General Electric 2Q17 Earnings Call Notes

Jeff Immelt – Chairman and CEO


” Let me give you a few themes that describe the environment. U.S. is stable on a slow growth rate, global growth is accelerating, and resource markets remain challenging.”

Bigger picture view of the company

“Let’s take a bigger picture view of the Company. We have created a very strong position in power, healthcare, transport and resources, big industrial segments. We don’t like the current on a gas cycle but our business is significantly improved and will prosper as the cycle recovers. We are gaining share in most of our markets with $327 billion of backlog. We have a leadership position in the industrial internet and additive manufacturing, two growth areas and drivers of industrial productivity.”

No benefit to being overly bullish about prospects for natural gas industry

“I think Andrew, if you look at a micro study like IEA, which or EPE [ph] study of the industry things like that. These would show slow but steady increases in the evolution around natural gas really for the next 20 years, right, in terms of additions to capacity and things like that. And you can triangulate that against whatever your assumptions might be on accelerating penetration of solar, reduction of nuclear. There is a whole series of things over the next five years or 10 years or 20 years. But I think what’s clear is with the ongoing outlook for the cost of natural gas, gas turbans and gas power generation are going to be one of the staples of the future of the industry. Now, does that mean 50 gigawatts, instead of 40 gigawatts in the short-term, I don’t think any of are that smart. You’ve got places like Saudi Arabia that used to be the biggest gas turbine market that have been slower over the last couple of years; they’re going to need capacity; there is — what does China do, vis-à-vis their environmental issue. There is probably five markets that matter that would make it more on the upside, but I actually think there is a fit for the gas market going forward. That being said, I don’t think there is benefit to Jeff or John or to Russell now to be overly bullish about the near-term kind of dynamics around the industry. But at the same time, I think somewhere in the 40ish area is pretty much where I would think about the industry going forward.”

John Flannery – Next Chairman and CEO

Doing a full review and will get back to investors in the fall

“As you know, my official start date is August 1st. And we’d indicated earlier that I’d be doing a full review of the Company and be back to investors in the fall with my views. We are on track with this process. I am in the middle of a series of deep dives into each of the businesses, looking at everything you would expect. What is the market outlook, where can we grow, where can we improve margins, how is the cash conversion, what returns are we getting on investment? For example, next week, we will be visiting our power and aviation businesses. We are also taking a hard look at our corporate spending, going through a zero base budget exercise on all of our functions and making sure 100% of our GE store outlays are accretive to the overall results of the Company.”

GE at William Blair Conference Notes

Bill Ruh – Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Executive Officer of GE Digital

There will be more processing on the end than in the cloud

“Predix. I know you would like me to go into depth on all the technical details of Predix. But I would just say this, it is a unique architecture. We don’t ride on one infrastructure, one cloud. We run on AWS today. We announced we will be on Azure shortly. We are really the only major application that runs on both simultaneously plus we can run on Saudi Telecom, China Telecom and so on. The second thing is edge compute. There will be more processing on the edge than we think in the cloud. And we think that the ability to run on the edge is an important part. Why? Because it’s a real-time game and the amount of data and the amount of processing that’s necessary in real-time to change a control system is not going to allow you to go back to the cloud, make that decision and lose the efficiency. So we have an architecture that’s cloud-to-edge oriented. We love the cloud providers. I want to tell you, AWS, Azure, these are great companies, we really like running on. We will continue to be strong supporters of everyone’s cloud. We don’t want to spend on those data centers. We will cheer them on and ride them.”

General Electric’s (GE) at Bernstein Strategic Decision Conference

John Flannery – President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Healthcare

The US  in a soft spot

“U.S,…we are looking at roughly 1% to 2% market growth as we look at ‘16, ‘17, ‘18 that kind of timeframe….t’s been soft in the first few months of the year….I am looking at sort of a flattish market in the U.S. There is definitely some uncertainty and wait and watch about the legislative process and proposals and how that might affect us…So the U.S. is I think there is a temporary soft spot, I think that will sort itself over time going forward.”

Emerging markets growing nicely

“we have got about roughly 25% of our business today is emerging markets that’s growing nicely. But the story for us there really is margin rate, market share gain, take advantage of the emerging markets.”

