Business News

We're in the thick of earnings season, and it's been very strong so far- Robust demand for construction equipment in North America along with the recent upswing in oil prices helped Caterpillar bulldoze past Wall Street's sales and profits expectations for the first quarter this morning.  Similar news from United Technologies, which makes everything from airplane engines to elevators, first quarter sales of $15.2bn were up 10 per cent over the prior year, comfortably exceeding market expectations.  Even more of a surprise, Coca-Cola reported better than forecasted sales and profits in the first quarter, as the fizzy drinks maker cuts prices and adapts its portfolio away from soda to stoke growth. (FT)

Speaking of earnings, this quarter stocks have been unusually non-reactive to earnings reports:  Companies that reported stronger-than-expected earnings have seen their shares on average rise by just 1/10 of a % two days before the earnings release through two days after, well below the five-year average increase of 1.1%. (WSJ)

A Silicon Valley company bought Portland-based Viewpoint Construction Software for $1.2 billion in cash yesterday. It appears to be the biggest deal ever for a Portland tech company.  The buyer is Trimble, which makes technology for the construction, agriculture and transportation markets. The California company reported revenue of $2.7 billion last year and said it expects about $200 million in additional revenue from the Viewpoint acquisition in 2018 (Oregonian).  

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.

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