Murray Stahl

Stahl: Weakness Of 2002 Compared To 2011 – A Case Study

The subject for the Musings section is the table below, which lists the largest companies in the S&P 500, excluding the financials.1 The purpose of this examination is to compare the net profit margins of these companies as they existed in 2002 with those from the end of 2011. The idea is to compare a weak economy with another weak economy, separated by almost a decade. Aspects of economic weakness notwithstanding, the margins as we found them in 2011 were far higher than they were in 2002.

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