Life science is a crown jewel

“And then Life Science I would say is, in many ways, a crown jewel inside the overall portfolio. There is strong macro growth in this industry in terms of biological drug adoption, biosimilar drug production. And we have a very strong franchise here. So this has been a double digit growth business, very high margin, very strong cash generation and we are eager to invest more and more money in this business.”

The strategy in screening projects

“So as the mindset, I would say when we look at organic investment, we are harsh around screening projects, what are the business cases, let’s try them quickly. If they are working, we will double down. If they are not working, we will pull back. ”

On the affordable care act

“…there is going to be some marginal impact around who is insured, who is uninsured. And I think that’s what our customers are waiting to see. But at the end of the day, I am not expecting some quantum change in the amount of people that are active in healthcare. I do expect quantum change at how they are reimbursed and what”

GE at JP Morgan Conference Notes

Richard Laxer – GE Capital President & CEO

Running a year ahead of schedule in financial wind down

“So, first on the highlights, from GE Capital Exit Plan April, 2015, we are basically a year ahead of plan, 93% of our transactions are closed. Last June we got out of third supervision, so we lost specific designation. We expect to get out of regulations in Europe in the first half of the year. Now, we’ve got some trailing activities that I’ll talk about that we need to wind down.”

US economy feels strong

“Yeah, avoid the political commentary, I think when you look at the different markets, the U.S. economy feels strong and you see that and we see that in terms of the activity that’s coming across. In Europe things were better particularly in Germany and Spain driving Europe and then secondly I think actually we’ve seen some improvement in France and Italy, so I think it’s market-by-market, but we are seeing in general strong economy that’s driving equipment sale.”

General Electric at Morgan Stanley Conference Notes

Lorenzo Simonelli – President, GE Oil & Gas

We’re here for the long term

“look you all know what’s happening in the industry; we’re in this though because we look at the long-term and we still say that the macro trend is positive for the Oil & Gas industry. When you think about the growing population, the growing consumption of energy demand, we’re long and we think that we’re in the right segments as well. When you look at LNG, you look at gas going from coal to cleaner hydrocarbons; when you look at the unconventional space, also deepwater coming back. So the industry is going to be cyclical and it’s going to continue to be cyclical but the long-term trend still bodes well. And that’s why we came into this. We didn’t come into this industry over 20 years ago because we were looking at the price of oil. We came into this industry because we were looking at the long-term trends and also how it fits into GE portfolio. And that’s something that’s important to understand.”

Early days to say we have bottomed out

“Well, I think it’s early days when you start to say have we bottomed out and you’ve got to look at it from both North America perspective and then a global perspective, and in North America you’re starting to see some indicators, you’ve seen them externally like I do where rig count has started to improve. Internationally, you’re still seeing a decline. So I think it’s early days, this industry is volatile, it’s cyclical and we’ve got to be ready for that volatility. So I think the best thing we can do is stay the course on the actions that we’ve put in place and really look at the industry as paying an output of more than the major input. So we’re focusing on our cost out and focusing on the product side. And then as we — we know one thing, the depletion rate to there, we believe in the long-term from a macro perspective, the energy demand and the requirement for Oil & Gas to time it exactly when the turning point is, that’s what we’ll wait and see.”

We think additive manufacturing is a game changer

“I think it’s a game changer and when you look at what we’ve done in the space of additive and 3D printing, we are early entrants, a great move with regards to buying the capability now to have the machines that can manufacture and actually the printers that enable us in our factories to create the 3D printed spare parts, the blades; and the huge advantage for us is, you think about a future where our service shops or our customers that have large installed bases now have a printer outside. You take out all that lead time, you take out all that working capital that was previously deployed and this is a game changer. We are already utilizing it within our factories as much more we can do. We’re working with David Joyce, who really has the center of excellence for additives within General Electric. And we view this across the company as an opportunity and for GE oil and gas, I view it as a way that we can be differentiated again and be more meaningful for our customers and be more efficient.”

General Electric (GE) CEO Jeff Immelt Interview

General Electric (GE) CEO Jeff Immelt on whether the company company was too big when he took over the helm as CEO

“Most companies are both a fit of core competency and the times they’re in. In the 80s and 90s, the economy was kinder. There was no inflation, G.D.P. growth was 3 or 4 percent. The economy was leveraging. If I would go out today and say, “Guess what? I have a great idea. We’re going to buy a media company,” I’d get shot. Or if I were to say to you, “Hey, look, I was really great at picking jet engines and picking TV shows”—that’s complete bull, really. In the world of 4 percent G.D.P. growth you could do it. In a world of 2 percent G.D.P. growth, you really have to be good at everything you do.”

