So much for the theory that because there weren’t a lot of profit warnings, earnings will be hunky dory.
Just back from a morning meeting, having heard about GE earlier this morn.
Obviously, this does not change our main thesis at all: The slowdown in Consumer spending caused by a weak economic recovery, and then by the Housing collapse, combined with increasing cautiousness on the side of Business spending and hiring is taking its toll on revenues and earnings. Markets are not cheap, and are not priced for a full blown earnings recession.
The stock market may be entering a mine field as earnings start
to flood the tape next week. We shall soon see if investors are getting real about earnings. GE proves that the economic slowdown is directly impacting corporate America.
Again, there’s that word "Surprise!" We know that financial services
contribute about 35% — down from 40% Q1 07 — of GE’s operating profit. So who is it that is truly surprised that they missed? Quite bluntly, the bigger shock would have been if they hit their numbers.
How many CEO’s get to miss their quarterly numbers, and then get such a kid glove treatment from a major business news channel? I can tell you, not many.
"Hi Jeff! Hi Joe!"
click thru for softball interview
A few highlights:
– GE CEO Jeff Immelt blames the financial shortfall to a large degree on Bear Stearns;
– Immelt takes responsibility for the earnings miss;
-Immelt also confirmed GE’s triple AA rating (something that id din’t know you could do yourself);
– If we are not in a recession now, we are very very close
One point that needs to be made: There is an obvious conflict of interest for any journalistic entity to interview their own CEO. Its an interview that most journalists would shy away from. Its impossibly conflicted.
My friend Herb notes that this is a thankless task, and "CNBC would get criticized for not covering their parent. If I were interviewing my boss on tv I’d probably be careful — at least if I valued my job." Given all that, this interview was stunningly gentle — the only thing missing was a group hug at the end. I don’t know what sex acts Spitzer paid for, but I suspect the interview above was not dissimilar to them.
Here’s an alternative to this sort of nuzzling interview: If I were GE’s CEO, I would say to my reporting staff:
"I expect you to maintain our reputation as the pre-eminent business news channel, and if you are too soft on me, it costs the company its reputation.
Ask me tough questions. Raise difficult issues. Challenge me as if this were 60 Minutes.
Anyone who pulls their punches or throws me a softball question is fired."
But that’s just me . . .
“But that’s just me.”
It sure the heck is….
Kiernan is a brainless Babbitt who has been loudly and consistently wrong throughout the credit crisis. And Caruso-Cabrera? David Spade with t*ts.
Good morning. This is your copy editor.
In your first sentence, it’s “a lot.”
It’s never “alot.”
Carry on. Thank you.
the amount of financial engineering is staggering…but look at where it was birthed and you see why we are “here”. I remember how some of my colleagues used to hold up Welch as if he were some “change management god” when in reality all he did was obfuscate the real issues at GE by financial trickery. It was obvious in the mid 90’s as it is today.
The real problem is that engineering made it’s way to so many other sectors it had the affect of destroying what little moral capacity to actually be responsible that was left. All in the name of manufacturing earnings, profits and the most important aspect of all of it: bonus’
A little clue in Immelt’s speech…forget the CEO babble such as “we are looking for opportunistic opportunities”…he mentioned their real estate holdings. All major companies, even ones without major financial arms like GE, are going to take hits on real estate. Look what happened to SHLD, which at one point was soaring strictly as a RE play.
Speaking of media economic coverage, I predict over the coming months we will be treated to the following headlines on Rupert’s FoxNews courtesy of Karl Rove, Neil Cavuto and others:
“Housing Foreclosures: A Sign of a Healthy Economy”
“Using your Credit Card: A Patriotic Duty?”
“Bear Stearns Bailout: A Blow to Al-Queda”
“Experts: Recession Talk from Permabears Aids Terrorists”
and when reality can no longer be avoided:
“The 2001-2008 Clinton Recession”
Man, you guys just don’t it—it’s a Goldilocks Economy 24-7. What is wrong with you people? If you were a Kudlowdian you would not have to deal with real world, you could live in Goldiland.
When will CNBC fire this clown?
I love SURPRISE. Don’t you?
Then here’s a “tough question” Barry. Why did you say that your recommendation to buy VIX calls in 2006 was a “an even better trade than I hoped”, when buying VIX calls in 2006, 2007 and 2008 has been a disaster? Yeah volatility went up. You did get that right. But that’s not the same as making money in VIX calls.
Don’t mean to be picking on you. Just trying to make the distinction that guessing volatility’s direction and making money on volatility options are two completely different things.
BR: The macro call on increased volatility — when no one else on the street was calling for it — was a home run.
