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U.S. auto dealer trends

Privately owned U.S. auto dealers have continued to see double-digit sales gains over the last 12 months, growth that has outpaced other industries, according to a recent data release from Sageworks Inc., a financial information company. New- and used-auto dealers are in their third year of double-digit sales growth, though growth has leveled out more recently, the financial statement analysis by Sageworks shows. [More]


(Temporary) Help wanted, apparently - SageworksStats on

June unemployment in the U.S. was flat, and nearly a third of jobs added were in the temporary-help services industry, a field that has shown strong growth over the last 12 months, according to data from Sageworks Inc. “During the last 12 months, privately held employment service firms have seen their revenues grow by almost 20 percent annually, which far outpaces the average annual growth of around 10 percent for private companies across all industries,” said Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman. “That sales growth validates what the employment numbers released this morning showed—the economy has recently been adding a lot of temporary jobs, which are positions that employment service firms routinely fill.” [More]


5 Financial metrics every business owner should know

Is your business successful? How do you know? If you’re like most business owners, your days are filled by efforts to make your company successful. Those tasks might be focused on making a great product, generating sales, or building customer relationships. And you might be great at those things. But how great are you at making money? And how well are you managing your resources?
While different people have various definitions of business success, there are five key financial metrics that can help you understand your business’ financial success and how you’re faring against competitors. [More]


Private companies’ current business trends still positive - SageworksStats @

President Obama’s statement earlier this month that the private sector “is doing fine” prompted a wave of criticism, and there are certainly signs that economic confidence among consumers and businesses has weakened recently. But a new real-time measure of key financial metrics for privately held companies in the U.S. shows sales and profitability trends remain solid, even if hiring continues to disappoint. [More]


Private-company sales, margin growth continue - Sageworks Stats @

Privately held U.S. companies – the millions of businesses that drive job creation and GDP –are growing sales so far this year at about the same rate as they did for all of 2011, according to recent data from Sageworks Inc., a financial information company. [More]


Concerns cause private companies to delay hiring

Private companies are too nervous about the future to ramp up hiring, according to a new Sageworks Inc. survey of accountants, bankers and other financial professionals who work closely with these firms. About 32 percent of financial professionals in the survey said their clients aren’t hiring because they are concerned about the economy in general, while another 22 percent said private companies have become more risk averse because of lingering anxiety from the last recession. [More]


April unemployment ticks down to 8.1 percent

The U.S. unemployment rate dipped in April to 8.1 percent from 8.2 percent in March, but fewer-than-expected jobs were added. “The unemployment rate is not materially changing, which is disappointing since privately held companies continue to grow their sales and are generally the engine of job growth,” said Brian Hamilton, Chairman of financial information company Sageworks. [More]


Private company sales, GDP continue to grow, but what about unemployment?

New data from Sageworks, a financial information company, shows that privately held companies in the United States saw average sales growth of 8.3 percent in the 12-month period ending in April 2012. That’s up slightly from the 2011 growth rate of around 8.2 percent, and up significantly from the low in 2009, when sales declined by an average of almost 6 percent.  Private companies drive over 50 percent of GDP, which grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter, according to the latest government data. While private company sales and U.S. GDP have been growing consecutively for over two years, another important economic indicator, the national unemployment rate, now at 8.2 percent, has not improved at a similar rate. “In reviewing the numbers, the fear now is that we may be running out of runway before the onset of another recession,” said Sageworks CEO Brian Hamilton, a noted expert on privately held companies. “We will not be surprised to see continued growth in GDP given the fact that privately held companies continue to grow at a healthy rate.  However, what is becoming slightly concerning is that the unemployment rate is not decreasing at a fast enough rate.” In general, and looking over a long period of time, the average expansionary cycle is approximately 4 years, and the average recessionary period is one year, Hamilton explained. “Historically, it has taken approximately 12 to 20 months for unemployment to fall in an expansion to roughly pre-recession levels,” he said. “Right now, we are into the 34th month of the recovery, and yet unemployment remains too high.  If we don’t get employment up, we may be bumping into the next recession, during which time we cannot expect job growth.”


It wasn't overnight, but private hotels have turned around

Privately owned hotels have weathered a difficult recession and are back on a profitable path. The industry posted positive net profit margins in 2011 for the first time in three years, and sales increased about 8 percent, according to a financial statement analysis of privately owned hotels by Sageworks. [More]


Who's hiring?

Last week's jobs report showed that fewer-than-expected positions were added in March, stoking concern that the economy isn’t growing fast enough. But several industries that have driven a lot of the hiring over the last year continued to add workers last month.

Who’s been hiring, and which industries have the kind of business fundamentals that could pave the way for adding more jobs? [More]