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April 22, 2009
Posted: 1943 GMT


The Q25 on Tuesday 


Caterpillar –  This proved to be one of our trickiest. Stripping out one-offs, the company actually beat expectations, (so suggested a Green apple) But the company lost money for the first time in years, and its outlook forecast was horrible. We gave it a RED apple


Coca-Cola – A traditional recession-proof stock, and the latest numbers showed growth in international markets, even though the U.S .fell back. It was a clear GREEN apple


Delta Airlines – The airline has made a loss for six straight quarters. Through cost cutting Delta managed to beat analysts' expectations so that suggests a Green. Look a bit deeper and you see Delta is still cutting capacity, and there is no sign of an upturn in premium traffic vital for a restoration. It's a RED apple 


Lockheed Martin – A solid defense company which made less money but still remained profitable throughout the recession. Its earnings were at the upper end of estimates.  And the defense business remains strong.  A GREEN


Merck – A fall in the share price after the company missed its numbers. And a poor outlook and forecast. All this in a company which has been buying up other drug makers. We felt it was a RED Apple


Now the jars are looking pretty equal.  Wednesday is a truly bumper day...

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Vacant Heart   April 22nd, 2009 7:46 pm ET

Thanks for the insight as usual.

Supergirllondon@Twitter   April 22nd, 2009 7:50 pm ET

How can airlines be making a loss when Cyprus Turkish Airlines are charging £350 return ticket to Northern Cyrpus? It is outrageous.

Carol Galiano   April 22nd, 2009 7:58 pm ET

The red "delicious" derivations you use for "loser" jar are generally crispy, juicy and succulent. Their skins are firm and they crack in your mouth. Most enjoyable eating apples in the world I'd say. The green apples you are using in "winner" jar, by contrast (unless they are granny smith– hard to tell on TV), are generally, mealy and waxy– are boring to eat– more suitable for stewing. Now I understand the metaphor of "red" meaning stop/alert and "green" meaning all systems go, but I still find it ironic that when you consider the "whole" apple, the red ones may have just as much to offer (if not more) than the greens. Let's hope the companies they represent can make the same claim. Looking forward to bumper day tomorrow. Guess we'll know straight from the beginning if the opening scene of QMB boasts bigger jars...

Vacant Heart   April 22nd, 2009 10:14 pm ET

Out of topic, but on the condition of GM, whats ur take?

Bob Gries   April 23rd, 2009 9:02 am ET

Hi Richard: Now we kno why they wanted to torture on12-01 – to force false confessions that Saddam was with Bin Laden. Same as Savonarola.

requiredreading   April 23rd, 2009 11:43 am ET

Ok, since we're discussing those apples...the problem in my mind is that they are not so easily used as symbols, because:
– my first experience of the red kind was mealy, relatively tasteless and with a waxy skin almost unchewable; that was 1977 in Vancouver, when we were newly immigrated
– the first positive experience with the red apples was 2008 in New York, when our landlady there provided a whole bag full together with butterscotch dip, which was DELICIOUS! We (me and 3 teenagers) didn't take long to make them disappear
– the green apples still carry an association with "Granny Smith....South Africa under apartheid...boycott, ie don't buy, even though it means you are stuck with the boring red apples"; luckily we had an apple tree in our garden then that carried two different kinds of yummy apples
– if you decide to put a political significance to apple colour, the green ones are ecologically grown (With that shine???) and the red ones are socialist...from a coop or a kibbuz maybe? How does that translate to American companies and earnings??
– since they are colours, you might also contrast dark-light, or cold-warm, and put some economic significance to that
– therefore, since I don't see deeper into Mr.Quest's psychology, I must assume that he means the traffic light red-green significance, because it is the most....shall we say....male, maybe, as in rational; unless he meant the political significance, but then the whole thing becomes truly more mysterious.

I wonder what he will do when the jars are too small...

Peter Vaz   April 23rd, 2009 4:03 pm ET

Red and Green makes no difference Prof. Quest and lies in the same boat....What it matters us the most is the amount of jobless on the streets like us. Any Q25 company will score expectation but at what cost....after laying off thousands of staff....and then showing green shoots....When those apples are blended, it will loose its color and the result ....flat, deflated or toxic. The camera guy must be fretting for the Apples and you Prof. Quest ......we won't temptation...sorry we no more need Green Aden pastures....your previous topic "Road to Red Hell is far better "

requiredreading   April 23rd, 2009 4:04 pm ET

How does the discussion differentiate between those companies that have and those that have not received a bail-out? Does it make a difference in their real performance? And does it matter? And how does the bail-out predict how they will perform in the future?

mudassir   April 23rd, 2009 8:34 pm ET

how can the caterpillar company lose money when their machines are like used mostly around the world wherever you see a construction site its has a caterpillar machine so why has it lost money?

Vacant Heart   April 23rd, 2009 9:14 pm ET

Chrysler's preparing to file bankruptcy! Terrible situation.

ales   April 24th, 2009 6:46 pm ET

the red apples are more apealing, what's the forecast for latter part of 2009

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