Record earnings another sign of fat times … at least for a few

From Bloomberg:

“Record earnings fueled by the highest profit margins since 1993 are giving executives more leeway than ever to boost dividends as the bull market enters its third year.

Margins will climb to 8.9 percent in 2011, the highest level in at least 18 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg on non-financial companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index through March 11. Greater profitability combined with dividend cuts during the credit crisis have pushed earnings to 6.53 percent of the gauge’s price, or 3.5 times more than its payout rate, close to the record 3.6 multiple in January.

A total of 95 companies led by Aetna Inc. (AET) and Carnival Corp. have raised dividends as the fastest economic expansion in six years and five straight quarters of earnings growth increased confidence among chief executive officers. Of the 380 that pay dividends, 378 are forecast to maintain or increase them, according to data compiled by Bloomberg using options prices, profits, management statements and peer comparisons.”

“… record earnings …”

“… the fastest economic expansion in six years …”

“… five straight quarters of earnings growth …”

” … highest profit margins since 1993…”

What on earth is that Marxist Kenyan doing to the American economy!?!?!?

Of course, if studied too closely, those numbers do tend to undercut the conservatives’ favorite economic theory that working Americans have too much bargaining power and demand so much in pay and benefits that the poor besieged businessman simply can’t make a profit these days.

But hey, who cares, right?

Bring me some caviar and champagne, Jeeves, and have Stanley bring the Rolls around to the front door. And quickly!

– Jay Bookman

775 comments Add your comment

Doggone/GA

March 17th, 2011
10:25 am

And our corporate tax rates are so high that companies can’t afford to hire any more employess…right?

Mr. Right

March 17th, 2011
10:25 am

Don’t worry Jay, big labor will take them down if they can and then you can wonder why the jobs went overseas!

Obama

March 17th, 2011
10:25 am

Forget working on the budget, I’m on ESPN baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spending cuts smending cuts, bring on Andy Katz and March Madness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ncgreybr

March 17th, 2011
10:31 am

What’s the matter folks? Can’t find anything bad about this to blame on Obama? Looks like this is going to be a short blog…..

james

March 17th, 2011
10:31 am

Looks like a great time for all liberals to go start their own company- trust me, it is so easy and will be extremely profitable. Jay- go quit right now and start your own blogging enterprise- put your space suit on and fly to the moon with this one.

Nuker

March 17th, 2011
10:31 am

I guess that Hope and Change nonsense was only for the wealthy.

In case no one noticed, the Democrats have been in power for the last four years and have owned the White house for the last two.

The sad thing is that most liberals will still find a way to blame Republicans for this.

Joe

March 17th, 2011
10:33 am

I also saw on the news yesterday that sale figures for of BMWs and Mercedes Benz are up significantly while other models struggle.

The right-wing notion—that if you let all the “producers” keep the wealth that they stole or inherited, they’ll be kind enough to generate jobs for the rest of us—is bunk . Trickle-down theory never worked and it never will.

The nation’s wealth is flowing to the top while the middle class shrinks, and its the folks who favor taxing earned income (i.e., income from work) over unearned income (e.g., inheritances, dividends, and capital gains) and who favor regressive tax structures (e.g., sales taxes) over progressive tax structures (e.g., graduated income tax) who are doing it to us (and themselves). Suckers!

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:34 am

“Bring me some caviar and champagne, Jeeves, and have Stanley bring the Rolls around to the front door.”

Are you referring to George Soros?

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:34 am

“working Americans have too much bargaining power ‘

Huh?

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:34 am

“What on earth is that Marxist Kenyan doing to the American economy!?!?!?”

He extended the Bush tax cuts, thus making them the Obama/Pelosi/Reid tax cuts. Looks likethe economy has responded accordingly.

Keep Up, the Green Unicorn!

March 17th, 2011
10:35 am

Soros…diversion…but those righties sure fear the man.

Mick

March 17th, 2011
10:36 am

lawow @10:30

Never claimed that solution to be the “absolute truth”, did I?