General Electric (GE) CEO Jeff Immelt on the company’s focus on software

“Picture a jet engine. A jet engine in a Boeing 737 probably has 30 to 50 sensors on it. It’s taking multiple readings on a continuous basis—fuel efficiency, wear of the blade, heat of the engine, altitude. We today have the ability to take that data and go to an airline and say, “If you did these three things, your fuel performance could improve by 1 percent. If you take your planes off differently in Chicago than Dubai, you can get more cycles on that plane between the times when you have to take it in the repair shop.” That sounds mundane, but its worth tens of millions of dollars. The experience of buying books on Amazon is now coming to the industrial world.  That throws all of the advances of data and software from the consumer world into the industrial world. We look at that and say, “Why not us?” We think we can be a viable competitor against software companies because we have the assets.”

They now want all their college graduate hires to be able to code

“Manufacturing is important for the company today. It’ll be important for the company in the future. Those are people making $65,000, $70,000 a year. Those jobs in our world will continue to grow, but they won’t grow as quickly. The new middle-class job is a programmer, a data scientist. A lot of people who work in factories have college degrees, but many of them have associates degrees. I think it’s much harder to find a really great middle-class job that somebody can find with an associate’s degree today. Those are few and far between. Everybody who joins G.E. is going to learn to code. We hire 4,000 to 5,000 college grads every year, and whether they join in finance or I.T. or marketing, they’re going to code.”

General Electric (GE) CEO Jeff Immelt on what he skills he wants to see in his successor

“In some ways we are working on succession all the time. You don’t become C.E.O. for what you know, you become C.E.O. for how fast we think you can learn. There’s a whole bunch of things that go into it. How fast can they learn? How resilient are they? How competitive are they? And those are things that really put you in good stead.”



Source: Vanity Fair Interview August 3, 2016 

GE (GE) CEO Jeff Immelt Interview

GE CEO Jeff Immelt says the company’s focus on large physical machinery gives it a competitive advantage versus traditional internet focused startups 

“The killer app in the industrial internet is is the combination of physics and analytics.  It’s a different skill set than consumer internet.”




Source: Fortune Magazine, June 15 2016 Edition, Page 168

GE at Stifel Conference Notes

Beth Comstock – GE Vice Chair, Business Innovations

Immelt wants simplification

Simplification, if you hear Jeff Immelt in any form, you can’t talk to him for more than two minutes without him talking about simplification

We want to be more like a startup

So we’ve been on a journey, especially in the past three to five years to be much more agile, faster, speed, to be much more like a startup. Why is that important? Because our customers expect that there is incredible change happening in the marketplace right now, and our customers need to be ready for it and we need to serve them better.

GE ventures partners with startups

One of the levers that we’re using is something we call GE Ventures. It’s partnering with startup. Yes, we’re doing some small amount of equity investing in some of these startups. But equally important is the cultural impact where we’re using partnerships with these startups to round out our offers, to help us get simpler, faster and I’ll give you a couple of examples of these, but to partner for growth.

Bringing more entrepreneurs into GE

The other thing we’ve done is started to bring in more entrepreneurs who are serving in residence for some of GE’s business offerings, our digital offerings that bring in entrepreneurial mindset, if you will, as a coach working with our traditional GE business leaders, and that all wraps up to something we call FastWorks. It really is the cultural mandate. Are we moving faster, are we getting feedback from our customers at an early stage to know whether we’re spending money in the right way.

more companies want to produce power on site

more and more companies, as I mentioned, want to produce power on-site or they want the back up if they need it. They want the resiliency. They want to shift their usage, their utilities are saying especially during peak demand time — they have to scale back on your energy usage right now. They want some ability to control that destiny. Over time storage will become much more of a capability to do that. It’s still early, I’m happy to go into that. But what I’m talking about largely is just demand response. The utility need some help with their commercial and industrial partners, their customers in easing that flow of energy between the commercial and industrial and what the utility needs. We think this is an opportunity for Current.

Example of consultative approach with large box retailer

Finally, what this mean for the customer? How do we unlock value? So, I’m going to take — imagine a large box retailer, we thought it would be helpful to break it down for you. What’s their need, they — in this particular case, they want energy management solution. They really need to get a handle on managing their energy across all of their retail footprint. What we will help them put in place is a hardware, software service network, not all of it comes from GE, but a lot of it starts with GE.

