Earnings Season Begins with a Miss or 3

Despite all the demand for Aluminum and the supposedly robust economy, Alcoa’s number’s were pretty punk Tuesday night. Doug Kass is right on top of it:

The earnings season started off with a whiff, resembling Alex
Rodriguez’s pathetic hitting and fielding and the New York Yankees’ postseason
disaster over the last week.

  • Genentech (DNA) struck out on a full count as several metrics failed
    to meet expectations. While Lucentis dramatically beat forecasts, its old
    drug drivers stalled.

  • Alcoa (AA) whiffed on three straight pitches as cost pressures, mill
    outages and weakness in residential construction (remember the multiplier effect I have been emphasizing!) contributed
    to a large miss.

  • Legg Mason (LM) also struck out on three consecutive pitches as the
    company guided lower on a revenue shortfall and a product mix change towards
    lower yielding fixed income. (Mother Merrill cut the stock to a sell this
  • Alcoa and Legg traded much llower, while the bulls
    all claimed these were "company-specific misses" and not indicative
    of a new corporate profit trend. Indeed, since then, Pepsi’s (PEP) numbers were very good, and so too appears Lam Research (LRCX).

    Kass notes what this potentially means to this quarter’s reporting:

    "First, these misses are consistent with my outlook for lumpy and uneven growth in the next few years. As I have repeated often, exiting a world of aggressive stimuli (fiscal and monetary) will produce a period of choppiness, providing a challenge for corporate managers to navigate. This is not a P/E multiple expanding development.

    Second, the broad scope and implications of a protracted and hard landing for housing is not being adequately reflected in overall corporate profit forecasts. Housing casts a much longer reach than is generally envisioned and Wall Street’s bottom up 12%-13% earnings growth expectations for 2007 will likely be widely off the mark.

    Third, over the next few weeks I believe an expected rise in bond yields to be an even greater threat to the deceleration in corporate profits and the growing perception that corporate profit margins are at risk.

    Interesting take. Thanks, Doug.


    Those Damn Yankees
    Doug Kass
    The Edge, 10/11/2006 7:45 AM EDT

    Category: Commodities, Earnings, Investing, Markets

    Bloggers Take On: Employment

    This is another of our new features: Blogger’s Take. It is inspired by — a nice word for stolen — the WSJ’s Economist’s Take, which they post after major economic data releases.

    We wanted to do something a bit more informal: Looking at different subjects a bit more in depth, and take in some perspectives from a broad variety of bloggers (as opposed to a narrow slice of Wall Street Dismal Scientists.

    Here are our first half dozen responses to the question: "What Up With Employment?"

    "A striking characteristic of the US non-farms job data since the trough of 2002 is that recovery growth is the weakest since records began in 1939 (uncertain BLS September revision notwithstanding). Even the brief and frail recovery between the 1980 and 1981 recessions was stronger. It may be that growth has not yet peaked – but that would make this jobs recovery the slowest to pan out on record.

    Moreover, the latest non-farm payrolls data paints a picture of deterioration, particularly in construction and related industries. Whilst both the unemployment rate and hourly earnings data stuck out as good news, the fact is they are lagging indicators. The Fed has ammo to hold on this data; but should coming months show job losses (not outlandish) they might still choose to wait on clearer inflation (and BLS) data before contemplating the wisdom of cuts."

    - Rawdon, Capital Chronicle

    Read More

    Category: Blog Spotlight, Employment

    10/11/06 upside down is 9/11/01

    Category: Data Analysis

    Comparos to 1973

    Category: Economy, Investing, Markets, Psychology, Technical Analysis

    When Does the Fed Cut With the Dow at or near Record Highs?

    Category: Economy, Federal Reserve, Markets

    Zero Sum Game (ZSG)

    Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Taxes and Policy, Wages & Income

    Blog Spotlight: Capital Chronicle

    Another edition of our new series:  Blog Spotlight.

    We put together a short list of excellent but somewhat overlooked
    blog that deserves a greater audience. Expect to see a post from a
    different featured blogger here every Tuesday and Thursday evening,
    around 7pm.

    Next up in our Blogger Spotlight: RJH Adams (known as Rawdon) of Capital Chronicle. Rawdon was raised in a tiny emerging economy, and his professional life began as a dogsbody at the UK’s economics and finance ministry, HM Treasury. He subsequently moved to the finance functions of multinationals Xerox (UK) and General Electric (France) learning from the inside what making quarterly numbers really involves. In 2000 he left and co-founded an investment vehicle. He lives in the French Alps splitting most of his time between raising three small occasionally charming children and reading about economic development and investment."


    Today’s focus commentary looks at:

    How good is the Baltic Dry Index as a proxy for global economic activity?                        

    Conclusion: Still worth looking at – but with a proviso since 2006.

    China moves in 2006 to being a consistent net exporter of steel its
    influence over an important driver of the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) – iron
    ore for steel production – grows. But China’s massive growth in steel
    output has come in large part though government intervention. This, to
    some degree, is distorting the underlying freight rate picture.

    what degree is key. The level and volatility of the BDI is influenced
    not only by total commodity demand but also by fuel costs, seasonality,
    fleet numbers, route bottlenecks and sentiment. These additional
    factors should temper conclusions about the relevance of China’s steel
    activities on the level of the BDI.

    BDI has in the past been helpful to assessing global economic activity.
    It is, after all, a reflection of real prices paid to ship production
    inputs across the globe. Since March this year the index has been on a
    tear, rising 70%, or 1,750 points.

    Read More

    Category: Blog Spotlight

    Media Appearance: Kudlow & Company (10/10/06)

    Category: Media

    How Cheap is the Dow?

    Category: Earnings, Economy, Investing, Markets, Psychology

    Household versus Establishment Surveys, part 42

    Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment