Societe Generale's Andrew Lapthorne writes: At first look growth in US net income last year looks remarkably good

Societe Generale's Andrew Lapthorne writes: At first look growth in US net income last year looks remarkably good. With nearly all S&P500 names having reported year-end figures, net income grew 14% last year or 12.8% on an ex-financial basis. This is fairly impressive growth given the lacklustre economic backdrop. So should we be celebrating? Well we're not so sure, as the source of this growth is not a robust improvement in operating cash flow but to be found in the large goodwill write-downs of 2012. In our view this disappointing growth will have economic consequences, especially versus a consensus that signals that corporates are seeing a meaningful improvement in earnings.


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