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[Peter专栏]The GAAP in GE's Earnings通用电气公司收入中的GAAP

通用电气公司收入中的GAAP

General Electric, the venerable icon of American business, is having a rough time at the moment. Their share price is down an awful 35% in the year to date.

The markets aren’t happy, and one of the reasons why is that GE is touting no less than four different "relevant profit figures."

Instead of offering a single "bottom line" for investors to ponder, in recent years GE has been presenting this bewildering array of profit perspectives:

• Industrial operating earnings

• Industrial operating earnings + verticals

• GAAP Income from continuing operations

• GAAP net income

Call the first three "made up totals," if you will.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with adapting measures to gauge performance. Many companies trumpet one profit report called EBITDA, which is the bottom line with interest, tax and depreciation added back. But using four raises eyebrows.

According to a recent WSJ article, under its new leadership, GE is considering reverting to a “back-to-the-basics approach” with its financial reporting.

As many retailers know, shoppers who are given too many choices often decide not to buy. Perhaps that's one reason GE's stock is languishing.

通用电气(General Electric)是美国企业的古老象征,目前正处于艰难时期。到目前为止,他们的股价已经下跌了35%。

市场并不乐观,其中一个原因就是通用电气正在“兜售”不下四个不同的“相关利润数字”。

近年来,通用电气不是为投资者提供一个单一的“底线”(净利润),而是提出了一系列令人眼花缭乱的盈利前景:

− Industrial operating earnings

− Industrial operating earnings + verticals

− GAAP Income from continuing operations

− GAAP net income

采取一些方法来衡量业绩表现并没有什么本质的错误。许多公司都在采用一个名为EBITDA的利润指标,它是扣除利息、所得税、折旧、摊销之前的利润。但是如果用四个指标那就有点过了。

根据“华尔街日报”最近的一篇文章报道,在新领导的带领下,通用电气正在考虑在财务报告方面恢复“回归基础”的方式。

正如许多零售商所知道的那样:给顾客太多的选择,结果往往是决定不购买。也许这就是通用电气股价疲软的原因之一。

Peter Frampton

Color Accounting 总裁

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