SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- With earnings "season" officially under way, so is "blame the weather."
In many cases, including retail, restaurants and construction, it's justified. The Northeast got blasted and that, on occasion, kept people from getting where they were going.
One of the most legitimate weather-related claims was Alcoa (AA), whose CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said:
Let me also address one other thing that has been discussed quite a bit. And we also saw it in our order intake in the first quarter here in the US, where it slowed down. It slowed down -- the order intake there slowed down -- and this has pretty much single-handedly been driven by the extremely cold weather.
So what do we see now? We're seeing on those sites now, as the sites got delayed, the concrete couldn't get poured, people are now trying to catch up, and trying to make the dates that they had projected for their projects. So, we continue to be optimistic in the recovery of that market and don't believe that there's any substantial change in this. It was really weather that hit there.
Of course, that merely means deferred or delayed revenue, not cancelled revenue.
Which brings us to Intuitive Surgical (ISRG). Late Tuesday, the robotics company warned that its first-quarter revenue would fall 59% and, perhaps more disturbing, robotic procedures would rise just 7%; a year earlier they were up 20%.
As I wrote in Reality Check this morning (subscription required), it's proof that that the hard reset at Intuitive is continuing -- and that one quarter's less-bad results (in the fourth quarter) did not make a trend.