Friday, March 11, 2011

Another Terrible Earthquake

Wow, a bit off topic but another terrible earthquake - this time a stunning 8.9 in Japan. I was just reading yesterday where the February Christchurch earthquake will cost Munich Re $1b (Swiss Re got off for $800m). The devastation and potential loss of life looks to be much higher with this one due to some severe tsunamis. They said this was the 5th strongest EQ since 1900. Remember this all started with the Chilean earthquake outside Santiago, which was also in the top 10.

Earnings Update

Yesterday was a painful day in the market for pretty much everyone. I doubt today will be any better. I did have two MFI stocks report earnings last night, it was a story of one good, one bad.

ARO - what a disappointment. I bought ARO as my one toe in the water with the US economy. They missed the estimate (Aeropostale 4Q net drops 13 pct amid higher costs) with the claim it was based on taxes. But my read is that margins are dropping. With higher raw material costs (cotton) added to a weak economy, ARO has not been able to pass the costs to the consumer. I suspect this will be a theme with other clothing retailers, so I am going to strike CATO off my potential buy list.

CMTL - expectations were so low for CMTL, that simply matching last year's numbers was ok (Comtech Telecommunications Corp. Announces Results for the Second Quarter of Fiscal 2011 and Declares $0.25 Per Share Quarterly Cash Dividend). They beat the estimates, so I expect the stock will rise this morning.

Final thought - watching the financial news, they said Munich Re and Swiss Re are each down about 5% this morning in Europe.

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