Former GE capital sales people helping in other segments

We’ve used our former GE Capital, many of those sales people to come in and help us. They’re very good at a consultative sell to the CEO or the CFO of a business, so that allows us to call on this new customer base.

So, like we did with solar, I think in the early days of solar we took a position really more in the hardware and with solar we’ve come to appreciate more of the integrated system wrapped in software and capabilities like GE’s inverters, which come out of our power conversion business. It’s a similar look at solar. I think solar is — it’s storage, I can’t — solar is similar to what’s happening in — what happened in — storage is similar to what happened in solar. I can’t speak very well. So, solar is not yet, right, I mean, storage is not yet. Solar is happening, but they follow with similar cost and performance curve is what I’m trying to say. So, we expect storage to really take off in the next five to seven years, customers want it. It gives them the resiliency, the backup that they need to control their destiny. The technology is not there yet, but the cost curve is coming down and the performance is doubling. And in the past five years, you’ve seen the cost curve to go down by 50% and the performance is more than doubled in storage. That mirrors what happened in solar over of a similar period of time. So what we’re doing is, we’re basically playing the role of an integrator, putting the complete system together. The software and the connectivity to Predix and the ability to tap into a broader energy management system, we think is the differentiator. And with storage, right now we’re doing utility, scale applications, some grid scale applications, and ultimately we’ve housed it within Current, we expect to do some at the CNI site. And I — that similar path at solar went on, which is why I can’t say solar for storage.

It’s pretty exciting if you extrapolate that, the culture is changing. It’s about agility, it’s about speed, it’s about understanding that I can offer a service, not just a saying, we had to bring in the right kind of capability. We’ve hired thousands of software developers, artificial intelligence data analytics people, so we’re able to attract the right kind of capabilities

So, I think you should feel comfortable in the next five years. Our projections, we said $15 billion of impact from digital, it’s productivity, it’s sales through Predix, it’s sales of specific offers from digital software. We feel good about that.

Miscellaneous Earnings Call Notes 4.28.16

General Electric (GE) Jeffrey R. Immelt on Q1 2016 Results

Saw improvements in our business in China

” We’re in the midst of a challenging Oil & Gas market. However, we are things sustained strength in Aviation and Power markets. Healthcare is rebounding. I was in China last week and saw improvements in our business. Most of the portfolios are strong and we’re delivering. There’s plenty of business out there to achieve our goals.”

McDonald’s (MCD) Stephen J. Easterbrook on Q1 2016

All Day Breakfast came out hard and then settled but is still exceeding expectations even at the settled stage

“we clearly came out of the tracks hard with All Day Breakfast. It exceeded our expectations through the launch phase, and then hit a more settled rate. Frankly, it’s still exceeding our expectations through the settled stage as well. So we’re incredibly encouraged.”

Honeywell International (HON) David M. Cote on Q1 2016 Results

I’m hopeful for a rebound but we’re not going to count on it. Europe did better than expected

“I’m hopeful that there is a global economic rebound, but we’re certainly not going to count on it. If there was any region that surprised me in this past quarter, it was Europe did a lot better than I expected. I don’t know if this is just a one-time bounce or something that’s going to stay consistent, but I was quite encouraged by seeing that. It was a nice surprise. I mean, we’ll see how much that turns into something. But right now, we’re going to stay with this whole idea that this is a slow growth global environment and it’s just the smart way to plan. And you see that reflected in how we are forecasting the second quarter and how we’re forecasting the total year. I just don’t think there’s any percentage right now on being bullish about it. If it happens, great. I think there’s a greater chance it happens than there is that it doesn’t. But that being said, I don’t see any percentage in being bullish about it.”

Flight hours is the most important driver of the aerospace cycle

“I’d say it comes back to flight hours again. They fly a lot. And that’s really – I’ve said many times the biggest Aerospace driver we have is flight hours. And it’s not tied to OEM schedules or airline profitability or any of that generally. The long-term trend is going to be driven by flight hours. If they’re flying, everything ends up working out. Whatever short-term disruptions or benefits, whatever you’re seeing, over time flight hours ends up being the driver. Flight hours continue to climb, and that’s a good phenomenon for us.”

