Democratizing Earnings Season

Ok, I've stuck to raw analytics with my postings, but I'm going to break rank for a quick minute. With earnings season just about done, we've all been dialed in to conference calls constantly. My math suggests 13 hours of time wasted on stupidity. The answer is to open up the queue beyond the sell-side. Let me vent for a minute...

1) If I hear one more analyst congratulating management on quarterly performance, I'm going to pull my hair out - especially when earnings are down 20% and they are beating their own guidance. Do I get congratulated for cranking out analytics? Does an investor get congratulated for having a good stock picks? No. Why? It's called a job...

2) Is it me, or is the number of analysts who are picked late in the queue and say All my questions have been answered increasing? That's like walking out of a library and saying 'I've read all these books already.

3) Here's a retail industry pet peeve. Why do analysts bother asking CEO's to comment on the supply chain partners that account for 25% of sales? What do they really expect to hear?? Yes, Wal*Mart has really messed up on our new product launch. