NEWS AND COMMENTARY
March 16, 2001
Deluge of Earnings Warnings Still to Come
Wall Street is hoping the flood of earnings warnings will turn into a trickle; instead, the dam is about to break. So far this quarter, 518 companies have warned the Street that earnings won't reach estimates -- that's more than double the number of companies that issued warnings by this time last year, and the quarter isn't over yet. According to Charles Hill at Thomson Financial, "the worst is yet to come." THAT should send a shiver down Wall Street's spine!
Today, the earnings victims included former high-flyers Compaq, Computer Science, and Oracle. As the losers' list gets longer in the weeks ahead, the only question is when we'll finally see a day of reckoning for the rest of those overvalued stocks that have survived on a wing and a prayer. Until that happens, the bottom will remain elusive.
Plus, reaching bottom doesn't guarantee good times ahead. Look at Japan -- that country has been struggling for the better part of a decade to escape recession and revive stock prices. But every week seems to bring Japan one step closer to the abyss. For Japan, there may be no bottom.
That's why, here at home, smart investors will watch and wait before risking any more money in the losing game called Wall Street.
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