This column bears out that perspective, the wealthy class can pitch in more…

Jay

March 17th, 2011
10:36 am

You mean like this, James?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmWjlA9FlAo

It was sent to me by a very conservative friend whose son is one of those hired in the deal. Apparently Biden saw the video, called the store and promised to stop by for some ice cream.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

March 17th, 2011
10:36 am

What on earth is that Marxist Kenyan doing to the American economy!?!?!?

:shock:

How dare he!!!! That damned anti-corporate, anti-business, Marxist, Keneysian, Kenyan colonial, foreign born, Muslim sympathizing, no birth certificate having, golf playing, bracket filling President needs to get off his ass and do something to get our economy going again.

:)

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:36 am

After bashing the Bush tax cuts for 6 years, Obama/Pelosi /Reid have 180′ed….and the libs don’t even know they’ve been duped…

blue_unicorn

March 17th, 2011
10:36 am

HDB – Herman Cain decimated Bill Clinton in a discussion on Hillarycare. Off the cuff. Clinton tucked tail and ran.

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:37 am

“Soros…diversion…but those righties sure fear the man.”

LMAO…and liberals go into cardiac arrest when they hear the words “Koch brothers”

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:37 am

“Record earnings another sign of fat times”

I guess that’s why Obama’s poll numbers are below 45%.

Nuker

March 17th, 2011
10:38 am

Joe

The Republicans are really killing us, aren’t they? Maybe in the next election, we can elect a president that cares about the working class, the little people, and doesn’t spend his time working on his bracket and traveling to Rio between golf outings.

Seriously, I’m a little astounded. Why are you complaining about Republicans? You got what you wanted in the presidential elections and low and behold, we are getting beat up much worse, now that a lefty is in the White House.

You choose him, you voted for him and this is what you get.

arnold

March 17th, 2011
10:38 am

Where are the jobs Republicans promise?

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:38 am

“LMAO…and liberals go into cardiac arrest when they hear the words “Koch brothers”’

And Halliburton

And Enron

And Exxon

And BP

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:38 am

Where are all the jobs Obama promised 2 1/2 years ago?

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:41 am

Obama said he wasn’t going to rest until every American who wanted a job, had a job.

I see he is foused on his NCAA bracket, playing golf, and partying in Rio…is it fair to say that the 10% of Americans currently unemployed just don’t want jobs?

Peadawg

March 17th, 2011
10:41 am

Looks like the extension of the Bush tax cuts have worked. Whooda thunk it?

blue_unicorn

March 17th, 2011
10:41 am

On topic – The economy always performs better when neither party controls house/senate/white house. In fact, I am feeling better about things myself. Enough so that I just took delivery on a new CTS-V. That trickled down to a few people.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:41 am

“Apparently Biden saw the video, called the store and promised to stop by for some ice cream.”

And didn’t bother to pay for the ice cream. Then, after he ate it, he plagiarized the recipe and tried to pass it off as if he came up with it.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:42 am

“The economy always performs better when neither party controls house/senate/white house.’

Unemployment was 4.4% in 2006 when the GOP controlled both sides.

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:42 am

“Record earnings another sign of fat times … at least for a few”

Jay, given that most Americans depend on stocks to fund their retirement, either through 401(k) plans or public worker pension plans that are invested in the market, isn’t it true that these earnings are good for way more than just a few Americans?

Nuker

March 17th, 2011
10:43 am

arnold

Wake up. Republicans hold one house and everything they do has to get past the lib in the White House.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:43 am

“The economy always performs better when neither party controls house/senate/white house.’

The DOW hit 14,000 when the GOP controlled both sides in 2006.

