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Author: Lokicious Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35351  
Subject: Re: Exploring Triple-AAA Corporates Date: 8/13/2006 10:36 PM
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I try not to be too picky but that is a loaded statement. What is "rolling in the profits"? and how are we defining "expanding and improving"? What evidence supports "less then other economic expansions?

Jack,

I didn't realize Iwas saying anything controversial. I'm talking about the currently most profitable companies, the ones you would expect to get AAA or at least AA ratings: big oil, Walmart, J&J, Microsoft. Without trying to check each one, on the whole they have been running record or near record profits. And, there have been numerous reports over the last couple of years that the % of profits being spent by companies on "capital expenditures" has been far less than in previous "recoveries" from recessions, which is why the economists who have been expecting business spending to replace lower consumer spending as economic stimulus have been consistently wrong.

At any rate, many companies are choosing to pay higher dividends, buy back shares, or sit on cash, rather than spend on expansion (which may be a wise business decision) and there doesn't seem to be any reason why these companies would need to borrow, even at low interest rates, to put capital to work, when they don't seem to be able to put all the capital available from cash flow to work as it is. So, I don't think it is surprising there are so few new bond issues at the upper end of the ratings.
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