60 Minutes – Is the Stock Market Rigged ?

Ok, they didnt quite ask that question. Directly. But they sure raised the question indirectly. As have the CEOs of Overstock and Bioval

Both have sued a research company for writing reports that they say were not independent or objective. They were influenced, if not possibly written completely by hedge funds looking to profit from their short positions once the negative research reports were published

I dont know if the research company was influenced or not. I dont know if the law was broken or not. According to the 60 Minutes report, research reports are influenced all the time. Which is of course true. The key question is whether knowingly false information was supplied to influence the content of the report. Im sure the courts and authorities will determine what happened to the best of their abilities.

To me however, thats not the big issue.

Here we have the CEOs of two companies saying that one small research compay out of Arizona can have more influence on the actions of current and potential shareholders than not only every other research company combined, including those who have been following the company for an extended period of time, but also more influence than the CEOs themselves.Of course these CEOs must also believe that what is reported by this company is moreimportant than the results of operationsof the company.

Is a single research pen mightier than the P&L, Balance Sheet and Statement of Cash Flows ? that is the question you must ask yourself.

If you think the answer is yes, and you are an investor, you probably dont know enough about the companies you own stock in to stay in the market.

If you think the answer is yes, and you are a trader, hopefully you have gotten to the point of knowing you are just winging it anyway, and you win some and lose some.

If you are the CEO of a public company and you think the answer is yes. Please email me with the stock symbol of your company. I want to short it.

Any good CEO knows:

Sticks and Stones my hit my stock price, but a great operating company will make the shorts cover and push the stock price higher.

Any bad CEO knows:

If i can create a diversion, I know I can convince at least a few funds to hold on, and that gives me a chance to sell more stock.

If none of this makes sense, make sure none of your money is in the market

46 thoughts on “60 Minutes – Is the Stock Market Rigged ?

  1. While I am sceptical of the management at OSTK and have read your comments on shorting the stock, I wonder if an out of control (media speaking) CEO can create value in an other wise sound company.

    Comment by runescape money -

  2. Maybe it’s like playing chess. I would guess that a person would play a different game of chess against an experienced opponent, than they would select against a beginner.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

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    Comment by sharetipsinfo@gmail.com -

  5. In defense of short sellers– http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/P148503.asp Bill Fleckenstein discusses the BVF lawsuit, specifically the coverage on “60 Minutes.”

    Comment by JohnD -

  6. Maybe it’s like playing chess. I would guess that a person would play a different game of chess against an experienced opponent, than they would select against a beginner.

    Comment by Magnet -

  7. I definetly think this is something that needs to be investigated… there is way too much money in the market to let this go.

    Comment by Tkeysites -

  8. The stock market has always been about greed and money. It’s time to tame it and create laws that severely punish greed and directs the markets focus to the real productivity that it always promises, but never actually delivers. Mark is right! I hope one day we wake up to realize that if we don’t have a trusted market-place that is valued by the middle class, we will begin a slow downfall towards the end of “Rome” as we know it! And for to those of us always defending the market place I have to say, “what comes around goes around!”…. Defend wrong and you will be wronged!

    Comment by Mitchell -

  9. Mark you hit the nail on the head…and these CEO’s find a way to put the nail in the coffin of the companies they run. The majority of the chatter from CEO’s regarding naked shorts and short campaigns comes from bulletin board names. And all for a good reason for we all know…the short money typically is far smarter relative to number crunching then the longs. Period. Check out Stocklemon.com…..phenomenal stories of shady companies and CEO’s trying to be “Shortbusters”. At the end of the day i will invoke operating earnings as my “force” any day against a sith lord period. Email me for discussion. Mark thanks.

    Comment by Anthony -

  10. I imagine CEOs care because they don’t like their stock price being manipulated, even if its only for a short period of time. I say sue the bastards and see what comes of it.

    Maybe this is why the SEC is pushing that whole NRSRO deal.

    Comment by Sports Bettor -

  11. Ignoring the technical aspects of this case for a moment, we do have a handful of objective data points. Biovail (ticker BVF) was trading near $50 in mid-June 2003, supposedly when Gradient issued the report. BVF closed at $24.17 today. The S&P 500 has risen by about 35% during that time.

