Deposits, software and toys all proved profitable according to the bellwethers in each industry on Monday… and a very positive earnings season surged forward.
CitiGroup(C) posted a profit that more than doubled. With earnings of $4.4 billion, C posted its best showing in over a year. Top executives said that the bank that everyone has loved to hate through the credit crisis has now “turned a corner” is on track to return to consistent profits.
Elsewhere net income for the world’s No. 2 toymaker Hasbro (HAS) tripled compared with earnings a year ago. It was the fifth straight quarter the firm has topped Wall Street’s per-share profit target. According to the company consumers are spending more money on toys than they did at this time a year ago — even when a year ago retailers slashed post-holiday-season toy prices in an attempt to clear out excess inventories following their 2008 holiday slump.
And finally, IBM Corp. said Monday that its first-quarter profit jumped 13%. The firm offered additional evidence that corporate technology spending is now rebounding after the recession.
The profit improvement came not just from cost cutting, which IBM relied on much of last year to raise profits, but also from very strong increases in net income from its software division. The software business unit also increased its revenue 11% from a year ago. But beyond software, IBM reaffirmed that the pickup in IT spending is across its entire business, is significant, and broad-based.
The results point to continued strong growth for all three sectors well into 2010 and likely beyond.