Whilst catching up on my backlog of mails I came across this from CBS Marketwatch:
NOT MUCH SHOUTING GREETS YAHOO EARNINGS
Yahoo shares (YHOO) got the boot after the company kicked off a fresh
earnings season for the online-media group by only just measuring up to
expectations, demonstrating what American Technology Research analyst
Mark Mahaney called a mantra: "in-line quarters don't cut it for
Ok, basically what this guy Mahaney is saying that because Yahoo! managed to get their profit for the quarter in line with what a number of market anlaysts expected them to be (based on a guestimate set maybe 90 to 180 days back) then they deserve a kicking.
Unbelievable, accountancy despite the use of numbers is not an exact science, why?
- bills and sales are constantly coming in and out of a company
- what does a sale really mean? If you sign a 3 year deal for online advertising, should Yahoo! claim that as a sale all at once or claim as the money comes in
- when is the money in? When you invoice for it, or when it sits in your bank account
- is the capital gains made on the building you own and work out of profit?
- if you had a bumper quarther this time but you know that the next quarter will be soft, should you avoid booking all the sales in to give you an income cushion next quarter?
- How should you write off the depreciating value of computer equipment, chairs or a forklift truck? There can be more than one way of doing it that will affect the figures
With this in mind, I would recommend that you read The Number by Alex Berenson, which takes you through the insanity of it all in greater depth.