    And as a context for these numbers we can reasonably assume that a nearly 3-year period is a sufficiently long time for the stock price to reflect “P&L, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows.”

    In isolation, it seems a good activity to write a negative report about a company that over the next 3 years will decline 50% while the broader market rises 35%. (I don’t intend to make a sweeping generalization as I lack the specifics of what happened; I’m just pointing out an information set that should presumably be considered.)

    (In a cursory article search today this was the most thorough article I came across on the details of the case– http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/26/business/yourmoney/26gradient.html)

    Comment by JohnD -

  12. Since investors don’t expect hard cash (ie dividends) from the stocks they own, research reports have become much more important.

    Investors are looking for share price growth (ie a bigger sucker to buy their stock). This can be achieved by various forms of lying including research reports, massaged P&L’s, TV and newspapers manipulated by PR firms etc.

    The stock market resembles a Ponzi scheme right now. I can get a 4.9% return on a one year CD, how many companies will pay that kind of dividend?

    Comment by stephen nally -

  13. This is happening in the stock market as we speak. But what is the GVT. doing about it.

    Comment by Ron -

  14. Still waiting to hear back from Mark on the value of “sweat Equity” as a more important tool for business success than money.

    He started Broadcast.com with the 2 million dollars he made from selling microsolutions. Would he have been able to start broadcast.com without that 2 million dollar cash infusion?

    Comment by Susan -

  15. Did anyone catch the Tiger Woods interview after this story? He is on track to become the first billion are athlete.

    Comment by Frank DeRossitt -

  16. Regarding the post above –

    I find it hard to believe you have an investment advisory newsletter. I’m sorry there is no blunt way to put it – but that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever read..

    Comment by Kinggfx -

  17. As much as I dislike the idea of individual investors investing in single companies, I have to agree with you Mark. Those companies that have solid operations will be the Long Term winners, and there is really little else that will effect their price significantly over the long term than that.

    The real question is, do those companies (excluding Wal-Mart) even exist today?

    I honestly can’t think of any other company besides Wal-Mart that has proved to have solid operations, good management, and healthy earnings over the long run like Wal-Mart. Companies operations and profits tend to fluctuate over time, depending on management etc. Therefore, in my opinion, investors should be extremely careful with the buy/hold strategy and should stick to more broad market investments.

    Comment by Stephen Stull -

  18. Part of the problem I think is also that if they DID NOT sue for things like this, the shareholders themselves might sue the company for not suing the researchers.

    It’s a crazy litigious world!

    Comment by Difster -

  19. Bioval still has a ton of short interest considering its stock price is now down to 24 dollars. I am sure SAC’s analysis of BVF was accurate and they just wanted their analysis public so that they could have some help depressing the stock. Good job SAC.

    Comment by Jordan Grimes -

  20. “If none of this makes sense, make sure none of your money is in the market”
    Article make a lot of sence, the rule can apply to any other business situation

    Comment by vitaliy -

  21. I agree with Mark for the most part, but have one question. Mark suppose someone made false or potentially false claims about the dallas mavericks. As owner/”ceo” would you just ignore the comments and not respond publicly? Is it not part of your fiduciary responsibility? What would you do if you were CEO of Bioval?

    Comment by rolando blackman -

  22. I saw Mark on C-Span last night and was interested to learn that his company had produced Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Good Night and Good Luck.

    Mark’s Libertarian views were also quite interesting and I wonder what Mark thinks about my essay on his Enron film and the March of the Penguins:

    Published on Sunday, September 18, 2005 by CommonDreams.org

    The March of the Penguins and Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room: How Penguins and People Adapt to the Natural World

    by Tom Turnipseed

    At a recent conference, young Republicans were urged to see the documentary March of the Penguins, according to The New York Times. Conservative film critic Michael Medved said the film is “the motion picture this summer that most passionately affirms traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing.”

    It would be great if political conservatives admired the penguin film for a more important reason. The documentary depicts this remarkable avian species cooperating with one another and sacrificing their own lives and individual gain for the common good and survival of their own kind in the frigid and hostile environment of Antarctica.

    Young and old conservative Republicans should also see another recent documentary, Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room. Enron is about the human species and, particularly, the criminal activities of corporate chieftains. The film exemplifies the modern conservative attitude of extreme individualism with its me-over-we, money-over-people philosophy that extols taking advantage of others to make money by lying and deceiving. The social behavior of the penguins, by contrast, is more like we-over-me.

