Here’s How Investors Are Duped Each Earnings Season

Made-up numbers are creating confusion and misery

by Ciara Linnane, Tomi Kilgore, and Francine McKenna
Market Watch

A year ago, we explained the many ways companies make reading their quarterly earnings reports a miserable task.

We weren’t just whining. We wanted to remind companies that our readers regularly tell us they struggle to understand earnings announcements, and our job is to decode them for investors. Making that difficult isn’t helping anyone.

We noted that some of their tactics — inventing or manipulating numbers, using meaningless jargon, distributing lame executive quotes, and more — can be outright damaging, eroding investor trust and creating skepticism.

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