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Quality of Earnings Paperback – October 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

O'glove is a former securities analyst who started the Quality of Earnings Report , used by many investment firms. With business historian Sobel, O'glove details a methodology to help the investor understand the role of the corporate annual report, cash flow and debt analysis, accounts receivable and inventories, the differences between shareholder reports and tax reports, and other documentation submitted to shareholders and potential investors. He advises investors to look carefully at all of the above, and he explains how to do research for more information. The book has a style suited to the investor with some experience and is technical. But it offers a great deal of substantive information that may be useful to those who use business libraries and collections. Steven J. Mayover, Free Library of Philadelphia
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684863758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684863757
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By dennis wentraub on July 12, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Investors who want to survive need to avoid torpedo stocks - the one's you don't see coming to blow a hole in your portfolio. This requires arming yourself with a healthy skepticism. Your stock analyst may be under pressure not to disrupt investment banking deals with negative reports. The auditor's independent review may be compromised by a desire to secure "fat fees" for a host of additional advisory services. Bottom line: Investors need to trust in their own abilities and do the job of reading corporate reports themselves. Read the annual report and more detailed SEC required 10-K filing. This is the simple message of QUALITY OF EARNINGS. Interpreting trends in accounts receivable and inventory levels from publicly available reports are useful tools to spot problems before they impact a stock's price. This is the author's "most important" chapter and it is as good a discussion as I have seen on the subject. The importance of understanding accounting practice changes and their immediate impact on how earnings are reported is another important matter that gets attention here. We also see why "big bath" restructuring charges that lower the bar for short term earnings growth expectations have become a predictable consequence of corporate acquisitions and CEO transitions. Much of this material will be familiar to readers of more current books on the topic, but O'glove's clear explanations and use of the numbers to support his conclusions are instructive. Because this book was written in 1987 the majority of examples used are quaint at best (e.g., Church's Fried Chicken, Coleco, Adademy Insurance Group, etc.).Read more ›
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Quality of Earnings" takes a vital approach toearnings analysis--looking beyond raw earnings as spun by companymanagement for "the street". O'Glove covers basics (Chapter1: "don't trust your [sell-side] analyst"), and goes on toincredibly important basics that most individual investors are notexposed to through CNBC and other mass media outlets (includingsell-side analysts' reports). Example: tracking inventory build-up andaccounts receivable levels can make you a lot of money(short-selling--note: this is a very risky practice), or alternatelysave your rear end (if "long-only").
"Shareholderreporting versus tax reporting," has its own chapter--as itshould. I would pay 10 times the price of the book just for thischapter, as the concept is unique as far as I've read.
The CFRA... and various other firms use the same simple concepts in this bookto advise their giant money-manager clients about the quality ofvarious public companies' earnings. Money managers pay many thousandsof dollars a year for research based on the principles offered in"Quality of earnings".
A warning: reading this bookcoupled with listening to public companies' management may lead you toshort selling; if you remain "long only", this book maymerely save your rear end.
"Quality of Earnings" is aimedat those who are willing to devote a little time to research on whatthey own; there are no hard & fast rules in here, just businesscommon sense and insight honed through years of work andobservation.
This book and Schilit's "FinancialShenanigans" remain very close to my heart.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Everett K. Truitt on August 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book because a Wall Street Journal story referred to it as "the" source for quality of earnings analysis. I was somewhat disappointed with the quantity and quality of new information and analytical techniques, but that's not a knock on the book. I think it boils down to your background. If you're a CFO, Controller or seasoned accountant, there may not be alot of new information here for you. The book may be much better for financial analysts that don't have a strong accounting background but need to be able to determine earnings quality. I personally found Creative Cash Flow Reporting (Mulford & Comiskey) to be more useful. Nevertheless, I'm glad to have Quality of Earnings in my library.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By dean_from_sa on May 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
17 years later and many things have changed. The desire of investors to accurately gauge the stability of the companies in their portfolios remains the same. The incentive of management with stock options to hide the true nature of what the reality of what the company's earnings have been remains strong. Some of the techniques mentioned will be hard to use when companies employ SPEs to hide their true indebtedness and derivative positions mask the Value at Risk. However, many of the technique still have value. The analysis of receivables and inventories can provide insight into the immediate future of the company. The techniques that have lost their clear edge are the debt and write-off analysis. Write-offs are now required by GAAP (although the "big bath" write-offs are still "non-recurring") and SPEs or variable interest entities can obscure debt. It is fascinating in light of Enron, WorldCom, Qwest, Tyco, and Adelphia the stories of companies in the 70s and 80s that were attempting to do the same thing (though often without the fraud). How little man changes through the ages.
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