LyondellBasell Industries’ (LYB) CEO Bob Patel on Q1 2016 Results

Olefin and polyolefin markets are tight

“Looking forward, we see olefins and polyolefins markets remaining tight during the near-term. There are heavy turnaround schedules in both the US and Asia. The recent rise in crude oil prices provides tailwinds for both pricing and demand, as customers no longer feel incentives to delay purchases, in hopes of future declines in product prices.”

Procter & Gamble’s (PG) Q3 2016 Results

Jon Moeller

It’s not enough just to gain market share

“The reason that we’ve talked a little bit about not following share out the window, we can be gaining shares in categories that are declining, and that’s not going to grow our top line. What we need to be doing as innovation leaders in our categories is getting the market growing through that innovation and gaining a share of that growth.”

Twitter’s (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey on Q1 2016 Results

Acquisitions have been critical in creating value for the internet sector for two decades

“The first point I would make is that acquisitions have been critical in creating value for the Internet sector, consumer Internet sector over the last two decades. Many of our competitive peers have bought assets at very early stages that have resulted in billions of dollars of value and Twitter has been the same”

Goal is to be one stop shop for advertising

” At end of the day, our goal is to be a one-stop shop for advertising. And having both owned and operated inventory, third party inventory and ad text stock that can serve both of those constituencies is really critical.”

United States Steel’s (X) CEO Mario Longhi on Q1 2016 Results

Favorable trade case results are boosting the domestic steel industry

“Last year, we successfully advocated for the passage of the Level Playing Field Act in the trade adjustment assistance bill. This represents the first time in decade that U.S. trade laws were revised and clarified to align with the original congressional intent. The interpretation and enforcement of these new laws has already been reflected in preliminary determinations in the three major trade cases we elected to pursue with other steel companies in 2015. Yesterday, we announced another step in our efforts to have the rule of law enforced. We filed a complaint with the U.S. international trade commission to initiate an investigation under section (337) of Tariff act of 1930 against the largest Chinese steel producers and their distributors. The 337 complaint alleges illegal unfair methods of competition and seeks the exclusion of all unfairly traded Chinese steel products from the U.S. market. I would like to emphasize that the remedy under section (337) is not a tariff, it is an exclusion of products from the U.S. market. Our complaint alleges three clauses of action, the illegal conspiracy to fix prices, the theft of trade secrets and the circumvention of trade duties by false labeling.”

Third Point 2Q16 Investor Letter Dan Loeb

One of the most catastrophic periods of hedge fund performance since this fund’s inception

“Unfortunately, many managers lost sight of the fact that low net does not mean low risk and so, when positioning reversed, market neutral became a hedge fund killing field. Finally, the Valeant debacle in mid-March decimated some hedge fund portfolios and the termination of the Pfizer-Allergan deal in early April dealt a further blow to many other investors. The result of all of this was one of the most catastrophic periods of hedge fund performance that we can remember since the inception of this fund”

Volatility is bringing excellent opportunities

“As most investors have been caught offsides at some or multiple points over the past eight months, the impulse to do little is understandable. We are of a contrary view that volatility is bringing excellent opportunities, some of which we discuss below. We believe that the past few months of increasing complexity are here to stay and now is a more important time than ever to employ active portfolio management to take advantage of this volatility. There is no doubt that we are in the first innings of a washout in hedge funds and certain strategies. ”

Texas Instruments’ (TXN) Management on Q1 2016 Results

Kevin March

Inventories were up because we expect higher shipments

“We expect that material is going to ship over the balance of the year. And between the increased shipments in 2Q and the shipments of that personal electronics material, we’ll see the days of inventory drift back down comfortably inside our model, very similar to what we saw last year. If you go back and take a look last year, we were also a little bit higher in the first quarter, anticipation of second quarter growth, and then days drifted down as we came through the year.”

