Saturday, February 5, 2011

"CEO Conference Calls Suggest Big Capital Spending Ahead" (FCX; CAT; GOOG; JNJ)

From CNBC:
Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Chief Executive Richard Adkerson didn't mince words when he was asked on a conference call last month about the miner's priorities:

"It's CapEx, CapEx, CapEx, CapEx," the CEO said, tossing out the popular corporate parlance for capital expenditures.
That kind of straight talk about spending plans doesn't often show up in Freeport's  [FCX  56.76    -0.13  (-0.23%)   ] carefully vetted press releases—or in the public statements put out just about any other publicly traded company, for that matter.

That's why each quarter, Goldman Sachs Research mines conference call transcripts to try and find the real outlook from Corporate America amid all the public relations spin. Adkerson’s comment, coming during the Q&A portion with analysts, is just the kind of tip-off to a big theme that would have been overlooked by someone that just takes investor relations’ or newswires’ word for it.

“Companies expressed more willingness to invest in activities that drive growth compared with prior periods,” wrote David Kostin, chief U.S. investment strategist for Goldman, in a report to clients. “New capital expenditures in energy, marketing and client services initiatives in financials, hiring engineers in information technology, R&D spending in health care, and re-starting capacity in materials were cited by executives as examples of growth initiatives intended to boost revenues.”...MORE