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Ask the CEOs: Are Earnings Enough?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's been a pretty good earnings so far. More than 70% of the 300-plus S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly earnings so far have beaten expectations.

But can strong corporate earnings be enough to offset fears about high commodity prices and U.S. fiscal policy? That is our question for CEOs this week.

Fortinet CEO Ken Xie

Fortinet (FTNT - Get Report) CEO Ken Xie told the TheStreet that strong corporate earnings can offset fears about U.S. fiscal policy, pointing to the recent run of solid tech sector results.

"In the last two days, earnings releases have definitely driven up the performance of the stock market," the leader of the Sunnyvale, Calif., network security appliance maker said Wednesday. "Good earnings sometimes drive hiring, so that can boost the confidence of the consumer."

Fortinet reported strong first-quarter results of its own after the market close on Wednesday. The hardware maker, which is one of TheStreet's breakout stocks, comfortably beat Wall Street's revenue and earnings forecast and also raised its full-year guidance.

ING (ING - Get Report) Investment Management CEO Jeff Becker: "I think the answer is yes. When you look at what's been happening in the markets, even with some of the negative news, the U.S. equity markets continue to power forward. I think it's really a focus on the fundamentals and corporate earnings, which continue to be quite strong.

Ed Fitzpatrick, CFO Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions (MSI - Get Report) CFO Ed Fitzpatrick: "It's encouraging to me that we could take our guidance up a little. It's a sign that we are feeling more confident.

"I think you are seeing a lot of companies' earnings getting better," says Fitzpatrick. "But we are still watching it every day. We are through the first quarter of the year, and we are encouraged right out the gate."

What are America's corporate leaders saying about the issues of the day? TheStreet's reporters, during the course of their weekly coverage, will pose a thematic question to the business executives they interview. Have a question you'd like to see TheStreet ask the CEOs? Send it to Follow TheStreet on Twitter.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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