By A Wall Street Journal Roundup
This is what some of the world's corporate leaders have said
recently on issues ranging from China to the chip shortage.
Citigroup Inc. CEO Jane Fraser:
"We're pretty optimistic about the U.S. in particular. Over the
next few years, there's a lot of unspent savings out there with
consumers, huge amount of liquidity in the market. Corporate
balance sheets are broadly healthy. And then, you've also got a lot
of dynamism from digitization that's changing consumer behaviors
and driving investment."
International Business Machines Corp. CEO Arvind Krishna:
"The spend environment overall is improving," Mr. Krishna said.
"Now, that said, I do have to acknowledge there are some
differences by geography and industry. When you look in the
underlying results, you can see the Americas was stronger....We do
sense a bit of caution in Europe, and you can see that in the
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO David Solomon:
"We think that we're going to have very, very robust economic
growth in the second half of 2021 into 2022, as vaccines continue
to accelerate, as we come out of the pandemic, as we move forward.
There's no question that there is meaningful consumer pent-up
demand. Consumers have reasonable liquidity and savings, higher
than they did going into the pandemic."
"There's no question, given the monetary and fiscal actions,
that there's an increasing risk of inflationary activity," he said.
"The question is how much, how quickly and how we respond to
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Financial Officer Jennifer
"While a strong recovery seems in motion, we're also prepared
for more adverse outcomes, given remaining uncertainties around the
impact of new virus strains and the health of the underlying labor
markets. So, for now, we remain cautious and are still weighted to
our downside scenarios."
Coca-Cola Co. CEO James Quincey:
"As markets start to open, it's worth remembering it's not an
on/off switch. There's a phasing of how markets tend to reopen.
That's true of the U.S. So, for example, in the U.S. the fountain
volumes were still negative in March because whilst people are
going out to restaurants, and there's more mobility, it's not back
to what it was. The occupancy levels of offices are nowhere near
100%, and so reopening is not an on/off switch. There's a
rebuilding, and there's a series of phases of reopening. And so
that's a very important factor, and it's somewhat
Delta Air Lines Inc. CEO Ed Bastian:
"Consumer confidence in air travel continues to increase, with
the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. rapidly accelerating and
predictions of herd immunity as soon as this summer. We said
throughout the pandemic that one of the most important objectives
was to restore confidence in air travel. We are now seeing more
normal booking behavior, as customers make plans for spring and
summer travel. In fact, our daily net cash sales in March were
twice what they were in January."
Halliburton Co. CEO Jeff Miller:
"The world is reopening, and even though some regions still
experience lockdowns, overall economic and demand recovery
continues to build. Oil demand is increasing globally. Oil
inventories are down near their five-year averages. And OPEC+
actions continue to support commodity prices. The first quarter
strengthened our confidence about how this transition year will
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CEO Brian Niccol:
"What we're definitely seeing is people want to be back in our
dining rooms," Mr. Niccol said. "It's great to see the lines again
in our dining rooms...Consumer sentiment is definitely one where
they want to get back out to socialize and get back into the dining
rooms and have that in-dining experience."
Procter & Gamble Co. Chief Operating Officer Jon
"This is one of the bigger increases in commodity costs that
we've seen over the period of time that I've been involved with
this, which is a fairly long period of time. That's not all bad.
When commodities move significantly, and obviously they affect
everyone," he said, "the industry is pushed to price. When they
move modestly, it can be much more difficult in that regard."
Whirlpool Corp. CEO Marc Bitzer:
"In the first quarter, global semiconductors and resin shortages
amplified existing supply constraints and thus impacted our product
availability. Further, we are faced with rapidly rising
inflationary pressures primarily in steel and resins. To address
these issues, we swiftly responded with necessary actions to
protect margins and product availability. We announced significant
cost-based price increases in various countries across the globe,
ranging from 5% to 12%."
Netflix Inc. Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters:
"Our [pricing] spread has been growing wider, and I think that
that's part of that story. We're really trying to find a set of
plan types with the right kind of features. And we know folks are
-- some folks have gigantic TVs at home, and some folks are
watching on their mobile phone. Some folks are approaching the
service as an individual, some folks are approaching it as a
family. So, just so many different needs out there. And so, we're
really going to try and match those feature sets at the right price
points to that really wide group of folks."
Nasdaq Inc. CEO Adena Friedman:
"The way I look at the crypto markets and the overall
cryptocurrency economy is that it's...still in a very early stage.
And that's great because I think we've seen this really elegant
construct come into the ecosystem in terms of what the blockchain
and what you can do with it. You're seeing now some really
interesting and tangible applications of it that have been more
geared up until recently towards retail. But now, you're starting
to see institutional players recognizing that this is a construct
that really could become part of mainstream commerce."
BlackRock Inc. CEO Larry Fink:
"In our dialogues with our clients world-wide, [crypto] is not a
major question that is being asked. It is not a major conversation
related to how does that fit into their portfolio...And so if
somebody really wanted to build a big deep dialogue related to
this, they're probably going to go to another source, and that is
just not a large foundation of the conversation we're having
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. CEO C.C. Wei:
"In January of this year, TSMC announced that capacity support
for automotive customers is our top priority. Since then, we have
worked dynamically with our other customer to reallocate our wafer
capacity to support the world-wide automotive industry. However,
the shortage further deteriorated due to the unexpected snowstorm
in Texas and the fab manufacturing disruption in Japan. Together
with our productivity improvement, we expect the automotive
component shortage from semiconductors to be greatly reduced for
TSMC's customer by the next quarter."
AutoNation Inc. CEO Mike Jackson:
On how long the chip shortage will impact vehicle inventory: "I
think you have to ask me in a year, I think that's what it's going
to take. The headline is: We have far more demand than supply.
Shipments are pretty good though. They just go right out the door
as they come in...And if [the car companies] could produce more, we
would sell more."
Alcoa Corp. CEO Roy C. Harvey:
"An important point to consider for the future is China's
evolving role in the global aluminum industry. We have been
encouraged to see the strict discipline now evident in their
issuance and enforcement of operating permits that comply with
their supply-side reforms and environmental targets. And over these
last months, it is obvious that the country with the world's
largest capacity in aluminum is working to reduce its carbon
footprint, with increasing impacts on today's and tomorrow's
Harley-Davidson Inc. CEO Jochen Zeitz:
"We are seeing very strong demand in China," Mr. Zeitz said. "We
have high hopes for the Chinese market. It's a huge opportunity
that we're tapping into. And all the efforts that we are taking out
of markets that really didn't make a difference from a
profitability point of view, we're putting into the core markets in
Asia, mainly China, Japan, Korea and a few others. But we think
there's a long-term significant opportunity in the region."
Some quotes are from transcripts provided by FactSet.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 23, 2021 08:14 ET (12:14 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.