    Conservatives using the mating ordeals of emperor penguins as a battle in the culture wars might be positively instructed by a species with genuinely admirable attributes of social sacrifice and cooperative collectivism. After a 70 mile journey together, the penguins mate and the females lay an egg. The male penguins then learn to balance the egg laid by their mate on their hooked feet, moving carefully about. They crowd together for warmth in howling 100 mile an hour winds and temperatures of 180 degrees below zero, tenderly protecting the egg while their mates go on a two month journey for food. Huddled together for warmth, a fold of their belly fat sheltering the egg from the elements, they must somehow keep moving, lest they freeze. They regularly alternate moving into the middle of the huddle to increase their body heat and keep from freezing to death in an unselfish effort of group survival. Some freeze to death anyway, usually on the outer edge of the mass of male penguins. Just as their babies hatch, the females arrive with food.

    Enron was a self-described “energy” corporation that became the seventh largest corporation in America and was named Fortune magazine’s “most innovative corporation” for six consecutive years. The objective of Enron was not actually to provide energy. Enron’s singular purpose was making money. As the film’s narration so aptly says: it is a story about “the dark side of the American Dream”. Like the Ponzi scheme of the early 20th Century, Enron used get-rich-quick schemes for the guys at the top of their money pyramid. Similar to Ponzi’s rip-off, the money actually represented no goods or services and the fraud was bought into by the largest financial institutions in America.

    Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were Enron’s top executives. Lay and Skilling touted Enron as “the best energy company in the world”, and President George W. Bush hosted Lay at the White House and referred to his political and energy industry friend as “Kenny Boy”. Meanwhile, Lay and Skilling knew the company was bankrupt, without any real worth for years. Utilizing corrupt bookkeeping practices, they concealed losses and inflated profits, with the prestigious accounting firm Arthur Anderson signing off on the scam and being forced out of business as a consequence.

    Enron simply made up impressive quarterly returns to bolster its stock prices and developed an accounting ruse called mark to market. This hoax had Enron pushing a venture projected to make $10 million ten years from now and asserting the $10 million was current income. Another Enron ploy was creating phony offshore corporations and moving their losses to those companies, which were off the books.

    The most appalling part of the film is the revelation that Enron created the bogus California energy crisis. There was never a power shortage in California. Enron traders got on the phone with California power plants, and told plant managers to “get a little creative” in closing down plants for “repairs.” Between 30 percent and 50 percent of California’s energy industry was shut down by Enron much of the time, with closures as high as 76 percent on one occasion. Enron traders drove the price of electricity higher by nine times.

    In the film, Enron traders laugh about the rolling blackouts, and boast about the millions they made for Enron. 20,000 employees are fired as the company goes belly up; pensions are gone; stock is valueless. A power company lineman in Portland, who worked for the same utility all his life, says his retirement fund was worth $248,000 before Enron bought the utility. Then that retirement fund was invested in Enron stock. Now it’s worth about $1,200.

    Emperor penguins would certainly be better role models for young conservatives than Ken Lay.

    Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and political activist in Columbia, South Carolina. http://www.turnipseed.net

    Comment by Tom Turnipseed -

  23. Mark, I enjoyed your C-Span interview. Brian Lamb is an unsung legendary hero as C-Span’s founder, and knows how to ask questions too. My only difference with you in that interview was your saying that we invaded Iraq “for the right reasons.” I’m not so sure.

    As for the 60-minutes story, I found it somewhat simplistic and amusing. I run a small media sector hedge fund in Denver, and couldn’t believe how badly Leslie Stahl and CBS erred in saying that the hedge fund industry is lightly regulated. She failed to point out that starting last month, hedge funds with over $30 million in limited partner assets must be registered with the SEC, follow compliance procedures, and are subject to audit. Stahl’s info was somewhat dated, to say the least!

    The story about paid-for research and hedge-fund sponsorship of such as well as front-running is important. The sponsorship should not be allowed to happen without proper disclosure in the report, and front-running the release of the report by taking a position, long or short, with the prior knowledge of the report’s content, is just plain wrong.

