NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Loews (L) reported second-quarter results Monday, and media outlets took turns clipping and killing the conglomerate, which competes with everyone from AIG (AIG) to Transocean (RIG).
The Associated Press was all too typical. It said in a headline: "Loews 2Q net income tumbles on hefty charge."
The article that followed found few, if any, redeeming qualities. Instead, the AP filled its take with verbs like "plunged," "fell" and "slipped." Ouch.
As tempting as it is to totally condemn companies in these days of disappearing economic growth and grim earnings even from stalwarts like McDonald's (MCD), Starbucks (SBUX) and Apple (AAPL), Loews had, beyond the write-off, a bit going for it.Barron's did well to make its way beyond the impairment charge, capturing the legitimately positive in the process. Its headline spoke to this underlying complexity: "Loews: More Than Meets the Eye." Although the energy operations put Loews on the same shaky ground as competitors such as Exxon Mobil (XOM), there was undeniable good news elsewhere, emanating from the diversified holding company's insurer, CNA Financial (CNA), which reported gangbuster numbers. And even though the quarter's impairment charge came from Loews' drilling unit, Diamond Offshore (D), there were still signs of improvement at Diamond. Although Barron's didn't deny the negative, it worked in words like "improving" and "strength." Here's the upshot: It's really easy to be reflexively negative these days, especially in the face of a big impairment charge, which make earnings appear dismal, at least at first glance. But even these days, appearances can be complex, and a second glance can do a body good. At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in stocks mentioned. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV