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

Toro (TTC) Q2 2016 Earnings

Toro (TTC) CEO Michael Hoffman said bad weather impacted the residential business

“A cold snap late in the quarter interrupted favorable spring weather conditions and caused a slowdown of residential sales. The negative impact was further exacerbated by accelerated first quarter channel demand for riding products this year, fueled by our supply issues last year. This led to an 11% decline in residential sales in the quarter.”

Strength in corporate customer business

“We begin with our professional segment where our landscape contractor businesses led the way in the quarter, driven by strong market acceptance of recently launched new innovations.  Contractors and acreage owners alike are being drawn to the productivity and comfort of our professional zero-turn riders equipped with our new suspension systems. Likewise, our new generation stand-on mowers are performing well due to the productivity and ease of use they provide. Similarly, the momentum we reported on our last call of our golf equipment business continued into the second quarter.”

Favorable input costs helped margins 

“Second quarter gross margin was 36.2%, an increase of 210 basis points. Favorable commodity costs, increased productivity, and product mix favoring our professional segment all contributed to this improvement.”

Retail sales strong through the month of May 

“And so retail is good through the middle of May, even with some of the more challenging weather conditions that we’ve faced you know, kind of through April and the first couple of weeks of May. And so, we got off to a really strong start and some of that went back as Mother Nature didn’t cooperate, particularly in key selling markets.”

Rockwell Automation (ROK) Q2 2016 Earnings

Rockwell Automation (ROK) CEO Keith Nosbusch said weakness in the oil & gas market drove some weakness in their earnings results

“The quarter generally played out as we expected, with organic sales down about 3.5%, heavy industry end markets remained very weak globally, lead by oil and gas and mining. Oil and gas was down a little over 20% in the quarter, in line with our expectations. Consumer and auto verticals saw low to mid-single-digit growth.  In the US, oil and gas, again, was the weakest vertical. The US is a region where we have seen the largest decline in oil and gas.”

Weakness in sales in geographic zones of US & China

“In China, strong growth in automotive was more than offset by continued weakness in heavy industries and tire. Sales in China were down a little over 10% year-over-year. Clearly, the US and China remain our most challenging geographies.”

Labeled the macro environment as “stable” but better growth in the second half of the year is expected

“With respect to macroeconomic indicators, the most recent industrial production forecast has called for lower economic growth in 2016 than previously estimated, but continue to indicate some modest improvement in the second half of our fiscal year.  So given that the macro environment has remained relatively stable, we believe that our performance in the balance of the year will be in line with what we projected in January.”

Seeing improvement in European growth prospects

“And we had a very good first quarter in Europe. So would say that we are seeing improvement there and it’s been driven from both emerging Europe and then specific countries in mature Western Europe, particularly now that the south has come back a little better, strengthen in Italy, particularly in some of the home and personal care OEM segment. France has turned positive as well as Spain. So we do see that improvement, but it is also modest growth at this point.”

Thinks growth in the automobile sector and broad consumer sector as two of the most promising areas

“Consumer and auto would be the two areas that we anticipate the above-the-company average and positive growth. What we’re seeing in auto is continued high levels of investment. There is a lot of platform investment that is going on. We also see continued investment in Mexico by many of the US and European and Asian auto producers. We are seeing continued strength in China in the core automotive companies that we deal with.”