Photo: In this May 5, 2012, photo, Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway smiles on the exhibit floor where Berkshire products aer showcased, prior to the annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. (AP photo/ Nati Harnik)
Beating expectations has become the 1Q norm. The consenus among financial analysts was that corporate America had already squeezed as much profit as it could from a weak economy.
The analysts couldn’t have been more wrong. So far most companies have reported better than expected earnings. And by most, I mean about 8 out of 10.
It started with Alcoa, which reported a profit of $94 million, or 9 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 4 cents per share. On Tuesday, Apple surprised the experts with a profit of $11.6 billion, a whopping $12.30 a share. Analysts predicted $10.06 per share.
In between a slew of other companies have reported positive earnings.
If the experts could be so wrong about 1Q earnings, maybe the economy is doing better than they’re telling us. Or maybe this will be the highwater mark for 2012. I’m thinking the economy is slowly getting better and profits will be the norm this year.
Here’s a different view from Randall W. Forsyth writing for Barrons.com:
Miller Energy Resources has received its share of online criticism in recent months – that’s what happens when you have to refile corrected financial reports and a class-action lawsuit hangs over your head.
But in a somewhat surprising turn, the Knoxville oil company has been the subject of positive online commentary in recent days.
A report posted today on the website Seeking Alpha by an anonymous contributor called Rougemont includes Miller among a group of undervalued oil stocks.
Today’s market rally is boosting a couple of stocks of local interest that have struggled to hold their value in recent weeks.
Shares of Maryville-based restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday were up about 3.3 percent at midday to $6.92. Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, which has a major roasting and distribution operation in Knoxville, were up about 3.6 percent to more than $51.
However, RT stock remains close to its 52-week low, and GMCR has seen its share price cut in half in the last two months. Check out these online commentaries about Kevin Clayton’s recent purchase of RT stock; and Green Mountain’s rapid price drop.
The Dow tumbled nearly 300 points Wednesday. Jobs numbers are disappointing. The dollar is weak. If you believe some of the talking heads on TV, the next great financial crisis is just around the corner.
As you’ve probably heard by now, 2011 will be a banner year for investors. It’s an absolute lock, according to the venerable Super Bowl Indicator.
According to this theory, when the winner of the Super Bowl is a team from the old NFL the stock market soars. When the winner is from the old AFL, the market drops. Over the years, the SBI has been right about 80 percent of the time.
Fortunately for investors, this year’s game features two old school NFL teams — the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.
But if you’re looking for a maximum market bounce, cheer for the Steelers.