Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Audio – The hits just keep on coming in 2008!

henderson2.jpgIt’s not like 2008 has been a dance around the maypole.

Fritz Henderson, chief operating officer of General Motors Co, said on Monday at the Reuters Autos Summit that the events of this past weekend — with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and sale of Merrill Lynch are just another things making a tough year worse for struggling U.S. automakers.

Now, as some companies need to raise cash to survive, they are facing a marketplace that doesn’t look too favorably on anything below triple-A.

Henderson, one of the featured guests on the first day of this year’s summit, said he found the massive tectonic U.S. economic shifts of the past weekend “more than a little sad.”

Henderson was one of the featured guests at this year’s summit, whch runs through Thursday in Detroit.

Audio – Looking ahead with Ford

Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Alan Mulally found himself in a rather strange situation this week.

mulally1.jpgIt’s hard to imagine that during the week with our annual Reuters Autos Summit, there could have been a spate of bad news from another sector of the economy where one might say, “Well, maybe things aren’t that bad for the automakers”.

Video – Car makers speed into Russia

U.S. and Asian automakers are rushing to lure Russian consumers to offset declining sales in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

U.S. and Asian automakers, facing declining sales in almost every market around the world, are speeding into Russia to try and gain market share as the growing middle-class expands and car sales appear set double in the next three years.

No gain without pain for European paper makers

The current slew of bad news was necessary to get European forestry companies to act, the head of the world’s top paper and board maker Stora Enso said on Wedstora_ceo_web.JPGnesday.

For years the European paper industry has suffered from overcapacity, which has kept a lid on prices, while increasing costs of wood and energy have eaten into already low margins.

Audio – The waiting is the hardest part

holliday1.jpgFor Marc Holliday, chief executive of SL Green Realty Group and Gramercy Capital Corp, the Tom Petty lyrics ring especially true.

Holliday, speaking at the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit, said on Tuesday that his company is waiting with bated breath to hear about which company has won the award to expand the gaming options at New York City’s borough of Queens-located Aqueduct Race Track.

How did Abby rate her former boss?

abby.jpgAsked to give a letter grade for the performance of U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during the credit crisis, Goldman Sachs’ senior investment strategist Abby Joseph Cohen laughed. “I spent several years where he provided a performance review to other people,” she told the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit, about the former Goldman CEO. To find out how Paulson fared in Abby’s eyes, please click here  


Survival, yes, but what about the money?

Veteran Wall Street banking analyst Richard Bove sees Lehman Brothers surviving – but he doesn’t think they’ll be making a lot of money.
   There’s just not a lot of business there at the moment for brokers like Lehman, he told the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit in New York.
    To listen to a clip of what Bove had to say, please click here

Arch: demand outstripping supply

The nation’s second-largest coal producer says “demand is outstripping our ability to supply” and expects “2009 and 2010 continuing to be strong years.”

Fred Katayama reports from Houston.

Sybase isn’t voting for “American Idol”

simon.jpgContrary to popular belief, the smash hit talent show “American Idol” isn’t bringing in boatloads of money for everyone involved.

So says John Chen, the chief executive of Sybase Inc, a business software maker that builds technology for both wired and wireless devices. Chen was asked at the Reuters Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit whether he’d like to get the contract for “American Idol” texting, which is how TV viewers vote for their favorite performer.

Tech sector growth seen strongest in the S&P 500


MAY 2008

John Butters

Director, U.S. Earnings Research

Thomson Reuters

In the S&P 500 Index, the Technology sector is expected to have the highest earnings growth of any sector at 15%. Over the past four quarters, the sector has recorded an average earnings growth rate of 16%.

On April 1st, the estimated growth rate for the sector was 18%. Since the start of the quarter, the mean estimate for 45% of the companies in the sector has decreased while the mean estimate for 24% of the companies in the sector has increased. The mean estimate for the other 31% of the companies has remained unchanged.