Tracking More Low Quality Pension Income

We’ve found several companies that are managing earnings by tinkering with pension accounting and assumptions related to retiree health benefits. The result is lower quality earnings. Who’s on our list?

Quantifying the impact of last-minute tax bill

When the federal government enacted a last-minute stopgap fiscal bill earlier this month, avoiding the fiscal cliff and reinstating various tax breaks retroactively, much of the business world breathed a sigh of relief. But the one-time gains are already having a significant impact on earnings at some companies.

Reading between the lines at Salesforce

We take a closer look at a recent exchange between Salesforce and the SEC that provided some interesting details on the assumptions the company is making when it comes to some of its numbers.

JPMorgan’s long letter trail with the SEC

A newly released string of letters between the SEC and JP Morgan Chase provides raises some interesting questions about the role of the bank’s Chief Investment Office, which was at the center of the London Whale losses.

A look back at 2012

Before we dive full-fledge into 2013, we wanted to look back at 2012 to see how we’ve done. As we note repeatedly, there’s over 650,000 filings that are made to the SEC in a typical year (we’re still waiting for final numbers for 2012) and it’s impossible to look at every filing. So we pick […]

Beyond the headlines in HP’s 10-K

You’ve probably already seen the big headline that came out of the 10-K that Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) filed late yesterday: the company disclosed in the filing that the US Department of Justice had opened an investigation into accounting fraud at Autonomy, the UK-based company that HP acquired for $11 billion last year, and which, when …

The IRS, PPACA, and the excise tax on medical devices

Last week, the IRS released its final regulations on the 2.3% excise tax to be imposed on medical devices that was part of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act (PPACA) that was signed into law over two years ago. An IRS summary is available here. Or you can read the whole 58-page document (PDF) …

Reading between the lines at National Oilwell

Late Friday, as most of you already know, is the time when companies take out the trash. Still, when we first spotted the 8-K that National Oilwell (NOV) filed just after 4 pm on Friday, we weren’t sure why it was filed that late in the day, since the gist of the filing — …

Is WebMD in play again?

One of our bittersweet calls from last year was our report on October 5, 2011, that said WebMD (WBMD) might be in play. As it turns out, we were right — only the company ultimately walked away from its suitors without a deal. Now we’re seeing some of the same signals again, while at the […]

A 10-Q roundup for third-quarter 2012

For the last couple years, the third quarter has struck us as particularly significant, probably because companies are rushing to get done (and disclose) what they can before the end of the year. It also helped that the filing deadline for the biggest companies landed right at the start of the three-day Veterans’ Day weekend […]