Let’s go back to earnings.
We’re not going to second-guess the way investors react to an earnings report, since that’s a fool’s game, and some news really is baked in. In other words, we’re not going to say it’s silly that Caterpillar is up today, despite it’s horrendous number.
That being said, we can second-guess the media, which is kind of banging on this signs-of-stabilisation-green-shoots drum again, with respect to earnings. The problem is, earnings are crap.
The Pragmatic Capitalist takes a look at a few biggies:
Coke (KO) – $8.27B in revenues vs estimates of $8.66B. A $400MM MISS.
Caterpillar (CAT) – $7.98B in revenues vs estimates of $8.86B. Nearly a $1B MISS.
DuPont (DD) – $7B in revenues vs estimates of $7.15B. A $150MM MISS.
United Technologies (UTX) – $13.2B vs estimates of $13.92B. A $700MM MISS.
I can’t ever remember a market where investors turned such a blind eye to top line growth. It’s truly astonishing. These are phenomenally bad revenue figures. There is just no two ways around it. This trend of rising stock prices on poor underlying earnings cannot and will not last.
It is odd. The top line shows the true pace of business contraction. Any bottom line stabilisation is the result of cost cuts, which are great short-term for shareholders, but don’t constitute green shoots in any meaningful sense.
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