Correspondent, Chicago
James's Feed
Feb 19, 2014

Watch for companies to claim ‘Jack Frost ate our profits’

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Sick of hearing Americans complain about the winter weather? Too bad. Because the corporate kvetching has only just begun.

While meteorologists say warmer temperatures finally are on the way, savvy investors know a cold front could still be looming when it comes to the profits of publicly traded U.S. companies.

Feb 12, 2014

Deere profit beats Wall Street estimates but outlook unchanged

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Deere & Co (DE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday but kept its full-year forecast unchanged, indicating the challenges the farm equipment industry faces as commodity prices come off the record highs of recent years.

The Moline, Illinois-based company said cost controls had helped offset the effects of moderating demand for its tractors, harvesters and other agricultural machinery in the most recent quarter.

Feb 6, 2014

Bad weather causing ‘fits and starts’ in auto output -Ford exec

CHICAGO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Heavy snow and bone-chilling
weather this year have taken a toll on Ford Motor Co’s
U.S. vehicle production just as the company kicks off the
biggest year of new model launches in its history, a top
executive said on Thursday.

Extreme weather conditions have made it difficult for Ford
to get auto parts delivered to plants on time. Ford, Toyota
Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co and General Motors
Co have all had to halt production at times over the last
five weeks due to the weather.

Feb 6, 2014

Kia debuts its first electric vehicle for U.S. market

CHICAGO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Kia Motors Corp
rolled out an electric version of its Soul compact car on
Thursday that the Korean automaker plans to begin selling in
some U.S. markets later this year.

The 2015 Soul EV, unveiled at the media kick-off for the
2014 Chicago Auto Show, is Kia’s first all-electric,
zero-emissions car in the United States and its second “green”
car for the U.S. market, joining a hybrid version of the
company’s best-selling Optima sedan that has been available here
since 2011.

Feb 6, 2014

Cummins posts higher profit but outlook disappoints

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Cummins Inc (CMI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted higher-than-expected quarterly profit as strong sales of engines and other vehicle components to truck and construction-equipment makers in North America, Europe and China, offset weakness in emerging markets, including India and Mexico.

But the company also provided a preliminary forecast for 2014 sales and profits that fell short of expectations, sending its shares lower in early trading.

Jan 31, 2014

For companies, a rocky road ahead in emerging markets

CHICAGO/LONDON (Reuters) – International companies are taking steps to mitigate the effects of the turmoil in emerging markets, including hedging foreign currency exposure more aggressively, reducing some investment plans, cutting costs, and raising prices frequently.

While executives are not hitting the panic button just yet, and many say the risks they face are hardly unique, they are still aggressively tackling costs and making sure that revenue keeps up with inflationary pressures. And many warn that if China suffers a credit crisis as some fear, then things could get a whole lot worse.

Jan 31, 2014

Paccar posts higher fourth-quarter profit, lifted by European demand

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Paccar Inc (PCAR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a higher quarterly profit on Friday as the maker of commercial trucks and engines benefited from recovering demand in Europe.

The results, and the company’s forecast for modest industry sales growth in key markets in 2014, were in line with market expectations. But analysts had hoped Paccar would raise its outlook for industry sales and disappointment over its failure to do so sent its shares lower in early trading on the Nasdaq.

Jan 31, 2014

Paccar posts higher 4th-qtr profit, lifted by European demand

Jan 31 (Reuters) – Paccar Inc reported a higher
quarterly profit on Friday as the maker of commercial trucks and
engines benefited from recovering demand in Europe.

The results, and the company’s forecast for modest industry
sales growth in key markets in 2014, were in line with market
expectations. But analysts had hoped Paccar would raise its
outlook for industry sales and disappointment over its failure
to do so sent its shares lower in early trading on the Nasdaq.

Jan 30, 2014

Harley-Davidson profit rise fails to rev up investors

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a higher quarterly profit on Thursday, lifted by growing global motorcycle sales, while its preliminary 2014 shipment forecast suggested its efforts to reach non-traditional riders will continue to gain traction.

The results initially sent its shares up as much as 4 percent in trading on the New York Stock Exchange, before they gave up those gains to trade down 0.6 percent at $63.65.

Jan 27, 2014

What emerging market meltdown? Caterpillar more worried about Europe

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc said on Monday it remained upbeat about the outlook for China, even as concerns about the world’s second-largest economy and other developing countries triggered another sharp selloff in global financial markets.

The comments came as Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, reported better-than-expected earnings, lifted in part by another strong quarter of construction equipment sales in China.