Doggone/GA

March 17th, 2011
10:43 am

Where are all the jobs that we were promised we’d get IF ONLY the “Bush tax cuts” were extended?

james

March 17th, 2011
10:44 am

No need to look- go do it Jay. Stop being bitter. Go do it. If oil companies are making so much money. Buy their stock. If you can’t afford to buy their stock, form a company to be a supplier. If health insurance companies are making so much money, buy their stock. Form a pharma sales company. It is called free market Jay. Look at your AJC headlines today about the census and blacks moving to the suburbs. You wrote a year or so ago about “mostly white wealthy suburbians”. Blacks, Asians, everyone are moving to the suburbs because all capital- including human capital- is more fairly treated away from government and therefore the inner city.

Go quit Jay- form your on blogging enterprise and make your millions.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:44 am

Hey, there’s my twin brother, Nuker.

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:44 am

Of course, for Jay to acknowledge the truth of my post @ 10:42, he would have to let go of the Holy Grail of liberalism, i.e. wealth and class envy………

I’m not holding my breath……….

Herman Cain

March 17th, 2011
10:45 am

poor joe: ” If you let all the producers keep all the money they stole or inherited” what a idiotic statement. Wealth envy much? I’ll bet you believe whatever job you have ( if you have one) belongs to you. Guess what, it isn’t your job, it is the evil owner of the company or the shareholders job, you have just been hired to do it. Perhaps with different choices in your life, you would own some jobs you could hire out.

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:45 am

“Where are all the jobs that we were promised we’d get IF ONLY the “Bush tax cuts” were extended?”

I’ve got one, and it pays six figures. Guess you just aren’t as smart as me.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:45 am

Jay, that Ted’s Montana Grill banner ad above your head looks mighty tasty. Maybe you could buy stock in Ted Turner and open up your own.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:46 am

“Wealth envy much?’

People who can’t do, steal.

Nuker

March 17th, 2011
10:46 am

Hey, Wow.

Apparently we have a large family. It got a little crazy in here yesterday afternoon.

Doggone/GA

March 17th, 2011
10:46 am

“I’ve got one, and it pays six figures”

So do I

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:48 am

I’m embarassed that james beat me to such an obvious point, i.e…..

If you libbies think those corporate profits are so obscene, they can easily be yours…they are only a call to your stock broker away….

George W

March 17th, 2011
10:49 am

Jay….great for them….sounds like “they” are doing their jobs well. Maybe this Marxist Kenyan can take some notes.

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:49 am

Doggone/GA

March 17th, 2011
10:46 am

“I’ve got one, and it pays six figures”

“So do I”

Even a blind squirrel gets a nut every now and then.

Granny O'Godzilla

March 17th, 2011
10:50 am

What on earth is that Marxist Kenyan doing to the American economy!?!?!?

effectively cleaning up the mess left behind by the last administration and keeping the GOP war on jobs at bay

Now would a grand lassie like myself be postin’ an inflamatorty accusation that couldn’t be backed up – why faith and begorrah no – they’ll try to take a shillelagh to the source but won’t be able to prove any blarney at all, at all….

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

March 17th, 2011
10:50 am

From the Bloomberg piece Jay linked:

A total of 95 companies led by Aetna Inc. (AET) and Carnival Corp. have raised dividends as the fastest economic expansion in six years and five straight quarters of earnings growth increased confidence among chief executive officers. Of the 380 that pay dividends, 378 are forecast to maintain or increase them, according to data compiled by Bloomberg using options prices, profits, management statements and peer comparisons.

Five straight quarters of earnings growth would predate the “Extend the Tax Cuts” debate by a year at least. I don’t think the extension of a sale on tax rates had anything to do with it, but that’s just me. I’m more interested in why would companies not want to use that money to pump back into the economy in the form of workers. More people with money typically means more customers, right?

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:51 am

“Granny O’Godzilla

March 17th, 2011
10:50 am
What on earth is that Marxist Kenyan doing to the American economy!?!?!?

“effectively cleaning up the mess left behind by the last administration and keeping the GOP war on jobs at bay”

Congratulations Granny…that is easily the stupidest thing posted on this blog in over a month.

George W

March 17th, 2011
10:53 am

Harry…are you surprised? Look at most of Granny’s posts.

