We provide new insights into earnings quality from a survey of 169 CFOs of public companies and indepth interviews of 12 CFOs and two standard setters. Our key findings include (i) high-quality earnings are sustainable and are backed by actual cash flows; they also reflect consistent reporting choices over time and avoid long-term estimates; (ii) about 50% of earnings quality is driven by innate factors; (iii) about 20% of firms manage earnings to misrepresent economic performance, and for such firms 10% of EPS is typically managed; (iv) CFOs believe that earnings manipulation is hard to unravel from the outside but suggest a number of red flags to identify managed earnings; and (v) CFOs disagree with the direction the FASB is headed on a number of issues including the sheer number of promulgated rules, the top-down approach to rule making, the curtailed reporting discretion, the de-emphasis of the matching principle, and the over-emphasis on fair value accounting.
Gold prices declined in most currencies during the second quarter with the exception of the euro, Swiss franc and Indian rupee, in part due to a strong US dollar. Despite a 3.8% decline in Q2 to US$1,598.50/oz on the London PM fix, gold was up 4.4% during the first half of the year. Volatility remained elevated amidst a busy event-risk period. However, gold generally outperformed risk assets.
A quick and easy summary of important financial planning statistics. Use these numbers when working with your financial and retirment plans.