Foreign exchange swings cost North American corporates US$18.66 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, according to a report by currency risk management consulting firm FiREapps.
Total negative currency impact rose more than four-fold in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter, and was the biggest since the height of the euro crisis, according to the report.
FiREapps analyzes currency effects on quarterly earnings of 846 North American companies, a subset of the Fortune 2000 companies that generate at least 15 per cent of international revenue in two or more currencies.
Earnings per share of North American corporates were hurt by $0.06 on an average, nearly double the 2013-2014 average and the highest since FiREapps began measuring the impact of currency swings.
A slew of US multinational companies, from DuPont to Procter & Gamble, have showed that a strong US dollar hurt their earnings, and several blue-chip exporters said the situation will get worse if the greenback holds its strength.
The number of companies reporting a negative impact was 6.4 per cent higher in the fourth quarter than in the third quarter, according to FiREapps.
A strong US dollar is hurting multiple sectors, including industrial companies such as 3M Co, technology companies like Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc, airlines such as American Airlines Group Inc, healthcare companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Pfizer Inc, and consumer firms like Procter & Gamble - which all garner a large portion of their sales from outside the United States.