SOURCE: Rothman Research

Rothman Research

April 29, 2010 09:31 ET

Economic Recovery Not a Myth

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - April 29, 2010) - - The U.S. economy is looking much healthier than it did when the unthinkable hit the financial sector in 2008, triggering the worst financial turmoil in many generations. The first months of 2010, especially March and April, have provided positive economic data suggesting that the long awaited light at the end of tunnel is finally in sight, even if some key elements like housing and unemployment still remain weak at this point. For many businesses, especially retailers, the one big breakthrough came with a surge in consumer confidence which can be translated in more consumers spending, and earnings from retailers so far have confirmed that consumers are loosening their purse.

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Some companies like Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) have been constructive anomalies during the recession, as they had managed to stay in the green when all around them were losing their heads. One of the main reasons of this anomaly is that some of their products are what consumers consider as daily essentials. Colgate Palmolive, which reported its first quarter earnings just before the market opened today, saw its sales climb to $3.83 billion from $3.5 billion. The company, however, disclosed that profit declined due to charges related to the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency.

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On Tuesday, The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) delivered sturdy fiscal third quarter results with profit more than double; $57.5 million as compared to $27.2 million in the same quarter for 2009. Estee Lauder enjoyed sales gains throughout most of its geographic locations, with burly sales escalation from its international businesses, principally in Russia and Taiwan. However, the company's 2010 outlook was met with bearish sentiment sending its shares in the red. "Estee missed the street consensus forecast for $2.79 per share, instead anticipating a profit margin in the range of $2.65 to $2.75 for 2010. I believe that the negative corrections we have seen in the past two days are just a sign that investors are confident about the economic recovery, as strange as it may sound. We have been offered so many bullish results from different sectors, especially from retailers, that investors feel that they are now in a comfort zone. Had the quarter been somber as with previous quarters, investor reaction might not have been so pronounced on Estee Lander, as investors would have found solace in the positives the company delivered for the quarter and offset the negative," stated Jack Benassi of

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"However, we are continuing to see favorable data on the retail front, the latest being an increase of 5.5% in chain-store sales for week ending April 24th. This is the sixth consecutive weekly gains, which tend to indicate that traffic in malls and stores are on an uptrend," added Jack Benassi of

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