As we have seen that the economy moves in a cyclical way and if the economy moves in a cycle then the industry will get affected by the cycle and due to that corporates also getting affected. The profitability of corporate earnings has been affected by the economic cycle. But such effects vary from company to company as per the inherent capability of the company.
Corporate profits rise and fall more compared to the GDP growth and we need to focus on factors that cause such cyclical trends.
And when GDP shows weakness
So corporate profits also getting affected by the economic cycle. We can argue that food, beverages, pharmaceuticals do not have any impact on the economic cycle. Yes, not high but during a recessionary environment, people tend to save more than what they earlier used to. People prefer to eat at home rather than to go out to a restaurant. People prefer to cut costs while experiencing a tough time.
Durable products majorly affected by the economic downturn because such goods can last longer and people can defer spending on such goods.
We should not have to directly consider that increases in the sales will similarly result in the increase in profits. This is because of the operating leverage. Cost mainly remains fixed and few costs increase with the sales.
In general, it’s higher for companies for whom a larger percentage of costs are fixed and lower for the ones whose costs are more variable. Operating leverage helps the companies when the economy is in good shape and sales rising. But when the economy and sales are in bad shape, profits fall more than sales.
Other than these, there are few other factors which can also affect the profitability of the companies such as management’s decisions regarding inventories, production levels, and capital investment; technological advancements (on the part of a company, its industry competitors); changes in regulation and taxation; and even developments exogenous to the industry or war, weather, etc.
The technological disruption led cycle such as streaming has killed the DVDs culture so that those businesses which does not welcome technological changes, they all get out of the business. Nokia & Kodak are also the biggest examples of got the worst hit on business.
Disclosure – Companies mentioned in the article are just for an example & educational purpose. It is not a buy/sell/ hold recommendation.
Read for more detail: Mastering The Market Cycle: Getting the odds on your side by Mr.Howard Marks