Our first step to gauge the value of a company is to determine the true, after-tax cash flows generated by its operations. We call this Net Operating Profit After Tax (NOPAT).
Without removing the tax impact of non-operating items, one still gets distorted picture of a company’s operating profitability.
Everyone wants diligence. Few will ever turn it down. The problem is that diligence is expensive. New Constructs makes diligence cost-effective.
When I ran across the recent article “270,033 pages later, a chance to catch our breath…”, I could not help but admire footnoted.org’s marketing moxy.
The article provides a count of the number of pages of 10-K filings that have poured in during the real earnings season. It also highlight a couple of the largest filings. At first glance, it is easy for one to assume that all of the 270,033 pages were also analyzed.
Fox Business News features my focus on the Real Earnings Season that is overlooked by most everyone in the market.
Nearly all of the investing world ignores 10-K season. 10-Ks contain the most important financial information that companies provide all year.
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.
2010 earnings for the retail apparel sector have been quite strong, especially compared to 2009. However, looking behind the window dressing of reported earnings, we find that not all earnings are made the same. Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ), retailer of cool, new action apparel turned to an old accounting trick to boost its 2010 earnings by 13%
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.
While I cannot predict what WikiLeaks will leak about some major banks, I have a hunch that one of the revelations might be from a special New Constructs report provided to the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment.
HIDDEN GEM: Our detailed valuation model shows that WDC grew its “economic” profits by 226% while accounting profits grew 194% during its last fiscal year. Economic profits rose by $769mm while accounting profits rose by $912mm.
I explain why our research is so effective at picking stocks. I also speak specifically about these stocks: WMT, JNJ, PEP, GS, RAX, S and WFMI.
The reason we focus on Economic Earnings as opposed to Accounting Earnings is because Accounting Earnings are subject to too much manipulation – as Charlie Munger states below. This problem is not going away anytime soon.
We have always known that finding data is the Footnotes is, for most investors who are without our patented Research Platform, like searching for needles in a haystack. With XBRL, the only difference is now investors can search for digital needles in a digital haystack. Funny how little things change.
As follow-on to my 3-part Market Outlook series of posts, I am highlighting a quote from GaveKal research’s Daily note today which supports my assertion that the “Easy Money Days Are Over” and that success in stock-picking will rely on superior analytical skills as opposed to the market-timing skills that have predominated most of the past 25 years (see Market Outlook Part 1: Rise of the Speculative Movement).
Since the early 1990s, we have seen huge growth in the number of speculators and their impact on the market. Belief that it was easy to make money in the stock market was the primary driver of this boom in speculation. As shown in Exhibit 1, it was VERY easy to make money in the equity markets from 1986 to 1999.
RED FLAG: The main driver of the difference between Economic and Accounting earnings is FDX’s $11.9bn of off-balance sheet debt, a big number compared to $19.7bn in Net Assets and $25.6bn of market value.
Sandridge Energy (SD) – Free Report, for Ask Matt Readers, Highlighting a Major Red Flag in the Footnotes
Here is our free report on Sandridge Energy for Ask Matt readers. Our analysis of the Financial Footnotes reveals a major RED FLAG: the company has written off over $3.4bn in assets in just the last two years.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded us patent #7,752,090, titled: System and Method For Reversing Accounting Distortions and Calculating A True Value of a Business.