Dave Pahl

Weakness came in as expected but broad based strength in other areas

” that portion of demand where we saw weakness came in about as we expected. The strength was more broad-based, and we continue to, obviously, to see strength in automotive and then the improvement in industrial and comms equipment. So, very, very broad-based strength that we saw. So the second part of your question was sequentially. What we saw from the trends there, no surprise that automotive remained very strong, and it was driven by infotainment as well as the hybrid electric and powertrain systems. Industrial, again we had growth across almost every sector inside of industrial. Personal electronics down, with most sectors declining”

Group 1 Automotive’s (GPI) CEO Earl Hesterberg on Q1 2016 Results

Vehicle inventory stood at 85 days vs 69 days in 1Q15

“The U.S. new vehicle inventories stood at 31,400 units which equates to an 85 day supply compared to a 69 day supply for the first quarter of 2015. Luxury brand inventories drove much of the year-over-year increase. We have adjusted orders and expect to bring inventory closer to our target level of 60 days by the end of the second quarter. ”

Oil companies still have a long way to go in restructuring their balance sheets for what’s happened to oil prices

“our new vehicle sales in Houston, we held a 1% decrease for the quarter, so we’re fighting it pretty well, but I attend a lot of meetings and I’m various Boards with these oil company executives and they still have quite a way to go in restructuring their balance sheet and that’s what happening now.”

Hasn’t been a big consumer confidence problem outside of energy impacted markets

“No, I don’t really see weakness outside of the energy belt. David I’d say people are reacting to the fact just not growing as significantly as it had been in recent years. So when it’s flat without it only grow 1% or 2% or 3%, I think it feels for a lot of people like it’s just very slow. But I wouldn’t say I have seen any big consumer confidence crisis anywhere outside of the energy impacted market.’

AGCO (AGCO) Martin H. Richenhagen on Q1 2016 Results

2016 farm income expected to remain below 2015 levels

“estimates call for 2016 farm income to remain below 2015 levels. In North America, relatively young machinery fleet and dealer efforts to reduce inventory levels have contributed to continued decline in industry sales through the first quarter. Weaker demand from the row crop sector resulted in significantly lower industry retail sales of high-horsepower tractors, combines and sprayers.”

Miscellaneous Notes 3.18.16

IDEXX 2016 Shareholder Letter CEO Andrew Silvernail

Values are our foundation

“Our culture is to win as a team in a high performance environment where people are inveted to do and be their best every day. Our values are the foundation of our culture and guide our decisions and actions.”

Sherwin Williams 2016 Shareholder Letter CEO Christopher Connor

The world looks different than in December

“In many respects the world looks different today than it did just a few short months ago when the Federal Reserve Bank took its first step toward interest rate normalization. In most advanced economies a modest choppy recovery is expected to continue.”

JA Solar Holdings’ (JASO) Q4 2015 Results Jian Xie — President

Solar shipments are heading to countries throughout Asia

“By geography, Asia continued to drive our growth, but we are seeing traction in new regions. Asia was over 80% of shipment, a dominant number but down from over 90% in Q3. China declined from over 50% of shipments to 44% as other Asia-Pacific regions grew. For instance, we shipped 180 megawatts into the Philippines, a demonstration of our dominant position in the market. We are also growing in other regions in the regions such as Thailand, India, and Australia. ”

FactSet Research Systems’ (FDS) CEO Phil Snow on Q2 2016 Results

Scott Miller

Haven’t seen a dramatic shift in spending

“Not dramatically different than we had seen in the previous quarters. We are – clearly as we’ve said over the last couple of questions, market volatility gets people thinking and pausing a little bit but we haven’t seen a dramatic shift in the spending. When you do see markets go the way they did, in many cases, there is a requirement for more analytics and more data. So we are approaching it from a proactive standpoint and we haven’t really seen a dramatic shift in spending.”

CLARCOR’s (CLC) CEO Chris Conway on Q1 2016 Results

David Fallon

Sales into ag and natural gas didn’t decline as much as expected

“Better than expected financial performance was assisted by higher than expected sales of fuel filtration products into the Ag and construction equipment markets. Although sales in these markets declined 17% from last year’s first quarter, we as we discussed in our January call, had expected sales to drop 25% to 30%. In addition, although sales in our natural gas filtration market declined 12% from last year’s first quarter, we had expected sales to decline 20% to 25%.”

Jeremy’s Miscellaneous Notes

Former GE CEO Jack Welch said the economy is improving

“Today, as I sit here, I’ve spent the last few days at Private Equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice, looking at 6 businesses, things are looking up.  It’s clearly a pocket of change, particularly in the last couple of weeks in February and the first couple of weeks in March.  It’s that recent.  It feels a lot better, there’s just no question about it.”

And he says consumers are leading this rebound in economic strength

“We know the consumer has more money now, whether it’s gas prices or employment levels.  You’re getting strength in autos, you’re getting real strength in housing.  And the housing sector spills off into so many businesses.”

Source: Video Interview