July 20th, 2010
08:35 PM GMT
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QMB viewers are familiar with the Q25 – the exercise we conduct each earnings season, to see if we can spot the prevailing trend in the health of major companies. In the Q25, good results earn a green balloon, while a red is what we give for a disappointing report.

When we last did the Q25 there were far more greens than reds – which gave great hope that the world's big corporations were back on track.

In the first days of this earnings season there is a great deal of dismay at the results. Even though economists had warned that there was a slowdown, now we are seeing the evidence.

Earnings expectations may have been set too high, but companies are warning that things are still very tough and not getting much better.  In the past week a wide range of companies warned of more difficult times ahead.

We have many more companies to add before we can come to any conclusions from our Q25. There is still a long way to go in this reporting season, but the early signs are not good.

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Quest Means Business airs Monday to Friday, 1600 New York and 2100 London, and is hosted by Richard Quest.



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