TnGelding

March 17th, 2011
10:53 am

And don’t forget, the stimulus didn’t work. I read Kenyan as Keynesian the first time!

Granny O'Godzilla

March 17th, 2011
10:53 am

Ah Harry, bless that wee heart o yours…..

Keep Up, the Green Unicorn!

March 17th, 2011
10:53 am

,i>If you libbies think those corporate profits are so obscene, they can easily be yours…they are only a call to your stock broker away

Such self-proclaimed brain power without evidence and yet seems to forget that most Americans do not have the salary to make investments……class warfare remains the battle cry of the fooling.

Granny O'Godzilla

March 17th, 2011
10:53 am

Ah And wee Georgie W too….

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:53 am

“Five straight quarters of earnings growth would predate the “Extend the Tax Cuts” debate by a year at least. ”

Extended the tax cuts, didn’t change the rates, it kept them the same, thereby allowing the economic expansion to continue.

Mathematic analysis is really not your strong suit, is it?

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:56 am

“Such self-proclaimed brain power without evidence and yet seems to forget that most Americans do not have the salary to make investments”

I was contributing to my 401(k) 20 years ago when I made about $18K/year. Of course, this requires foregoing iPhones, plasma TV’s, and leased SUV’s, but life is really all about choices.

Mr. Right

March 17th, 2011
10:56 am

Granny O’Godzilla

March 17th, 2011
10:50 am

Yea, cleaning UP the deficit left by Bush ? Ha Ha

TnGelding

March 17th, 2011
10:56 am

Anyone working and drawing a paycheck can invest. It’s a matter of priorities.

james

March 17th, 2011
10:56 am

The Cox family is obscenely rich largely on the sweat and efforts of employees like Jay. Stop the madness- stop creating more wealth for the Cox family. Revolt. Leave. Form a new independent employee owned company.

Jay

March 17th, 2011
10:56 am

Granny is exactly right, Harry.

Herman Cain

March 17th, 2011
10:57 am

keep up,Guess most Americans should have made better choices in life huh? Maybe a few less rugrats early in life, decdiding to cut down on cable tv and cell phones, beer & Nascar might have left a few dollars for investment. Nah, mama government didn’t school them on that.

Doggone/GA

March 17th, 2011
10:57 am

“I’m more interested in why would companies not want to use that money to pump back into the economy in the form of workers. More people with money typically means more customers, right?”

You aren’t thinking “right” – if profits are up, without more employees, why worry about it? The money is coming in regardless. But, of course, when profits start falling again because the customers can’t afford to buy…why THEN – naturally – you have to start letting people go.

George W

March 17th, 2011
10:57 am

james…..employee owned company….can you please state one?

TnGelding

March 17th, 2011
10:57 am

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:53 am

Don’t forget, they threw in a few other goodies, too.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:57 am

Same ole Granny. Posting garbage from Media Matters.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:58 am

“Granny is exactly right, Harry.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
10:58 am

Granny, when Obama had both houses of conngress under Democrat contril for two years, and unemployment went from 8% to over 10%, was that keeping the job-destroying Republicans at bay? LMAO

Jay

March 17th, 2011
10:58 am

Cox treats its employees with respect, James. It understands that the employee-employer relationship must be mutually beneficial in order to work, and it operates accordingly.

Keep Up, the Green Unicorn!

March 17th, 2011
10:58 am

Of course, this requires foregoing iPhones, plasma TV’s, and leased SUV’s, but life is really all about choices

Yes because obviously that is all that happens in life. Some people are so clueless.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:59 am

“class warfare remains the battle cry of the fooling.’

Good way to sum up people who vote for Democrats.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:59 am

“Some people are so clueless.

Good way to sum up people who vote for Democrats.

TnGelding

March 17th, 2011
11:00 am

That’s why they’ve been successful and have become so wealthy. More power to them! And to the workers at the AJC.

