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Danger Zone: Stocks With Most Misleading Non-GAAP Earnings

Monday, July 21st, 2014 3508252914_73e09af9d3_z

Companies usually pitch these alternative metrics as “supplementary” data to help investors get a “better” view of the profitability of the business. Instead, we see red flags, not a better view.

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Analyst Notes: Definitions

Friday, May 30th, 2014 7827785878_34859830a8_m

The “Analyst Notes” column on the stock screener at features insights into corporate events or disclosures that cause us to question the validity of a company’s financial reporting or the efficiency of the market for its stock.

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FASB Changes Standard For Revenue Recognition

Friday, May 30th, 2014 imgres

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a new set of standards for revenue recognition along with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) on Wednesday.

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Discussing FASB’s Lease Proposal

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 Discussing FASB’s Lease Proposal

On August 27th, I met with my fellow members of the FASB’s Investor Advisory Committee (IAC) to discuss the proposed treatment of operating leases on the balance sheet by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

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Net Deferred Tax Assets and Liabilities – Valuation Adjustment

Monday, August 19th, 2013 DTL

We subtract net deferred tax liabilities (DTLs minus DTAs) from our calculation of shareholder value as they are real future cash obligations that limit the amount of money available for distribution to shareholders.

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Overfunded Pension Plan Assets – Invested Capital Adjustment

Monday, August 5th, 2013 OverfundedPensions

Overfunded pension assets are similar to excess cash, and should not be included in the calculation of return on invested capital (ROIC).

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Danger Zone 7/22/13: EPIQ Systems (EPIQ)

Monday, July 22nd, 2013 EPIQ_F1

EPIQ Systems (EPIQ) is in the Danger Zone this week. The legal technology solutions provider has misleadingly high reported earnings due to a funny accounting rule. Analysts and investors looking at reported earnings have assigned unreasonably high expectations to EPIQ.

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Discontinued Operations Removed from Invested Capital – Invested Capital Adjustment

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 DiscontinuedOperations

Most investors would never know that discontinued operations distort GAAP numbers by over-stating assets on balance sheets and distorting the picture of a company’s ability to generate a return on that capital.

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Off-Balance Sheet Debt – Invested Capital Adjustment

Monday, July 8th, 2013 OBSD

Investors who ignore off-balance sheet debt are not holding companies accountable for all of the capital invested in their business. By adding back off-balance sheet debt to invested capital, one can get a true picture of the value that management is creating for shareholders. Diligence pays.

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Implied Interest For Operating Leases – NOPAT Adjustment

Monday, June 24th, 2013 ImpliedInterest

Converting GAAP data into economic earnings should be part of every investor’s diligence process. Performing detailed analysis of footnotes and the MD&A is part of fulfilling fiduciary responsibilities.

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Should Directors Ignore Those One-Time Items?

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 Should Directors Ignore Those One-Time Items?

I do not think so. The question, however, is not so much about what directors ignore. You cannot ignore something about which you are unaware.
The real issue is that most directors and investors are simply unaware of the many one-time items because they are buried deep in the annals of footnotes in annual reports or 10-K filings.

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Economic Versus Accounting Earnings

Thursday, August 5th, 2010 dreamstimefree_966040_thornBranch

Accounting data was not designed for equity investors, but for debt investors. “Earnings, earnings per share and earnings growth are misleading measures of corporate performance.”(from page 66 in The Quest For Value by Bennett Stewart, Harper Collins 1991.)

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Stock Pick of the Week: Sell/Short Yahoo (YHOO)

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 Stock Pick of the Week: Sell/Short Yahoo (YHOO)

Overall, the Risk/Reward of investing in Yahoo’s stock looks Very Dangerous to me. There is lots of downside risk given the Misleading Earnings and there is little upside reward given the already-rich expectations embedded in the stock price.

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GAP is Stock Pick of the Week – Hidden Gem

Friday, June 4th, 2010 GAP is Stock Pick of the Week – Hidden Gem

Hidden Gem – GPS: economic earnings are rising faster than reported accounting earnings b/c the company lowered the capital employed to run the business. GAAP earnings do not capture increase capital efficiency of the business.

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Sirius Satellite – A Dangerous Stock

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 Sirius Satellite – A Dangerous Stock recently published three articles quoting me on SIRI. Andrea Tse called and, after reviewing our models on SIRI, I told her that the stock was Dangerous because:

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NYSE – Why it’s on the Most Dangerous List

Friday, May 28th, 2010 NYSE – Why it’s on the Most Dangerous List

There are two primary reasons a stock gets on our Most Dangerous List:

1. Misleading earnings: reported GAAP earnings are positive and rising while economic earnings are negative and declining
2. Expensive valuation: future cash flow expectations embedded in the current price are unusually high especially compared to historical performance.

Free copy of our report on NYX is in the Free Archive on Or just click here: NYX Company Valuation Report.

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Do It Yourself Guide To Finance

Thursday, May 13th, 2010 Do It Yourself Guide To Finance

If you are interested in learning how to uncover the truth about the profitability and valuation of stocks, the first… Read more >>

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