Buying calls on the VIX made money, but not nearly as much one would have expected giving the vol increase. The way they traded was a disappointment, but we made did make money on the VIX call . . .
Barry, obviously I don’t expect you to cover every inane thing that happens on the GE business channel – but the interview with Sen. Schumer which followed was a classic – with all the biases of the hacks that staff Squawk Box hanging out. The highlight was a quotation that they insisted on reading from the WSJ editorial page – there are not enough news outlets out there…
I know commentary is not reporting, but sheesh this was ridiculous..
What is the deal with Dennis Neal on CNBC? He is like the creepy guy that hangs around in the background at a strip club—lol
GE is the 2nd multi-national in as many weeks to miss thier numbers allthough analysts have been steering investors towards these companies for months now due to their exposure to foreign markets, the weak dollar and because of “our” slowing economy. Which only goes to prove that you can run but you can’t hide in equities.
GE took a hit in four of its six components so it wasn’t all about “financial services”.
I’m surprised that nobody is talking about the odd wording of this mornings release.
From paragraph 9…
“In light of what we have seen in the first quarter, we have revised our earnings outlook for the full year to protect investors by reflecting a slower economy and assuming capital markets remain challenging,” Immelt said. “We are lowering our full-year EPS guidance to $2.20-2.30 from continuing operations reflecting growth of 0-5%…
To protect investors? WTF?
“But that’s just me . . . ”
Yeah…….but you aren’t a sycophantic douche bag.
As far as it being a surprise…
The clue was in the deal with AXP credit card deal in early March. It was a typical GE make the quarter type deal but then things got worse, fast.
All readers here should consider the GE said things got much worse the last couple weeks of MArch and remain bad.
GE has dropped over 10% today, after missing quarterly estimates. GE, a beacon of consistency, is now being looked at a bit differently.
The problem for analysts: WHAT IS GE?
Is it a media company? Is it an industrial company? Is it a health-care technology company? Is it a financial company?
Until simplified, GE remains a hard to value conglomerate, and in tough economic times, conglomerates are hard to value.
the serious question re the interview is who does Kiernan have dirty pictures on. He is the shallowest person on CNBC and that is quite an accomplishment.
Dear old Dad would never buy a G.E appliance. His reason was in their advertising. G.E. “Progress is our most important product.” So then they got onto financing their most important product and became shylocks.
They do make some really good industrial products. Immelt inherited a bad hand but G.E is an elephant in a boxcar.
Barry, you want a GEE moment then look no further than Bill Gross committing possible securities fraud by not stating his mortgage positions on the boob tube, and he’s had plenty of ops to do so. Has anyone heard or seen the f***er state anything about his mortgage positions before yesterday? Mandated disclosure is a real be-atch when you are cheerleading for a bailout. No frigging wonder the POS is a bear on Treasuries. Not a word for the boob tube either. We wouldn’t even know this but for Bloomberg.
Hell, GE just had a shitty quarter and probably a shitty year, but at least they aren’t lying their asses off while claiming baseball and American Pie.
That Spitzer allusion is your best quote YTD. If the mainstream media doesn’t pick that one up, I’ll be sorely disappointed. Hilarious.
Thats why you are a ‘guest commentator’ and have your own blog.
Michel de Nostredame,
waaaahhhh! Whether or not Barry deleted your post or if you confused the cancel button with the submit button is still up for debate. With respect to question of bearish propaganda its seems Barry is still in the minority…or didn’t your read the post you commented on? I guess I’m confused…Is silencing dissent your proposal?
You bet long…deal with it. That’s capitalism.
“He is like the creepy guy that hangs around in the background at a strip club—lol”
Reading from bottom to top, at first I thought you were talking about Kudlow.
JK: “At GE… aren’t you focused on Bringing Good Things to Life.”
JI: “That’s right Joe think of us as Imagination at Work”
JK: “And so Jeff, isn’t Progress is your most important Product?”
JI: “Green is green”
JK: “Thanks Jeff, time for a commercial…”
Maybe Cinefoz got a new IP address.
Immelt is a good guy. But, let’s be real. A company the size of GE cannot be managed by a single person. He has little impact on the company and really has no idea what is going on from a level being able to impact the corporation. GE should be split up. GE is a bank with industrial holdings.
And, his positive perspective on capital spending is a fool’s game. GE is massively exposed to risk. Massively. By not taking appropriate risk into account in their strategy. Just like Wall Street.
