NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Who needs nuance when there is earnings news to report and tables to bang? Apparently not the media, including Forbes. In reporting on General Motors' (GM) complex and nuanced earnings, many went the simplistically positive route. Cue a Forbes headline:
"GM Reports Strong Q1 Earnings"
And their lead:"General Motors has parlayed higher vehicle prices and lower costs into better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter." Forbes went on to showcase strong prices and the extent of the earnings beat, but did not bother to mention a single negative. Not one. Unfortunately, there were -- amid the favorable prices and earnings beat -- plenty of negatives. Barron's captured the balance and complexity of the results, right from the lead: "General Motors is falling about 2% this morning after beating analysts' earnings estimates as the company posted strong U.S. profits but reported a loss in Europe and market share losses worldwide." Amebas are one-celled organisms, but car companies are complex animals, especially in our congenitally uneven economy. If you don't see nuanced good and bad in car company earnings reports, they may drive the level of your understanding of the auto industry and international economy straight into a ditch.
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