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
11:00 am

Jay

March 17th, 2011
10:56 am

“Granny is exactly right, Harry.”

Congratulatons Jay. You just passed Granny for the the #1 position.

By the way, it hasn’t escaped my attention that you are dodging my question about corporate profits benefitting millions of Americans, not just “a few.”

George W

March 17th, 2011
11:01 am

So Jay….even thought Cox treats their employees with respect. I would assume the C Levels in your company make much more than you do or the average employee. Doesnt that make them part of the problem….or atleast isnt that what the left thinks?

Peons, Inc., A Limited Reliability Company

March 17th, 2011
11:01 am

More than a third of all U.S. states allow borrowers who can’t or won’t pay to be jailed. Judges have signed off on more than 5,000 such warrants since the start of 2010 in nine counties with a total population of 13.6 million people, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal of filings in those counties.

Cheap labor! Get you your cheap labor here! All of our laborers have their full documentation. One hundred percent legal. No illegals.

Mr. Right

March 17th, 2011
11:01 am

Seems to bother Jay when someone earns a profit!

WOW

March 17th, 2011
11:01 am

“That’s why they’ve been successful and have become so wealthy.’

I don’t think the AJC has made the COX family most of their money.

Two Cents

March 17th, 2011
11:02 am

Where to begin?!? I’m tired of the attitude from those making six-figure salaries that the rest of us who don’t are just stupid or lazy. Also, you’re darn right that these corporate profits are obscene when school systems are having to lay off teachers, education is getting cut at every turn and we don’t have enough money to fix the potholes in the roads. But, Georgia has a fix for that — consumption taxes! We’ll have to pay taxes on food (which continues to increase in cost), haircuts and auto repairs.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
11:02 am

“Seems to bother Jay when someone earns a profit!’

Seems to bother all Democrats when someone earns a profit.

Granny O'Godzilla

March 17th, 2011
11:02 am

Ah, Shucks Squireen O’Bookman…..

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
11:03 am

“Jay

March 17th, 2011
10:58 am

“Cox treats its employees with respect, James. It understands that the employee-employer relationship must be mutually beneficial in order to work, and it operates accordingly.”

Those large corporations you love to bash treat their employees with respect as well, Jay.

james

March 17th, 2011
11:03 am

Jay- non response. They make obscene profits and have obscene wealth. You need to be a shining light and enabler of others on your own quest for wealth and entrepreneurism. Quit settling.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
11:03 am

“I’m tired of the attitude from those making six-figure salaries that the rest of us who don’t are just stupid or lazy.”

So?

“Also, you’re darn right that these corporate profits are obscene when school systems are having to lay off teachers, education is getting cut at every turn and we don’t have enough money to fix the potholes in the roads.’

Then go pay for the teachers salaries on your own dime.

TnGelding

March 17th, 2011
11:03 am

I’m sure that relationship prevails in all of Cox Enterprises.

George W

March 17th, 2011
11:04 am

James….I am sure Jay could start his own company/corporation at anytime….feel free to join him.

Harry Callahan

March 17th, 2011
11:05 am

“Five Georgians make the world’s richest list
7:53 am March 10, 2011, by Henry Unger

Five Georgians are on the new Forbes list of the world’s richest people.

A record 1,210 billionaires are on the list with a total net worth of $4.5 trillion.

The Georgians are:

No. 53 — Anne Cox Chambers — net worth of $13.4 billion — a principal owner of Cox Enterprises, which owns the AJC.”

Wow Jay…looks like little Annie Cox is one of those obscenely rich you love to hate.

AmVet

March 17th, 2011
11:05 am

The Trickled On cons still believe in voodoo economics. Though they got the very short end of the stick.