Bill Gross: If Housing Prices Decline Further, So Does the Economy
by: Bill Gross posted on: April 01, 2008
Politicians – especially those on the Republican side of the aisle – are adamant about not using taxpayers’ funds to bailout Wall Street or housing speculators, or whoever the current devil may be. The public seems to nod in agreement while at the same time not noticing that their watch is being lifted or their pocket being picked. Let’s see: Twelve months ago the yield on your money market fund was 5%+ but your next statement will probably feature something closer to 2%. Did your money market fund (which in aggregate approaches 3 trillion dollars) experience any capital gains in the process? Absolutely not. So it looks like your (the taxpayer’s) contribution to the bailout of banks, or Florida condominium speculators can at least be quantified: 3% foregone interest per year on whatever you own. In addition, as pointed out in a previous section, the reflationary (inflationary) implications of all this suggest your contribution to the bailout will be even greater, since you’ll likely wind up paying higher prices for many of the things you’ll buy.
Ah, government sometimes works in mysterious ways. There’s more than one way to have taxpayers bailout Wall Street!
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. We now know why the dirtbag wants a bailout, and it sure as Hell isn’t because he wants to help savers. What a lying worthless POS! Here’s a question. What happens to all those who he claims to want to help have Treasuies sky because of wreckless bailouts by the the thieving politicians? What would happen to mortgage rates in that scenario?
bluestatedon, thanks for the laugh.
And on “the weak dollar”
Oh that, I see now that international golfers don’t like the winnings in the US in dollars and are opting for overseas tournaments instead. Just another comparative advantage lost.
Um, doesn’t people stop buying houses equal people stop buying appliances? Add in their financial and real estate crap and you think they would’ve seen this coming….
The GE story is interesting on so many levels, particularly how CNBC is covering this. How objective can you be when your parent company is the subject under fire? Volatility in the financial markets was the culprit. Jeffey Immelt was hilarious when he said financials were too blame. What about its other business units? Why are they down?
“But that’s just me . . . ”
Yeah…….but you aren’t a sycophantic douche bag.
Best line of the day by far!!!
These guys at GE has been making excuses for years, when the economy was booming, GE still couldn’t get it together, and now with a slowdown….
Sucks to be Joe or any other CNBC reporter. Supposedly, only stocks they can own is GE through their 401k plan.
Like to have seen Mark H. do the interview, all he needs is a reminder GE is same level as it was 5 years ago. He often appears to be pissed over GE stock.
What would have been funny, Gasparino – He ain’t afraid to offend and argue with guests.
Joe is never hard- but he’s entertaining. Wasn’t here. what a dry interview- repeating same things again and again.
“We’re not making excuses”
Anyone know if Immelt went on Bloomberg? or anywhere else? No reason he would since he has made a TV appearance on CNBC, but huge conflict of interest.
Somebody needs to ask Immelt what the hell they have been doing the past 5 -7 years, and how the hell do you still have you job? Bring back Jack.
Barry, I know you have business relationship with CNBC, so I don’t mind if you need to delete some of my rude comments about CNBC. I can’t help myself, some of their people are such morons. You do seem to be very tolerant of the crazies that post on your site (me included.) Keep up the good work!!!!!
One very naive question: Why the market can’t correct itself?
Sounds like it is a major crime to get the market correct, look at Mark’s face and listens what Larry said. Is that what capitalism means to CNBC?
The ongoing “surprise” that perplexes me is that over the reporting at CNBC. The channel has been perverse since the days of Dan Dorkman and has only gotten worse. That’s why we visit these great blogs!
Posted by: maximo | Apr 11, 2008 12:11:23 PM
– What about its other business units? Why are they down?
The GE Healthcare business is down primarily due to two reasons:
1. The FDA is not allowing one of the surgical mfg plants to ship – that accounts for 3% of GE Healthcare’s revenues.
2. A much bigger reason is the deficit reduction act passed in 2006 that changed the medicare/medicade reimbursement rates to hospitals/clinics for MRI’s, CT Scans, and other diagnostic imaging procedures. The change amounted to a reduction of 30-45% in the amount Dr’s/clinics/hospitals get. Sooo, the ROI for providers on all the expensive capital equipment that GE makes got clobbered.
The market, that ever accurate discounting mechanism, clearly did not discount this.
They lowered for the FULL YEAR, doesn’t that stick a knife in the 2nd half recovery BS.
And the guy who has followed GE for 25 years says he wouldn’t buy until it hits $29!!
If this happens all next week, we’ll be at S&P 1200. Can you say multiple contraction?
Five out of six units down and they blame BSC.
Can’t even take “some” responsibility can he…
That mistaken comment about Kudlow hanging out at strip joints was hilarious!! One of the best laughs I have had today.
Sounds like he has been doing his Goldilock’s routine again today. What a Spinmeister.
Thanks for the laugh anyway!
