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Get ready for ‘a pretty ugly earnings season’

July 13, 2022, 10:53 AM UTC
Terri Burns of GV (left) talks with panelists Lise Buyer, partner at Class V Group, (center) and Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Funds (right) during Fortune Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, Colo.
Terri Burns of GV (left) talks with panelists Lise Buyer, partner at Class V Group, (center) and Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Funds (right) during Fortune Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, Colo.

Good morning,

“One of my theses is that the [Consumer Price Index] number doesn’t even matter anymore,” says Gene Munster, managing partner at the venture capital firm Loup Funds. “But everyone’s gonna be focused exactly at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow morning to see what that number is.”

Munster shared his predictions during the “Making sense of the market” panel discussion at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo., yesterday. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for June is set to be released this morning and will indicate if inflation is still running hot or cooling off. The CPI increased 8.6% annually in May, the highest since December 1981. The White House expects the CPI index to be “highly elevated, mainly because gas prices were so elevated in June,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Monday’s press briefing.

“I think it’s going to be a hot number,” Munster said. “I expect it to be a big number. The market expects it to be a big number. The takeaway is going to be that the Fed is going to need to do more work on July 27. I think the actual market goes up on that.” The U.S. Federal Reserve will announce its next rate decision on July 27. At its June meeting, the Fed raised interest rates by 75 basis points, the largest rate hike since 1994.

“I think at this point, the market has moved beyond concern about inflation and interest rates,” Munster explained. It’s reached a vortex in that respect, he said. “I actually think the market is going further down and starting to think about the length and depth of the recession.” He said there might be a market boost after the CPI index for June is released. But the gains won’t last throughout this earnings period, he added. “I suspect that we will see during this earnings period negative commentary from companies,” Munster said.

He continued, “It was painful when we were 50, 60 percent in cash last year. Imagine the conversations with our LPs about what we were missing. It’s moved back into our favor. And we’re excited to be deploying cash [during] what we think is going to be a pretty ugly earnings season.”

However, there’s some optimism for the near future. “My sense is that in six months from now, investors are going to be more confident that the growth rates actually are going to be better in ‘23 than they were in ‘22,” Munster said. “And I suspect that over the next three months, we’re going to be forming a bottom.”

“The market leads the economy,” Lise Buyer, a partner with IPO advisers Class V Group in Palo Alto, said during the panel session. “So, when the market has been down, it makes perfect sense that it’s been down ahead of the recession. And I would argue that the market has priced in the likelihood of a recession at 98%, whereas a bunch of economists are like, ‘Yeah, probably’—but not so sure. So, I’m going to agree with you that I think the path ahead is more optimistic, but not starting tomorrow.”

Buyer was an architect of Google’s original public offering. She said IPOs wouldn’t be hot this year, like 2021. “I’m gonna have a really nice calm summer because there’s no action in the IPO market right now,” Buyer said. “My bet is 2023.”

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See you tomorrow.

Sheryl Estrada

Big deal

Many people are no longer willing to tolerate jobs that leave them unhappy and in a constant state of stress and fatigue, and that includes C-suite leaders, according to research by Deloitte. The C-suite's role in well-being provides an analysis of the issues and trends on how C-suite leaders can improve both their employees’ and their own well-being. One of the findings is that 56% of C-suite leaders and 48% of employees surveyed said they had quit a job in the past because it was negatively affecting their well-being. In addition, 69% of C-suite leaders and 57% of employees are seriously considering quitting their current job for one that better supports well-being. C-suite leaders (82%) and employees (62%) said they're more likely to stay with their company if well-being was a priority. Deloitte partnered with independent research firm Workplace Intelligence to survey 2,100 employees and C-level executives in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia.

Courtesy of Deloitte 

Going deeper

The estimated aggregate funding level of pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies decreased by 2 percent in June, according to a new report by Mercer, a global consulting firm and a business of Marsh McLennan. “Pension funded status for the S&P 1500 fell 2% after a rocky month for equities, and this month's discount rate increases could not make up for those losses,” Matt McDaniel, a partner in Mercer’s Wealth Business, said in a statement. “Stocks saw significant sell-offs in June on continued inflation concerns and interest rate hikes from the Fed."


Timothy M. Papp was named CFO at DURECT Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX), a biopharmaceutical company. Papp brings over 25 years of corporate finance experience to DURECT, including 15 years in the Biopharma sector. He joins DURECT from RBC Capital Markets, where he was a managing director of Healthcare Investment Banking. Previously, he served as a managing director of Healthcare Investment Banking at Stifel, and he also served in investment banking and mergers and acquisitions roles at Cowen, Keybanc Capital Markets, and Rodman & Renshaw. 

Nadeem Moiz, CFO at Crown Laboratories ("Crown"), a global skincare company, will take on expanded responsibilities as chief operations officer (COO). This appointment is made as Jack Songster, Crown's current COO, is set to retire on July 15. Moiz will focus on financial and manufacturing leadership and operations in this dual role. He joined Crown in January 2022 as CFO. In overseeing the company's manufacturing operations, Moiz will focus on over 300 manufacturing and financial employees as well as quality, safety, and productivity.


"A lot of people made a lot of money in California, only to leave for tax reasons. I actually think that's despicable."

— Roy Bahat, head of venture capital firm Bloomberg Beta, said in a panel discussion with Moment CEO Lucy Guo and 8VC President Drew Oetting at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech about the merits of remaining in the Bay Area.

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