Drop in Q4 Corporate Profits Shows the Rise of Financial Engineering

Shrinking Q4 profits show just how much firms rely on other tactics to boost their stock prices.
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Corporate profits sunk 11.5 percent during the fourth quarter, illustrating just how much companies rely on share buybacks and other tactics to boost their stock prices, according to one analyst. 'There has been this extreme focus on financial engineering - specifically buybacks,' said David Nelson, chief strategist at Belpointe Asset Management, based in Greenwich, Conn. 'That's wonderful to prop up the bottom line, but it comes at a cost - you're really selling the future of the company to prop up those near term earnings and revenue.' Meanwhile amid the rise in terror attacks, Nelson finds value in defense stocks. TheStreet's Scott Gamm reports from Wall Street.