When Better Isn’t Good Enough (Reuters)
Ford (F) earned 31 cents a share in Q4 2012, crushing analysts’ estimates by almost 25 percent. However, investors shouldn’t confuse this optimistic figure with the perception that things are rosy worldwide for the United States’ second-largest auto maker. In fact, Ford lost $1.75 billion last year in Europe — based on the region’s economic woes. And its management doesn’t foresee the situation over there getting a whole lot better in 2013 when the company expects to lose $2 billion. So, if you’re playing Ford this year, realize domestic opportunity is going to drive the company’s profits.
Bernanke Buying Blitz to Top $1.14 Trillion by 2014 (Bloomberg)
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that the government’s latest round of bond buying won’t be finished until it reaches $1.14 trillion — sometime in the first quarter of 2014. So, investors can look forward to Uncle Sam gobbling up $40 billion worth of mortgage bonds and $45 billion of Treasures each month throughout the year — and minimal inflation during that time. The question now becomes, what happens in 2014, when the Bernanke’s buying blitz ends?
Picked the Wrong Year to Stop ‘Doing’ Drugs (Bloomberg)
The world’s largest drug maker, Pfizer, Inc. (PFE), is forecasting profit of $2.30 a share for 2013 — topping the consensus estimate of 19 analysts. The puppies and rainbows forecast is based upon the expectation that two new drugs hitting the market this year each will generate $1 billion in sales. This situation, combined with CEO Ian Read’s overall plan to divest the company of non-drug units and buy back shares, powered the company to a 26 percent profit in the preceding 12 months — not bad for a company with a $197 billion market cap. Investors may want to start “doing” drugs as an investment in 2013.