    However, it’s also wrong for companies to fail to tell their fundamental stories clearly to the investment community. Any company concerned about the impact of 3rd party research, whether sponsored or not, is not paying enough attention to its own responsibility to the investors, i.e. communicating efficiently and properly so that incorrect research reports are discounted.

    Research reports should NEVER drive stock prices, but sadly do. The ONLY things that should drive stock prices are 1) the operating performance of the company, 2) the attractiveness of the business it’s in, and 3) the economic environment in which it operates. Proper communication to provide CLARITY of the above 3 factors is really the responsibility of the companies themselves, and they really shouldn’t be too concerned with what Wall Street (or OFF Wall St.) analysts may write in a research rag. Your point about shorting companies who do obsess over this was spot-on.

    Comment by Ken Goldman -

  24. Unfortunately, even when using multiple forums for research and the companies financials, you still can’t overcome the influence of large mutual funds. I’ll give a hypothetical example. Say IBM is predicted to pay $1 dividend but ends up paying 99 cents instead. I, as a small-time investor am not going to sell IBM because I got $99 in dividends instead of $100. But a big mutual fund probably holding the maximum 5% of IBM it can, sensing that IBM could have off-shored more work and made the $1 dividend (costing it tens of thousands in dividends), sells off a massive number of IBM shares at a loss of 100’s of thousands or millions. Why? To send a message to the other companies it owns a 5% stake in to deliver what’s predicted. In the long run getting 100% of all predicted dividends will make up for the ‘punishment’ they inflicted on IBM.
    Of course I suppose you could take advantage of this knowledge. But a small shareholder very likely doesn’t have sufficient number of shares and the profits go to fees and taxes.
    In the end the small investor is just at the whim of the big players in the stock market be that a CEO, manager of a mutual fund, or a ‘research firm’.

    Comment by Joe Schneider -

  25. If it was all a matter of pure financial analysis, smart people would always make money in the market, and careless risk takers would not. I think there are human factors in play, also. They used to call a recession a “panic”, right? It’s more of a stampede than a logical exercise.
    Maybe it’s like playing chess. I would guess that a person would play a different game of chess against an experienced opponent, than they would select against a beginner.
    Also, you assume the financials are an objective representation of reality. What if there is cookie jar accounting afoot?
    Not going so far as to say, ask “what would a dumb person buy” and then buy that stock, but earnings can’t be the only factor driving the price of stock.
    I think you are right that the cash flow statement is useful, but I think you are assuming that the investing public is not affected by emotional panic. Not everyone is an analytical NT. (myers briggs) I wonder if there are not alot of SP’s in the market now.
    I just believe that 2000 flushed out alot of the risk averse people, unless they are still in via 401K.

    Comment by Bland Response -

  26. I was impressed by your comments in the C-SPAN interview.
    I fear that most American “investors” would fail the self-evaluation questions you asked in your 60 Minutes blog commentary. And yet, these are the folks that are being tempted to forego traditional pensions and “invest” in IRAs. There are some investment decisions best left to the experts, and my pension investments might be one of those decisions.
    – Greg

    Comment by Greg Johnson -

  27. I was watching you on C-span this weekened. Anyway, in your previous blogs you’ve talked about the importance of “sweat equity” as a more important tool for aspiring entrepreneurs than money.

    However, after listening to you on C-span, I realized that you started broadcast.com with 2 million dollars! So, you did in fact have plenty of money (granted, it came from the sale of your first company – micro-solutions), but would “sweat Equity” alone have been enough to launch broadcast.com?

    Comment by Susan -

  28. For most mid size to large companies the “the P&L, Balance Sheet and Statement of Cash Flows” are so easily manipulated that the average retail investor is left grasping for something they can trust and understand.

    Comment by Art Of Money -

  29. Another great post Mark!

    I myself am a trader, and am winging it. I don’t trust the markets enough, so I trade the markets with a plan – cutting losses, letting my profits run.

    Private investors/traders don’t simply have the access to market information – there is no true full disclosure for us. All information diseminated are all “old” news.

    Comment by George Polizogopoulos - Trader -

  30. The best part of the show is when Andy Rooney got mad at the girlscouts for using Riboflavin in their cookies.

    Comment by Neil McCulloch -

  31. As usual, you hit the nail on the head. If a person cannot determine a realistic value of a stock on their own, they should not be in the market.