How bout Dennis Kneale suggesting that investors should question Immelt’s ability to lead GE!?! Talk about bitin’ the hand that feeds you.
TED spread above 1.5 again.
BR I loved the editorial comment
-Immelt also confirmed GE’s triple A rating (something that i didn’t know you could do yourself)
I’m going to have to find a way to use that and quote you. Hilarious.
I could never get why/how he got that job in the 1st place. I used to see him on Fox’s Business Block on Saturday mornings. He’s nothing more than a blatherer. He has no credibility. He doesn’t fit-in very well either. They should put him with Cramer.
I was referring to Dennis Kneale from an earlier post. Sorry about that.
Another airline bankruptcy–Frontier.
At what point are we just going to have to accept the fact that American airlines simply doesn’t have the fuel to fly its planes. Or at least question this ludicrous cover story.
Barry, I know you do the music deal on Friday nghts, and in honor of nobody giving a rat’s arse concerning Gross, could ya please do, “Keep On The Sunny Side”? It seems fitting as we enter the Greater Depression.
>To protect investors? WTF?
Realize that the first draft read: “…outlook for the full year to protect us from pitchfork-wielding investors by reflecting…” That darn marketing department, editing aggressively again.
>Um, doesn’t people stop buying houses equal people stop buying appliances?
That’s true up to a point. In a long downturn, repair parts become a significant business (if they haven’t stupidly ceded that market to others…). Eventually, people start to remodel rather than buy a whole new house, but that is, of course, nothing like the boom times.
BTW, I noticed a month or so ago that they were generically advertising, G.E. was. And I thought to myself, haven’t seen that in a while, not since… oh yeah, right before their last big troubles. I always suspected brand advertising was a contrarian indicator.
GE’s stock has been a brutal relative-strength underperformer for years. RS is the best precursor to poor stock performance there is. If your not running RS charts on your position vs. the market and their peers, then I guess GE is a surprise. Historically, when a poor RS stock blows up, the market aftershocks are a short-term occurance (day or so). Look at the portfolio managers that are trotted out to comment on GE….one underperformer after another.
Michel de nost,
Let me get this straight. You expect full disclosure from Barry, However, you log in under 5 different names from a stupid free hotmail account. not disclosing a thing about yourself and matter of factly, hiding your real identity.
Ok, I get it now, you want Barry to play by a different set of rules than you do. And it’s his site. Why don’t you just start your own blog? You are so intelligent and wealthy?
He didn’t delete you because you questioned his opinions, he deleted you, cause you are a Yahoo finance troll… move on..
i’m late to the game, this may have been said already. hasn’t GE been one of the absolute best at managing earnings and always having some earnings to pull out of a hat if some areas are light and they might miss by a few cents? If GE can’t pull the ends together to meet guidance and expectations, i gotta believe it’s gonna be tough for a LOT of other companies not so deft at managing earnings. I’d love to know if GE pulled as much as they could and still missed or if they realized they couldn’t make it and didn’t do the usual things to “find” earnings. get ready for more and larger revisions to 08 SPX EPS
LOL, Damn now my post doesnt make any sense, now that you got rid of his last post. You are fast… Thanks for having a fantastic blog!!
Just because I am have ED is no reason to delete my comments
Just noticed my post was edited also. Ok, I guess the reference to the you know you. no good. Point taken, sorry.
GE monthly/daily chart looks awful. Nice H/S at 38.50. down below all support here. Down -12.87% on 285 million shares, damn thats not good. I was questioning my bearish postion yesterday, good think for you BR. Keep me straight.
Have a good weekend all, great day for daytrading.
comment deleted due to insufficient intelligence, an inability to follow the simple rules disclosed here, and an embarrasingly tiny penis
Kneale is the guy hanging out at the background of stripclubs, and he’s not watching the strippers, he’s watching YOU watch the strippers. Creepy. That’s totally a joke, like you, I couldn’t help myself to that. .
Kneale’s a character though- he pitched a bitch-fit when Gasparino said “Dennis, you must be client number 1” – that’s a youtube bookmark.
He Shouldn’t been so offended if he’s client #1 and Spitzer is #9 and not using a rubber.
Yes, if this is “well managed earnings” we’re f—ed.
Imagine..earnings are that bad, yet nobody knows really what it is they do (except what they tell us), so nobody could call them on it if they lied.
Either GE is stupid or things are really bad. Either way, it’s scary.
It’s been awhile, but I can’t remember the last time GE missed its numbers.. Anybody know?
remember Oct ’02 when GE’s CP lines threatened to seize up and the stock dropped to teenager. get ready for the redux.
