CHART OF THE DAY: 'Weather' Was An Unusually Popular Talking Point During Earnings Season

We’re still trying to understand how the unusually cold weather in the northeast and the unusually dry weather in the west affected the economy and the earnings of the companies in it.

“Unusually severe winter storms throughout the quarter disrupted operations, decreasing shipping volume and increasing costs, and impacted year-over-year operating income by an estimated $US125 million,” said FedEx earlier today in the company’s quarterly earnings announcement.

FedEx wasn’t the only company to bring up weather in its latest earnings announcement and conference call.

“Searching through all earnings conference call transcripts for S&P 500 companies between January 1, 2014 and March 12, 2014, the term “weather” was mentioned at least once in 195 conference calls,” said FactSet’s John Butters. “This number reflects an increase of 81% over the year ago period (January 1, 2013 through March 12, 2013), when the term was mentioned in 108 conference calls.”

“At the sector level, the Energy, Consumer Discretionary, and Industrials sectors not only had the highest number of conference calls in which the term was used, but also the highest year-over-year growth in absolute numbers.”

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