Earnings Crush(ed)

Total Earnings by quarter Up Same Down $952.48 $972.31 $999.32 $983.51 $1,099.24
QTR Change % year over year 49.94% 810 45 767 -13.35% -10.39% -2.96% 3.52% 11.25%

Here’s the pivotal point I have been watching for on the economy.  Less than 50% of the companies listed in the Valueline Index made more money for their most recently reported quarter than they did one year ago.  And the steepness of that drop is severe.

For the most recent data I have, companies earned $952.48 on a per share basis.  That is down from the same period of a year ago of $1,099.24 on a per share basis.

The most recent quarter was also the worst of the last four quarters.

On average, the stocks made 13.35% less in income per share than they did one year ago.  This means that adding up all the stocks that made more than they did a year ago and all the ones that made less than they did a year ago, and the total is down a whopping 13.35%.

Do you think those businesses will be expanding for the rest of the year?  Or fighting for survival?

I have not seen this indicator of mine turn negative since the last recession.  It’s not a normal event, and it indicates that there is something wrong with this economy.

The regulatory and tax burdens faced by American businesses are crushing the bottom line.  Obamacare is crushing the bottom line.

The Federal Reserve, with rising fuel prices year over year, and low unemployment(thanks to a plethora of low paying part time waiter and bartender jobs) will have no choice to but to raise rates at least once more this year.

Those rate increases, which will affect the refinancing of the the debt that American corporations hold at record levels, will decimate the bottom line even further.

These are not one time or one off events.  This is the cost of doing business in the United States today.

Further compounding the bleak picture is the outlook going forward.

Dow 30 Profits Analysis 20160517

 

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2021
Dow 30 Total Profits(millions) $347,711 $341,897 $351,263 $326,459 $319,660 $351,990 $469,760
Change $24,953 -$5,814 $9,366 -$24,804 -$6,799 $32,330 $143,301
% YOY 7.73% -1.67% 2.74% -7.06% -2.08% 10.11% 40.80%

Above is an analysis of the profits of the DOW 30 Industrials in total dollars earned.

The year 2015 was the worst  since the year 2011.  Adding icing to that cake is the forecast that 2016 will be worse than 2015.

The year 2017 will get us back to the performance we saw in the year 2014.  We have lost years of economic performance gains while the Federal Reserve Bank has constantly told us that we had an improving US economy.

Do the numbers in the table above appear to indicate that our economy has been improving?

Not even close.

The US economy is dead in the water, and is taking on water.  The forecasts for future years are way too optimistic in my view, and there is no economic stimulus available, other than reducing regulations and cutting taxes that will get this economy moving again in a healthy manner.

Prepare accordingly.

What’s The Real Cost Of the Old Alabama Road Delay to Drivers, Johns Creek?

Johns Creek residents have been fighting a losing battle with traffic for the past several years.  Key road closures and construction projects have taken their toll on drivers and residents who find themselves trapped in their neighborhoods during rush hours, or face 20 minute ride to the grocery or school, which is within a mile or two of their homes.

Last year I did some calculations to determine what our delays cost us. Some local residents asked me to do the same for the Old Alabama-141 project, and so I have. You can read more about the details in the link below, but I explain as we go how the numbers are generated.

http://1c4.f98.myftpupload.com/2015/06/05/the-high-cost-of-traffic-dollar-and-sense/

The Old Alabama Road project is, has, and will be going on for a long time, by any measure that you can find.  With less than a 1/2 mile of widening to be accomplished, the cost of the road construction itself is at least $5 million and maybe higher.  The City of Johns Creek went with the GDOT to do the project to save the taxpayers money.

But, like any government agency, they seem to forget about the costs to the taxpayers themselves.  Being stuck in traffic for two years or more has a very high price. Most DOT project guides that I have seen give credence to the costs of that impact on residents.  Johns Creek may be the exception.

According to the Georgia DOT webserver on traffic volumes, there were about 8619 cars per day traveling on Old Alabama during the three morning and evening hours that make up peak travel periods in Johns Creek in 2013.

Most of us have experienced worse delays than the 10 minutes I use for this example, but we will use that as the additional time each vehicle is taking to make it through the intersection.

That equals 86,190 minutes per day wasted sitting in traffic.

That equals 1,436 hours per day.  At a value of $16 per hour(based on what other DOTs use for the cost of traffic delays), that works out to a cost of $22,984.00 per day.

And since there are 250 or so work days a year, that works out to $5,975,840.00 per year.

This suggests to me that the residents and drivers in and around Johns Creek will have nearly $12 million dollars in lost time, wear and tear on their vehicles, and general frustration while the City of Johns Creek will have saved around $5 million by having the Georgia Department of Transportation run this project.

Was it worth it?

Seniority Rules (And Why Our System of Government Falters

In the halls of the Senate and Congress all elected individuals are not treated equally. Somehow this basic tenet of our nation’s existance does not apply to the elected leadership of this nation.

In fact, the system is so weighted that the two candidates that were vying for the Democratic nomination for President would not have been qualified to lead the Senate based upon these rules. I will also promise you that not one first term congressmen will have a shot at being Speaker of the House despite the dismal performance of the current Speaker. The most highly qualified individual will simply not get the job. And so, our nation falters. Continue reading