Eagle Eye Opener: Ford Drives to Record Revenue in Q1 2013; Europe’s Central Bank May Announce Rate Cut; Netflix Rises

Eagle Eye Opener

Ford Drives to Record Revenue in Q1 2013 (AP)

Ford Motor Co. (F) beat analysts’ first quarter 2013 earnings expectations today, earning 40 cents per share, compared to projections of 35 cents per share. Those first quarter 2013 earnings were based on total revenue of $35.8 billion, beating Wall Street’s expected revenue of $33.8 billion. Net income also rose 15 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to $1.6 billion, driven — for the most part — by North American sales, which came in at $2.4 billion. Conversely, Ford sales were weaker than expected in Europe and South America, coming in at $462 million under expectations (a 20 percent loss). It is a nice start Ford, but what’s on tap for Q2?

As Germany Goes, So Goes Europe (CNBC)

Next week, when the European Central Bank (ECB) meets, it’s expected to announce an across-the-board rate cut. Ordinarily, this would be welcomed with huzzahs, but with flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data reflecting that Europe’s largest economy — Germany — is stalling, the news was received like a cold meal. The threat of a German economic slowdown has dampened the mood of analysts and investors alike, making the impact of any rate cut almost insignificant in comparison. In fact, news of a lagging German economy was even enough to temper enthusiasm about a fall in Spanish and Italian borrowing costs, as well as indications that Italy is moving past its presidential election impasse. At this point, it’s hard to underestimate the influence that the German economy has on European Union prospects, a crucial fact for investors to keep in mind.

Netflix Closes in on Earnings Nirvana — Monopoly Status (YahooFinance)

Netflix’s recent push to purchase or develop original content was originally met with disdain by Wall Street; however, with the company’s recent quarterly performance in the books, that decision looks golden today. With a broader content offering, the online streaming company has increased its viewership and reduced subscriber churn. And as Netflix’s subscriber base expands, it’s able to spend more on acquiring content. In fact, according to Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible, Netflix has been on such an acquisition streak that, “Netflix is getting closer to a monopolistic control of the market.” As investors know, there’s not much better for earnings than achieving monopoly status — that is until the U.S. government decides enough is enough. Until then, Netflix investors will be able to download dollars into their accounts, almost.

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