Conglomerate General Electric Company (NYSE/GE) said, “We planned for Europe to be similar to 2012, down again, but it was even weaker than we had expected.” (Source: “Earnings Insight,” FactSet, May 17, 2013.) General Electric (GE) reported corporate earnings of $0.34 per share in the first quarter, with sales in its industrial businesses declining 5.7% and profit falling 11%. (Source: MarketWatch, April 19, 2013.)
McDonalds Corporation (NYSE/MCD), in announcing its first-quarter results, stated, “For the quarter, Europe’s results were dampened by ongoing economic uncertainty.” (Source: Ibid.)
When talking about the eurozone, the chief executive of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE/WHR), Jeff Fettig, said, “…demand is not recovering so far.” He added that Whirlpool’s sales were unchanged this year in Europe, and he warned that if the demand continues to slide, Whirlpool will have to make more changes to cut costs. (Source: “Companies Feel Pinch on Sales in Europe,” Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2013.)
GE, McDonalds, and Whirlpool are not the only companies in the key stock indices suffering from troubles in the eurozone. Big-cap companies like International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE/IBM), United Technologies Corporation (NYSE/UTX), and Xerox Corporation (NYSE/XRX) have also shown concerns in their first-quarter corporate earnings due to bleak demand in the eurozone.
What’s ahead for the eurozone? The strongest nations in the region, such as Germany and France, are struggling to keep up. France is in a recession, while the German economy showed very little change in the first quarter. Similarly, the situation in the debt-infested nations of Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy hasn’t changed.
Dear reader, pieces of the puzzle are coming together now. American companies are becoming concerned about their corporate earnings due to an economic slowdown in the eurozone. Readers of Profit Confidential shouldn’t be surprised by this; I have been warning about it in these pages for some time now.
Looking forward, it wouldn’t be a surprise to me to see more companies in the key stock indices that have exposure to the eurozone show poor corporate earnings. The stock market is running on hope, and that hope can only go for so long.
Where the Market Stands; Where It’s Headed:
I’m telling you; the higher this stock market goes, the harder it’s going to fall flat on its face! Within the next week, I will be releasing a video I’m just finishing called a Dire Warning for Stock Market Investors. Watch for it.
What He Said:
“I personally expect the next couple of years to be terrible for U.S. housing sales, foreclosures, and the construction market. These events will dampen the U.S. economic picture significantly in the months ahead, leading to the recession I am predicting for the U.S. economy later this year.” Michael Lombardi in Profit Confidential, August 23, 2007. Michael was one of the first to predict a U.S. recession, long before Wall Street analysts and economists even thought it a possibility.
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