Welcome to the corporatocracy.

cosby smith

March 17th, 2011
11:05 am

Wonder what the profit margin is? Carnival?? Makes you wonder who can take a cruise these days or perhaps they received stimulus…better check Aetna as they ae one of the ones that received so called stimulus money that actually came from the tax payers. This seems like a short sighted blog as further details are needed to determine why growth and where it is coming from. unemployment is still at record levels, construction is still in the hopper, yet a cruise line is doing well…makes one wonder the validity of numbers.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

March 17th, 2011
11:06 am

Extended the tax cuts, didn’t change the rates, it kept them the same, thereby allowing the economic expansion to continue.

Mathematic analysis is really not your strong suit, is it?

It’s a lot stronger than your reading and comprehension. The growth started long before the extension of the rates went into effect. If it were all about the extension, the growth would just now be recognizable. I could say that the record profits were because of people celebrating New Year’s in Times Square in 2011. Just because the two events happened doesn’t necessarily mean they are related in any manner.

Nuker

March 17th, 2011
11:06 am

This is really funny. libs don’t know who to blame or what to do.

They got their Hope and Change and the profits of the mega-corps are doing better than under the evil Republicans and the middle and poor class are much worse off.

Sounds like that Democratic BS is nothing but lies. the Health Care has given the evil Health Insurance Companies record profits, too.

The rich get richer and now, libs, whose fault is that?

Adam

March 17th, 2011
11:07 am

WEALTH ENVY! (snark)

Fun fact: 19 of the first 82 comments are from WOW. That’s 23%.

BTW, I do have a question for the people who wish to have a REAL discussion, and that is what exactly is wrong with someone wanting ALL people to be able to survive, i.e. with food, shelter, and clothing? Can we not recognize that amassing huge amounts of money in the hands of less than 1,000 people in this country makes that less possible?

Granny O'Godzilla

March 17th, 2011
11:07 am

Now would a grand lassie like myself be postin’ an inflamatory accusation that couldn’t be backed up – why faith and begorrah no – they’ll try to take a shillelagh to the source but won’t be able to prove any blarney at all, at all….

WOW

March 17th, 2011
10:57 am
Same ole Granny. Posting garbage from Media Matters.

a swing and a miss….

WOW

March 17th, 2011
11:07 am

“The rich get richer and now, libs, whose fault is that?”

Global Warming.

Adam

March 17th, 2011
11:08 am

Harry: What’s wrong with socialism? Don’t forget to define it first.

Two Cents

March 17th, 2011
11:08 am

@WOW. The problem with these corporate profits is that they are going to a handful of people who run the companies and the top shareholders. The profits are not being reinvested back into the economy to create jobs and expand business nor are the record profits being given to workers in the form of raises. The middle- and low-income people will spend the money in their pockets — and that’s what is sorely needed to get our economy functioning again, people spending money on stuff and services, not sitting in a bank vault counting it.

Jay

March 17th, 2011
11:08 am

Job losses peaked at more than 800,000 a month in January 2009, Harry.

The number has been improving steadily ever since.

January 2009. Hmmm.

In the past year, we’ve ADDED 1.3 million jobs.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
11:08 am

“a swing and a miss….’

Ah, sweet ole Granny with her one liners. Posting nonsense from a site created by Hillary Clinton supporters.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
11:09 am

“What’s wrong with socialism?’

Eventually you run out of other peoples money.

Adam

March 17th, 2011
11:09 am

Granny: More like endless flailing with no hits. Ever.

WOW

March 17th, 2011
11:09 am

“The problem with these corporate profits is that they are going to a handful of people who run the companies and the top shareholders. ‘

Imagine that.

Granny O'Godzilla

March 17th, 2011
11:09 am

WOW

March 17th, 2011
11:08 am
“a swing and a miss….’

Ah, sweet ole Granny with her one liners. Posting nonsense from a site created by Hillary Clinton supporters.

and another swing and a miss – strike two

George W

March 17th, 2011
11:09 am

Jay….then why up until about a month ago was the unemployment number rising? Topped 10% and stayed there….

Adam

March 17th, 2011
11:10 am

Eventually you run out of other peoples money.

You forgot to define socialism first. Given your response I’m not sure you understand what socialism really is.