Japan’s Earthquake Hits American Companies’ Bottom Line

When the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March, economists and corporate leaders knew it was only a matter of time for the financial effects to reach American companies.

With quarterly earnings season in full swing, companies are reporting in hard numbers what analysts and business leaders could only predict after the March 11 disaster: consumer sales were lost; breaks with suppliers have led to output cuts; and earnings weakened.

The corporate reporting, based on statements from more than a dozen American companies over the last few weeks, demonstrates how intertwined global markets are, when a disaster thousands of miles away in a coastal area of northern Japan rippled through to an auto retailer in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It also shows that a broad spectrum of companies, like jewelers, handbag makers, clothing retailers and technology companies, were affected.

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