    Comment by Eddie -

  32. Since investors don’t expect hard cash (ie dividends) from the stocks they own, research reports have become much more important.

    Investors are looking for share price growth (ie a bigger sucker to buy their stock). This can be achieved by various forms of lying including research reports, massaged P&L’s, TV and newspapers manipulated by PR firms etc.

    The stock market resembles a Ponzi scheme right now. I can get a 4.9% return on a one year CD, how many companies will pay that kind of dividend?

    Comment by stephen nally -

  33. Since investors don’t expect hard cash (ie dividends) from the stocks they own, research reports have become much more important.

    Investors are looking for share price growth (ie a bigger sucker to buy their stock). This can be achieved by various forms of lying including research reports, massaged P&L’s, TV and newspapers manipulated by PR firms etc.

    The stock market resembles a Ponzi scheme right now. I can get a 4.9% return on a one year CD, how many companies will pay that kind of dividend?

    Comment by stephen nally -

  34. Mark, Saw both the 60 Minutes piece and your C-SPAN interview. As for the 60 Minutes piece, I think you may be missing something. The point is not to sue Camelback, the point is to expose SAC (and Rocker for OSTK). The front-running via Camelback (Gradient) is just the legal angle to do so. The ethical integrity demonstrated by the CEO’s for thie fiduciary responsibility to protect their stock price is admirable. As for your C-SPAN interview, nice job, you came off as a genuinely good guy. Thanks for the opportunity to share my opinions.

    Comment by smuopr8r -

  35. One thing I’ve learned over and over again is that the management of public companies doesn’t serve the shareholders. Rather management serves itself while spewing a lot of claptrap about serving the shareholders. The stock market has always been about fleecing the little guy out of his savings. Nothing else.

    Everyone I know lost a crapload a money in the dotcom crash, including many who by virtue of their professional status should have known better. This type of event happens with great regularity, yet the sheeple keep coming back with what’s left of their savings.

    Comment by Peter -

  36. Sorry, Elliot Spitzer, typing too fast.

    Comment by Miller Logan, M.D. -

  37. Mark,
    First time post, long time fan. I missed the 60 minutes episode but caught the end of your interview on Cspan (will watch in full at 10 PM).
    My points on reseach reports:
    1) All publications affect a given marketplace in some fashion. Research reports are no exception. It is simply an additional form of sensationalism.
    2) The usage of impartial research reports is quite acceptable to the intelligent investor, as long as the reports are indeed impartial. S and P and Moodys are usually good for this. To imply that people should not invest if they use these is somewhat foolish

    On the interview:
    1) I really wish I understood what your technology businesses actually do a little better. I encounter difficulties on the technical aspects of the computer world.
    2) It’s one thing to say “I sold broadcast.com to yahoo, and made Lots o’ money.” It’s another thing altogether to say, “I sold broadcast.com at a price far greater than what it was worth at the time with the benefit of hindsight.” I would bet that the decision at the time did not have such perfect information.

    Either way, your achievements are great. I have benefitted greatly from your other interviews (Playboy in particular) as respects life, career, and financial planning.

    Comment by George -

  38. Mark,
    First time post, long time fan. I missed the 60 minutes episode but caught the end of your interview on Cspan (will watch in full at 10 PM).
    My points on reseach reports:
    1) All publications affect a given marketplace in some fashion. Research reports are no exception. It is simply an additional form of sensationalism.
    2) The usage of impartial research reports is quite acceptable to the intelligent investor, as long as the reports are indeed impartial. S and P and Moodys are usually good for this. To imply that people should not invest if they use these is somewhat foolish

    On the interview:
    1) I really wish I understood what your technology businesses actually do a little better. I encounter difficulties on the technical aspects of the computer world.
    2) It’s one thing to say “I sold broadcast.com to yahoo, and made Lots o’ money.” It’s another thing altogether to say, “I sold broadcast.com at a price far greater than what it was worth at the time with the benefit of hindsight.” I would bet that the decision at the time did not have such perfect information.

    Either way, your achievements are great. I have benefitted greatly from your other interviews (Playboy in particular) as respects life, career, and financial planning.

