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Jan 27, 2013

Analysis: Companies offset weak sales growth with fat margins

By Scott Malone and Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – After four years of belt-tightening, American companies are good at squeezing more profit out of every dollar of sales – a skill that chief executives regard as critical in the face of an uncertain economy.

While the headline-making cuts of the last recession – when companies shed tens of thousands of workers as they scrambled to lower costs – have mostly passed, they have kept their focus on finding lots of small steps to improve earnings.

Jan 27, 2013

US companies offset weak sales growth with fat margins

Jan 27 (Reuters) – After four years of belt-tightening,
American companies are good at squeezing more profit out of
every dollar of sales – a skill that chief executives regard as
critical in the face of an uncertain economy.

While the headline-making cuts of the last recession – when
companies shed tens of thousands of workers as they scrambled to
lower costs – have mostly passed, they have kept their focus on
finding lots of small steps to improve earnings.

Jan 18, 2013

Strong banks, energy companies stand out in early earnings

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – If the latest week of earnings season has told investors anything, it is that strong banks and energy companies are getting stronger, while weaker banks and technology companies are far from conquering the challenges they have faced in the last few years.

Any sense of optimism for 2013 has to be tempered by a steady decline in earnings growth forecasts, as well as a recent rise in companies making mass layoffs in attempts to get costs further under control.

Jan 18, 2013

Strong banks, energy cos stand out in early earnings

Jan 18 (Reuters) – If the latest week of earnings season has
told investors anything, it is that strong banks and energy
companies are getting stronger, while weaker banks and
technology companies are far from conquering the challenges they
have faced in the last few years.

Any sense of optimism for 2013 has to be tempered by a
steady decline in earnings growth forecasts, as well as a recent
rise in companies making mass layoffs in attempts to get costs
further under control.

Jan 14, 2013

Michael Dell, back in the spotlight once more

Jan 14 (Reuters) – Michael Dell gave up day-to-day control
of the computer company that bears his name once, an experiment
that went poorly and ended relatively quickly – but he may be
willing to try it again in another bid to reverse the company’s
fortunes.

Dell Inc is in talks with private-equity firms
about possibly going private, a source familiar with the matter
told Reuters, confirming a Bloomberg News report.

Jan 11, 2013

Low-profile Boeing exec in spotlight over 787

Jan 11 (Reuters) – An airplane mechanic by training with an
aversion to anything even resembling the spotlight, Boeing’s
Ray Conner now finds himself front and center of a
growing crisis over the safety of the company’s flagship 787
passenger jet.

Conner spoke at a U.S. Department of Transportation press
conference on Friday announcing a comprehensive review of the
787 after a series of incidents called its reliability into
question.

Jan 11, 2013

Low-profile Boeing exec faces spotlight over 787 woes

Jan 11 (Reuters) – An airplane mechanic by training with an
aversion to anything even resembling the spotlight, Boeing’s
Ray Conner now finds himself front and center of a
growing crisis over the safety of the company’s flagship 787
passenger jet.

Conner was a last-minute addition to a U.S. Department of
Transportation press conference on Friday announcing a
comprehensive review of the 787 after a series of incidents
called its reliability into question.

Jan 10, 2013

As public fumes, AIG says will not sue US over bailout

Jan 9 (Reuters) – Facing anger from Congress and the
American people, AIG Inc said on Wednesday it would not
sue the U.S. government over terms of the company’s
multi-billion dollar bailout.

Insurer American International Group had been weighing
whether to join a lawsuit filed by its former Chief Executive
Hank Greenberg and his company Starr International, which owned
12 percent of AIG before its $182 billion rescue that started in
2008.

Jan 9, 2013

Amid public rage, AIG opts out of U.S. government lawsuit

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – The board of American International Group Inc decided on Wednesday not to join a lawsuit against the U.S. government over the terms of the company’s bailout, following two days of fevered backlash from Congress and the public over the prospect.

AIG had been weighing whether to join a lawsuit filed by its former chief executive, Hank Greenberg, and his company Starr International, which owned 12 percent of the insurer before its 2008 rescue.

Jan 9, 2013

Amid public rage, AIG opts out of U.S. gov’t lawsuit

Jan 9 (Reuters) – The board of American International Group
Inc decided on Wednesday not to join a lawsuit against
the U.S. government over the terms of the company’s bailout,
following two days of fevered backlash from Congress and the
public over the prospect.

AIG had been weighing whether to join a lawsuit filed by its
former chief executive, Hank Greenberg, and his company Starr
International, which owned 12 percent of the insurer before its
2008 rescue.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Berkowitz covers the insurance industry in New York City. He rejoined Reuters in Amsterdam in May 2009, covering the Dutch banking system and economy. He originally worked for Reuters in Los Angeles and New York from 2001 to 2006 covering everything from video games to oil. In between he was business editor at AOL, head of the editing desk at AP Business News and managing editor of Fidelity.com."
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