Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Interpreting Analysts' Reports

I find the comments given below quite useful for a reference:-

Ritholtz culled the research on stock analysts from outside parties like McKinsey and Bianco Research and came to a few meaningful conclusions:

1. Analysts are almost always too optimistic. "Looking a year out, their earnings expectations are about twice the growth rate we've averaged," he says. So far pretty much in line with what we thought, but it gets better from here.

2. Analysts are "especially wrong at turning points as you head into a recession."

3. The "only time they weren't too bullish," Ritholtz notes, "was right in the middle of a recession."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eurozone Crisis

I did some analysis. Currently the French CAX 40 is trading at around 2800+,  which is around the level of March 18th 2009. At the lowest during the last 2008/2009 Financial Crisis, it was trading at 2519 in March 10th 2009.  The only other time in the last ten years it is trading at such level was during the 2003 Sars crisis.

Also, I read a report that says that currently the three big French Banks (BNP, SocGen and Credit Agricole) are trading at valuations that will assume 100% percent writeoff of their Greek, Irish and Portuguese debts. For SocGen, it is also discounting their Spanish and Italian debts.  However, I do not know if their holding on commercial papers for these countries are discounted too. It would be logical that in the event of a Greek default, a lot of companies are going to bankrupt and will affect the French banks holding private sector debts.

I would think the event of a Greek default is currently priced in for the French Banks and I suspect the German Banks too. However, the effect of a contagion effect is hard to estimate as the EU todate has not demonstrated the ability to act with a single-mindedness like the Fed and US Treasury during a crisis.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Looking for Signs of an Impending Recession

There are two key problems facing the global economy right now that is generating a lot of uncertainty and fear in the market. One is the prospect of a impending recession in the US and second is the crisis in the eurozone.

Will there be a recession in the US? I am looking for signs of financial stress, slump in consumer spending, spike in unemployment and deacceleration in business activities. I do not yet find any signs of these as yet though signs of a slowdown to a grinding halt is pretty clear. A major jolt may bring things down to negative but is not a definite.