Guess Who's Talking About Recession?

by: David Jackson

Here are quotes from 7 publicly-traded companies that discussed "recession" on their recent conference calls. The company name links to the full conference call transcript, with mentions of the word "recession" highlighted:


The current recession is indeed far worse than the previous downturn. Housing starts are now down more than 50% from the peak and inventory of unsold homes at an unprecedented a 11-month supply. These two statistics alone will certainly qualify this downturn as a very severe decline. But, as you all know, that’s only part of the story.

In the past 12 months we have witnessed home builders filing for bankruptcy, record foreclosures, bank failures, and numerous other credit-related problems throughout the economy. If we are talking about hurricanes and I guess this is the hurricane season, this would definitely be a Category 5 storm.

The turmoil in the credit markets in the broader economic uncertainty, have all affected our businesses, particularly our core wallboard business. We reported a net loss in this quarter and last quarter and we are not happy about it.

Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR)

[T]his does seem to have a feel that’s different from the last recession. I think this one is hitting Main Street harder than it’s hitting Madison Avenue and that’s what’s going on in our book of business.

Cohen & Steers, Inc. (NYSE:CNS)

I think the question about whether technically we are in recession or not really misses the point. It’s becoming much more challenging economy and things are – considering that that’s the most important driver for the real estate business, fundamentals have been decelerating. And I think there are certain property types where they could turn negative for a while. Now the stocks started turning down at the beginning of last year. So the market has been anticipating this. And just to give you a sense on a global basis, the market is trading at about a 25% discount to what we think the underlying real estate is worth. But in terms of our view, we see the global economy slowing. One of the factors with inflation around the world is it has stopped central banks from being able to ease. The good news about the US is that we’ve already eased a lot. That said, I think the economy is going to be tougher for probably a longer period of time.

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings (NYSE:AXL)

The toll of the strike was compounded by the brutal market reality of a weakening US economy and steep declines in the light truck and SUV production volume. This resulted from a deep US housing recession that started in 2005, rapidly escalating fuel prices from oil shop (inaudible), the credit crisis and consumer confidence that's as low as we've seen in this country since 1991. We're currently experiencing the lowest US automotive industry selling rate in more than a decade. The June 2008 US SAR of 13.6 million units was the lowest monthly selling rate since August of 1993.

Infinity Property and Casualty Corp (NASDAQ:IPCC)

California’s overall economy is in recession. Certain sectors such as construction have been hit especially hard. Construction employment has fallen almost 10% in the last 12 months which has impacted our Hispanic customers since many work in this industry. As you know, many of our customers are working class or lower middle class and are being hit hard disproportionately hard by the economic slowdown along with the significant increases in the cost of food and fuel.

Omnicom (NYSE:OMC)

Spain and Italy have been more or less in an economic recession for the last couple of quarters. The UK, we saw flat performance in the second quarter which was a slight reduction in performance. Canada, we are torn. We think there's an impact of the Dell loss in Canada.

Citizens Republic Bancorp (NASDAQ:CRBC)

A few key reasons we needed to raise the capital were: it had become evident that the Midwest economy and specifically Michigan has the risk of having a protracted period of recession in the economic downturn. At the end of the first quarter, we increased our expectations for 2008 credit losses. We continue to see collateral values decline and a national recession period may impact other components of our industry. All these contribute to a high level of uncertainty and how long and how deep will the real estate decline be, as well as uncertainty behind a national recession and its impact.

The quotes are taken from transcripts on Seeking Alpha. You can search accross all transcripts by typing a phrase into the search box on the site, and filtering the results by "Transcripts". You can then find the phrase in any individual transcipt by using the Find box on the transcript page.