What Annual Reports Won't Say
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 97 02:43:31 -0700
Subject: What Annual Reports Won't Say
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: CSH Little <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excerpted from Wall Street Journal article [4/7/97] by the same name that
reviews the upcoming release of annual reports and the difference between
reality and what gets reported:
- Sales were flatter than ever; expenses soared; earnings plummeted.
How it's described: "We achieved record highs in numerous measures
of corporate performance."
- The firm downsized again, imposing even more work on surviving middle
managers, who were thanked with a 3% salary increase. The chief, meanwhile,
reeled in a pay package worth a few million more than last year's.
How it's described: "Our employees are our most important asset."
- By just about every mmeasure of corporate performance, the company now
ranks at or near the bottom for its industry.
How it's described: "We are well positioned for growth."
- The product launch or corporate acquisition that put the comapny's
existence at risk fell flat on its face.
How it's described: "This bold initiative anticipates the
competitive realities that await all companies in the 21st century."
- The share price has languished for years, while the major stock market
indices and competitor's share values have rocketed to one new high after
How it's described: "With perseverence, the company's
extraordinary performance in generating added value will
be recognized in the marketplace."
- Thanks to a coterie of sycophants that makes sure the top guy hears
nothing negative, the company was blindsided by a shift in customer
preferences that chopped market share.
How it's described: "The adverse effects of those fundamental
societal changes are being felt throughout the economy."
- As in every one of the 20 years he's headed the company, the chairman
did little more than play golf in warm-weather locations around the world.
How it's described: "This portends a paradigm shift that acheives
strategic alignment with the mission and vision to which we adhere
in an innovative adhocracy of continuous learning that will lead
our customer-focused team to greater success in the emerging world
of global competition."
© 1997 Peter Langston