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Surprises in North Texas earnings

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 Commentator

Dallas, TX – With earning season winding down, just how well have some North Texas companies weathered the storm? I'm Maxine Shapiro, with KERA Marketplace Middays. And quite an economic storm it's been. No need to rehash it. We lived it. Between the Telecom Corridor and our heavy-weighted tech industries, not to mention the largest airline carrier in the world, one could almost say we were in the eye of this storm. But as of late, there have been some nice surprises concerning North Texas-based companies.

For one, Texas Instruments. Remember, where the market is concerned, this is a game of expectations, not actual numbers. Analysts were already expecting TI to come in with a loss. A huge loss. And they did - to the tune of over one hundred million dollars, compared to a gain of over five hundred million for the same time last year. Just looking at the numbers alone, one would want to run for cover. But, this actual number came in better than expected, and TI stock rallied. And TI's forecast was for a brighter tomorrow. Most analysts agree that the whole semi-conductor sector has seen the bottom. When I spoke with Kit Case, the Associate Director of Research for Southwest Securities (a company that didn't fare so well this quarter), he liked the fact that a lot of companies are maintaining guidance as opposed to lowering guidance. In other words, these companies think the worst is over.

Then the travel industry got a couple of surprises. Dallas-based Hotel Reservations Network came in with a revenue gain. I thought people weren't traveling. There's sure a lot of negative noise coming from the rest of the industry. See, earlier this month, Fort Worth-based Travelocity posted fourth quarter profits. It's not that people aren't traveling. They're just traveling cheaper.

So it's not all doom and gloom for North Texas. We've weathered worse storms. We can be a little patient with this one. For KERA Marketplace Middays, I'm Maxine Shapiro.

Marketplace Midday Reports air on KERA 90.1 Monday - Friday at 1:04 PM.