Comments from around the world...

Michael Rudd, CFA | President, CEO & Portfolio Manager

We are at a good portion of the way through earnings season and there have not been too many surprises that have caused us concern. Last week, we wrote about management conference calls and commentary from North American companies. This week, we thought that we would do the same for international companies:


  • “Outside of North America, both the Europe and APAC regions were soft, mainly due to regional macroeconomic conditions” – Harley-Davidson ($HOG ) CEO Jochen Zeitz
  • “Right now, frankly, we feel that Europe is following a more traditional cycle. The economy is cooling. It’s likely that the ECB will lower interest rates, maybe even before the Fed lowers interest rates. And that will be a good signal that now comes the time to start to gear up and generate more economic growth in Europe, and we would then hope to see improving PMIs in Europe.” – ManpowerGroup ($MAN ) CEO Jonas Prising


  • “Since we spoke in December, we have seen consumer sentiment further slow across Europe, especially in our 2 biggest markets Germany and the U.K., and we have seen our wholesale partners there become even more cautious…we have planned Europe sales down high single digits in euros. Wholesale is planned down low double digits.” – PVH ($PVH ) CEO Stefan Larsson
  • “I would say the consumer globally, we think is very resilient. And we see it in, as you saw from our international business performance. And it’s basically supported by two facts, very low unemployment or quite low unemployment globally and wages growing at a good pace in majority of the countries where we participate.” – PepsiCo ($PEP ) CEO Ramon Laguarta.
    • However, in the same call PepsiCo CEO says: “I think Chinese consumers are being very cautious and we’re seeing the savings rate really going very high in China. Our category is still resilient in China, but especially we’re delivering growth through share of market gains in China. “
  • “China’s economy continues to face challenges in recapturing its former momentum, compounded by consumer confidence remaining at historic lows” – Hugo Boss ($BOSS ) CFO Yves Muller
  • “The geopolitical backdrop remains unsettled with multiple major wars and rising tensions globally. More than half the world’s population will go to elections in 2024, and the economic outlook remains uncertain as well.” – Marsh & McLennan ($MMC ) CEO John Doyle

“This means that” we continue to see limited risk of recession at this point, but clearly recognize that certain sections of the global economy are under pressure. As we mentioned before, this is one of the few times in my career where there is actual diversification between major economic zones (i.e. North America, China and Europe).

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