Dig Beneath the Earnings Hoopla

As the holiday week drew to a close, I spent a little time thinking about Wall Street's general obsession with reported earnings. For the next few weeks, everyone on the Street will track, study and make guesses about the quarterly earnings reports that the majority of public companies will be issuing. Stocks will be bought and sold wildly based on what someone thinks the number is, what the number actually is and how badly all the analysts failed to guess the number. I cannot think of a bigger waste of time and money.

I read quarterly earnings reports for the companies I own and for those I am interested in owning. Unlike most people, however, I pay only cursory attention to the income statement at first. The answers I seek are found in the balance sheet....596 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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