks (ehem, Federal Reserve) rates are indeed trending lower since the crisis began.
This all leads to corporations issuing massive amounts of debt in order to buy back shares, juice EPS, and pay divvy's.
In summary, things aren't always as they seem -- and the Fed is manipulating everything.
Sources: St. Louis Fed, NYT, SIFMA