Yahoo reported earnings numbers yesterday. Numbers were about as expected and YHOO has had a very nice 6 month run in its shares. However, if you were a casual reader of news online, or if you get your financial news from your local news, you better check the facts.
There isn’t much that burns me more than a local news reporter who will say that Yahoo ‘earned‘ $1.57 billion dollars this quarter. Cut to the witty banter with their co-anchor about “must be nice” or some other thoughtless comment. What is the point, if you can’t get it right. The difference between earnings and revenue is a extreme as the difference between the number of wins a team has and the number of games they play. Imagine if your sports reporter stated that your local NFL team had 16 wins last year. They are that different.
There is a site that covers all aspects of the search engine world. They are a solid news source, but they are clearly allowing a non-investor to create their own summary for the daily newsletter. Read below:
From a daily newsletter that I receive:
Yahoo Q2 Earnings: $1.57B, Down 13 Percent Vs. 2008
Yahoo announced second quarter earnings of $1.57 billion this afternoon. Compared with the same period a year ago, earnings were down 13 percent. The company is predicting an even more modest third quarter: “in the range of $1,450 million to $1,550 million.” Search revenues were $359 million, off 15
The article that it linked to was just fine. That would lead me to believe that they are having someone who isn’t as savvy, or doesn’t care much abou their job, type the summaries.
Here is a quick guide for the lazy and ill-informed when reporting on earnings numbers:
- Revenue does not equal earnings!
- Annual sales do not equal earnings!
Important stuff. Please get it right. People are listening and reading.