I guess Fusion got this one wrong giving a buy signal a couple of days ago.
BR: You bring up an interesting point, one we need to communicate better to subscribers.
GE was ranked a 52 out of 100. That ranking suggests its a very mediocre stock for the intermediate term period – 3- 6 months.
The Buy signal is a short term directional forecast — since that signal, the stock moved up about 8%, before yesterday’s 10% whackage.
At present there are over 3000 stocks that generate a current Buy signal. You should not buy all of them.
But the higher ranked stocks 70-100 that generate a buy signal are worth putting on your watchlist as possible buy candidates.
Thanks for bringing this up — we keep tweaking the FAQ and user guide.
Jack Welch –
According to IBES, the company hasn’t missed its numbers in 5 years – 20 straight quarters. Of course, it hasn’t had an earnings surprise of more than 1 cent/share in that period, either. Can we all say “managing earnings, managing expectations”? How about “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Landmines”?
MdNostre – I hear tell they used to keelhaul knuckleheads back in the day. Barry doesn’t have a keel to haul you on, so I guess he’ll have to settle for deleting your posts.
I predict over the coming months we will be treated to the following headlines on Rupert’s FoxNews courtesy of Karl Rove, Neil Cavuto and others:
You missed the most egregiously bad financial headline I’ve ever seen on Rupert’s Fantasy News Network for Willfully Ignorant Jingoistic Mouth-Breathers:
“Is the Stock Market Patriotic Enough?”
I kid you not.
Bring back Jack? Not so fast.
Jebus of Fairfield. CEOs-as-stars. I was at the Giant Phone Company for the entire decade of the 90s, and just like all his Fortune 50 peers our chief emulated “The GE Way.” It was hilarious. Buttons, signs, Myers-Briggs.
What was missing was work and focus. This is how the Giant Phone Company totally missed the Internet right under its nose. Wall Street, CNBC, Kudlow, and that whole ilk are still convinced it’s the CEO that matters. Sure it’s important to get a competent leader, but the external variables are far more important. Bottom line for GE is that it’s too huge for its own good. Watch for the yard sale.
remember Oct ’02 when GE’s CP lines threatened to seize up and the stock dropped to teenager. get ready for the redux.
Yup, and I also remember the punk with the slutter over at PIMCO saying he wouldn’t buy any more GE paper at the time.
Perhaps Dennis Kneale will finally get the picture.
I owned GE for a few quarters and their stock never went up even when they met earnings. Even as a newbie investor I figured out quickly that GE stock was a worthless investment.
To Larry Kudlow’s credit he quipped that CNBC could be spun off as it is a profitable division.
Larry also posted GE’s flatness ever since Immelt showed up as opposed to the Jack Welch Rocket Ship era. He seemed peturbed about the miss in the Health Care Equipment division.
One night I thought Joe Battapaglia was going to rip Dennis Kneale’s head off due to Kneale’s smart-aleck remarks.
Personally I cannot get enough of Michelle Caruso Cabrerra.
Call me iconoclastic but let’s get real: Jack Welsh’s reputation as a genius is so overinflated. He was CEO during a period of mostly uninterrupted economic growth and a rip-roaring bull market, when irrationally exuberant investors slapped a 60 p/e ratio on GE at the height of the bubble and the Welsh cult mania. What’s been happening since has been the inevitable regression to the mean.
I’m sure Jack Welsh was a fine CEO but the hero worship is completely bogus. If GE had never gotten a p/e over 20, the stock would never have gotten much over 20 either. It’s amazing how bull markets can make people appear to be such geniuses. Peter Lynch is another icon that comes to mind who I’m very skeptical of.
Oh my God, this could the end…We’re all gon’na die!!!
The Depression and WWII were bad – but this is so much worse!
>NEWS FLASH (New York) GE made only $4+ billion in three months…
Help us, somebody please cut interest rates, taxes & regulations!
I’m sorry – it’s just too much…Oh, the humanity!
Kryptonite Caused GE’s Miss
The sub-prime problem is Kryptonite to GE. I’ll get to that in a minute, but before I do, a brief review. Last week, I questioned CNBC’s embarrassingly softball interview of GE CEO Jeff Immelt. As noted, it would have behooved Immelt to demand his repo…
Dennis Neal from CNBC is an ill informed individual and is doing no good at all for CNBC credibility.
Dennis just reported that “Outsourcing American Jobs” is a non issue.
Well Dennis, I say its way past time we outsource you and see how well you thrive working from Communist China.
Why don’t you take a drive through downtown Michigan buddy and see what a soon to be 3rd world country called America will look like in the not too distant future.
Get a real job and pull your you know what out and live in reality would ya please!