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Red Flag Report: Hidden Expenses/Income: What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 dreamstimefree_3430_keepOutBuoyInSmallPond

Most investors are not aware that companies hide one-time and unusual charges and income inside normal, operating line items (e.g. “Cost of sales”) on their income statement. These hidden items can mislead investors by artificially decreasing/increasing GAAP earnings. We found 13,000+ one-time items buried in normal line items like “Cost of Sales” by studying the Footnotes of 10-K filings from 1998 thru 2/15/2011. This research revealed that companies have concealed over $41 billion in one-time items.

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