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Strong dollar hits earnings

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 02:12

A slew of multinational firms have posted disappointing results and outlooks because of the strong dollar. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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Going global hasn't been going well recently for a slew of multinational companies. They're getting whacked by the strong dollar. After hitting a 6-1/2 month low in May, the dollar has surged nearly 20 percent against a basket of major currencies. That's putting companies that sell products overseas at risk- as their products become more expensive for consumers using other currencies. Reuters Dan Burns: SOUNDBITE: DAN BURNS, FINANCIAL MARKETS EDITOR, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "When you are selling into the euro zone, the euro is devalued from, you know, north of a $1.30 to about $1.12, suddenly your competitors are looking at what is effectively a price increase by you, or a price cut for them. Their goods are a lot cheaper than yours suddenly, and it depends on what room you have to match what price cuts. A lot of these companies have margins that won't tolerate them cutting prices all that much more." Highlights from the growing dollar hit list include: Microsoft - it gets nearly three quarters of its revenues from overseas. Currency pressures crimped its profits. United Technologies, where 62 percent of its sales come from outside the United States, slashed their 2015 outlook because of the strong dollar. Post-it maker 3M, with 60 percent of its sales coming from overseas, posting lower quarterly results, and cutting its 2015 outlook. Procter & Gamble makes two thirds of its revenue outside the U.S. It warned sales would fall next year. The world's top household products maker hurt by the strong dollar. Caterpillar also citing the strong dollar, along with lower oil prices as being a drag. Gerber Kawasaki CEO Ross Gerber: SOUNDBITE: ROSS GERBER, CEO, GERBER KAWASAKI (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There is a huge fundamental shift in the economics with the strong dollar, dropping oil and very low interest rates. It creates a new paradigm of what to expect from different companies in America, and that's what we are seeing now, is a shift in, hey maybe these big multi-international companies are going to have lower earnings." Gerber adds that the Fed will have to start paying attention to the global weakness, because it is impacting so many U.S. firms, and that these issues will factor into a decision to push out the timing for raising rates further into the future.

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Strong dollar hits earnings

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 02:12