    Comment by George -

  39. Getting this out of the way first, Tiger Woods is the greatest.

    Moving on, the question is whether a CEO has to be admirable for the company stock to be a good investment. I have some of my money in the care of Arne Alsin with Alsin Capital Investment. He recently established a position for me in Overstock.com which has appreciated 30% in the last two weeks. While I am sceptical of the management at OSTK and have read your comments on shorting the stock, I wonder if an out of control (media speaking) CEO can create value in an other wise sound company. Regarding the 60 Minutes piece, it seems to be that every party in that story is guilty of hoodwinking the average investor including the Elliot Spencer wannabe CT AG.

    Comment by Miller Logan, M.D. -

  40. Interesting story, of course all the important parts were glossed over or omitted.

    Glossed over:
    1. Company only went down significantly after the company blew two earnings reports.
    2. Camelback already had a negative opinion on BVF before SAC asked for the report.
    3. SEC investigation of the Biovail’s accounting

    Omitted: The sordid story/lie that BVF told a few years ago blaming a accident with one of their trucks for an earnings shortfall. If I remember correctly the truck was supposedly full of product that got ruined, yet when an analyst looked into it the police report indicated a much smaller cargo load. Google for the full story on that debacle, which I believe was the source of the SEC investigation.

    Maybe Camelback’s research is for sale, maybe Cohen (of SAC) is the Sith Lord, and maybe I could beat Tiger Woods in a round of golf, who the f cares, but Biovail is the last company to hang one’s hat on and I agree with Mark that complaining about shorts and wasting corporate resources on imaginary conspiracies is an automatic short.

    Comment by Bigkat -

  41. Mark,
    It’s tempting to call you a twit for taking shots at people involved in an issue that (other than making you wait an extra 15 minutes to see Tiger) doesn’t really affect you. At all.

    But I won’t give in to that temptation, because I know you don’t have access to one tenth of the full story. And you won’t for a little while longer, yet.

    When you do, I suppose you’ll either clam up or give Patrick Byrne and the others involved in this issue their due, in which case I’ll re-invite you to be on http://www.businessjive.com

    Comment by Judd -

  42. Always a fan of your blog Mark

    Of course, research reports have more influence than sort of financial statement from the company…its called laziness…technology makes people more efficient but the downside is that it also makes people more dependant…anyway, the reason why most investors probably would rather read the research report is because its basically a summary of the company’s financials (or its perceived to be that way)…who would want to analyze financial statements when they can just look at a summary?…Im guessing thats the reason why it has so much influence

    I used to be a day trader…although I was only a trader for about 2 years, it was so apparent that, most of the time, whenever a company downgraded a particular stock (NASDAQ anyway), the same company would be doing the opposite of what they recommended throughout the day…for example, if Morgan Stanley downgraded NVLS, and you are able to pull up the Level 2 for that stock, more than likely youll see Morgan Stanley buying the stock up throughout the day…when the price got too high (for their orders I suppose), they would stop…selling pressure would come and then Morgan Stanley is back again…great times trading lol

    Comment by Ming -

  43. Not one word about Tiger Woods? He grew the PGA tour market by an order of magnatude. One person, playing golf DID that. No one in history has come close to acomplishing that kind of dominance in sport. You should know a thing or two about the inherant truth in the trend of sports records. Our society values his contribution, alone, to the world to be in the Billions.

    Comment by Pong32 -

  44. Patrick Byrne has never sold any of his shares. He has in fact been buying more.

    Comment by byrnefan -

  45. Excellent post! I hope that it gets syndicated far and wide throughout the blogosphere and beyond, because it is something that needs to be heard.

    Comment by Alex Krupp -

  46. Hello there. Didn’t see the 60 mins special you refer to, but I just saw you on C-SPAN; I recently finished B school and heard in you a lot of thoughts I share about living and success and independence, I thought I’d check out your site. Market movements are seemingly always being overanalyzed, and cause/effects being explored, but I hold to the tried and true basics of continued excellent performance being the best indicator of future positive results. Performance can be attributed to different factors however, not necessarily solely due to a well-operated company. Shifts in demand may be caused by trends outside the company’s area of influence, or by chance. You can not applaud a construction company for putting up huge numbers when a hurricane, for instance, demolishes a city. Even a very poorly run construction company could post large profits. It is important to understand an income statement in light of the environment the company is operating in.

    Comment by Jordan Whistler -

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