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Issue 735 – August 26 2015

It’s annual reports season, when the corporate entrails are laid out on the altar of analysis for public inspection and prediction. Making sense of the figures is sometimes as arcane a practice as the ancient art of hepatoscopy (reading the future from the entrails of animals). Deciding whether a company’s result is good, mediocre or disastrous is sometimes a fine judgement call. If a business has narrowly avoided going broke or has finally shucked a bucket load of debt, then even a break even result is acceptable. When profits are announced it’s always worthwhile looking at the percentage to see how they relate to the overall revenue. Sometimes there’s a lot of effort for one or two percent return, a rounding up figure really rather than a real result.

In printing, most businesses are privately owned and their results are held tightly from creditors. Public companies operate in a different way. But if you’re using someone else’s money you must expect scrutiny.

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Patrick Howard
Publishing Editor