July 25 (Bloomberg) -- Sales growth lagged behind profits as companies in the Standard & Poors’ 500 Index beat analysts’ estimates this week, a signal that economic recovery may be slow.
Second-quarter revenue at Caterpillar Inc. and Freeport- McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. tumbled more than 30 percent from a year earlier, though earnings topped the average of analysts’ predictions. Amazon.com Inc.’s profit skidded and sales missed estimates. United Parcel Service Inc.’s sales slid 17 percent. Microsoft Corp. saw annual sales drop for the first time in 23 years as a public company.
“The economy is coming back but it is not going to come roaring back,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. Companies “are going to be reluctant to add investment and jobs until they get better sales.”