Corporations report 1st quarter earnings

Jeremy Hobson Apr 19, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: Several companies have been telling us how they did at the beginning of this year and that is where will go now with Kash Mansori. He’s an economic consultant who writes for the blog The Street Light and he joins us now live from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Good morning.

Kash Mansori: Good morning, Jeremy.

Hobson: Well let’s start with the two big banks that reported earnings this morning. Bank of America, which has had a lot of trouble with bad mortgages, it reported a drop in profit. And Morgan Stanley, which lost money overall but saw a big uptick in its investment banking business. What’s the takeaway here?

Mansori: Well, I think the takeaway is that the financial sector in the U.S. is doing better than it did a year or two ago, but we’re not out the woods yet. Operationally, they’re making some money but you have to keep an eye on their balance sheets which have these sort of swings that remind us — they’re not completely out of the woods.

Hobson: Not completely out of the woods… Well one place that we’ve been looking in recent quarters for some real strong growth has been the tech world. We’re going to hear from Microsoft later today, we heard from Intel and Ebay over the last couple of days and a lot of talk that maybe the tech boom is starting to peak. What do you think?

Mansori: Well, I mean the tech industry is notoriously cyclical right and we’ve been through boom and bust cycles before and we’ve had a great boom for the last few years so it’s only natural to wonder if we may be nearing the peak of that and you know, the wobbliness of Apple’s share price in recent days makes you wonder about that.

Hobson: Makes you wonder about that, you don’t think Apple’s going to keep going up and up and up?

Mansori: Every trend can only continue until it stops. And you know, you would have said that Microsoft’s stock price was going to keep going up and up in the mid-1990s yet at some point the laws of gravity do apply.

Hobson: Kash Mansori, thanks a lot.

Mansori: You’re quite welcome, have a good day.

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