Serious Studies

Corporate Earnings Analyst Report, Mad Libs Edition

Bad News Bears

Today we offer a template that should be serviceable for all earnings-related stories, be they generated by a security analyst, reporter or blogger.


July/August __, 2009


By Hortense Wazoo, staff reporter (or 17-year old economics student hired by the investment bank to write scary things to befuddle adults for a while)

The Barfinger Corporation today reported earnings that, because they were better than expected, threw all the people whose job it is to predict such things into a complete tizzy, confusing everybody and leaving a nasty taste in our collective mouth.

Revenue, earnings per share and cash flow were all essentially flat from year to year, a tremendous achievement in this economic climate, according to analysts, but one that might not be repeated unless it is, which would once again surprise people concerned about a dead cat bounce or green shoots that possibly could turn yellow overnight unless sufficiently watered. These  concerns have a majority of observers scratching their heads and other less savory areas of interest.

This aura of doubt could land Barfinger in the heavy rough, not the kind you find on American golf courses, but the real nasty stuff you encounter at, say, Turnberry.

[NOTE to writers: The latter is a mere placeholder for the fictional Barfinger Corporation, which is in golfing supplies and horse collars. Look for a possible amusing twist on the actual entity's field of operations here, as in “finds itself in oily waters” for an energy company or “may be facing some serious static” for a media enterprise. A full list of approved cute references in this regard is available upon request.]

Even as Barfinger has been hurt by problems in its sector [again, a complete list of designated problems and their associated catchphrases may be downloaded; they include “plunging ad market,” “collapsing mortgage sector,” and “beleaguered banking institutions,” among others], it always could rely on hats, flags and beaverboard Those businesses, of course, are all showing increased signs of wear and tear (particularly if it’s a garment-related company; if it’s ice cream, it can be said to be “melting down” and so forth).

ACTUAL REPORTED NUMBERS GO HERE, I.E.: The Company produced $___ million of operating income on revenue of $__ billion, with a significant swing in Earnings Per Share. While this shows major improvement from the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009, everybody was looking for more while expecting less.

"They did pretty well given the total collapse of mercantile capitalism during the quarter," said Charley Bluefin, an analyst with Dewey, Cheatham and Howe, the investment banking concern we always go to when we need our basic assumptions articulated by an ostensibly disinterested source. "But we're going to downgrade them anyhow, since we have a sell rating out on them and really hate to look wrong."

PLACE FOR UNSOURCED SPECULATION AND OPINION MASQUERADING AS ANALYSIS, I.E.: Rising financial distress in the associated sector/global economic situation/aroma of surrounding community is likely to damp demand for whatever it is they do. And a growing wave of bankruptcies could mean that existing long term assumptions might be possibly impacted, or could be, if they were. [N.B.: MAINTAIN CONDITIONAL TENSE.] In fact, deals with a number of Barfinger's suppliers show that the economic downturn is placing all business related to its operations in mortal danger. Many are not expected to live, or if they do, to require a respirator for years to come.

Barfinger is by far the biggest supplier of ___________ to the entire world. Being a leader puts it in the greatest possible danger, and will, it is thought by some who will remain unnamed, bring the company to its knees by next ________ (pick day of the week). Those percentages will likely rise this year, as other undesignated stuff that bolsters our assumptions declines.

For some reason, Barfinger's stock went down __% in early trading immediately following this report.



12 Comments Add Comment

Do you have a 10-K version?

The [insert subject corporation lackey's name here]'s Senior Vice-President of the firm's Syncopant Product Division, praised CEO Hayden Morgentrout's decision to forego personal compensation except bonuses based on share value. "It's about time our share-holders were rewarded for their trust in an industry leader, and our entire executive cadre intends to honor that trust", said Morgentrout, who also indicated that they will beat any competitors' layoff numbers by "at least 10%".

Cheek Corp announced today it lost its ass during quarter two.

CEO, Asdrubal Munchkin, said the flabby results were unfortunate but guidance promised a firmer recovery.

All with Cheek will "endeavor to persevere."

Moreover, as the leader of this upstanding firm, I give you this no cellulite pledge:

I will while away the hours,
Conferrin with the Flowers,
Consultin with the Rain.

And my head I'll be scratching,
While my thoughts are busy hatchin,
If I only had a brain.

Munchkin concluded by saying he expected the time and millions spent on consultancy would yield sunstantial benefit to the bottom line, top line, putting, and fly lines while Asdrubal is on vacation for the next six weeks.

Cheek Corp is the world leader in the manufacture of gluteal implants
and is headquartered in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Symbol: (ASS)

Stan, do you mean it's as simple as pulling up the correct pre- printed form to disclose earnings reports and contract agreements?

Simply fill in the blanks and off to the country club we go?

Poor dear ole dad, he sure did make it better for for the next generation.

Silicon valley, you're amazing too!

If Hortense Wazoo says buy Barfinger's buy Barfinger....I mean how bad could a 17 year old's wild guess be compared to todays experts...

The kid may be new to the game, but he sounds like a natural...

Besides new lies are easier to swallow..


Great pinot noir out of Long Dog in Milford, Ontario. Ottawa tourism must be down about 40%.

Did not sample the Crown Royal.

Regulations, especially Reg FD, are a big driver of the template driven song and dance that earnings releases often are these days.

The Q&A at the end of the conference call often gives a bit of interesting color commentary.

In my Wall Street Journal today: "Catepillar Inches Up."

But the next part of the headline read "Coca-Cola Falls 1.3%" and I thought to myself, well at least they restrained themselves, only to be dashed again in the body of the story, which read, " ... despite Coca-Cola's fizzle" and left a flat taste in my mouth.

So today's earnings reports may possibly include:

Bank of New York Mellon ... ripens?
Domino's Inc. ... delivers?
eBay ... of Pigs?
Illinois Tool Works ... die?
iParty ... pooper? ... underpriced?

Paul Glad to hear you found some good grape juice,,,Canadian wine may taste a little different than European wine,,,cause we wash our feet before we tromp the grapes,,,well some of us do that if we can sober up long enough to remember to do that...


That certainly is good of you!

I also got a look at our coming VAT structure.

As a true son of the North, you must feel great being so far ahead of the taxation curve.

Paul,,,Canadians never fear TAXES,,cause we have been taxed for so long we expect it,,part of life,,,we would be lost without tax and more tax,,,It like constantly getting hit on the head with a hammer,,,,afer a while you start to tap your feet to the beat..

When it stops,, you think they don't love you anymore..

All that said,,,we do not begrudge taxes for Healthcare,,,nobody wants to lose their lifes savings due to an unforseen major illness
in the family.

The VAT tax is a curse and it is Govt. way of sticking their hand in your pocket...but there are ways around it...people just go to a barter system and trade services...We go underground as they say....

Speaking of how a line can make you chuckle out loud, beyond reason . . . . I loved when you wrote: "They did pretty well given the total collapse of mercantile capitalism during the quarter,” Cheers! Anne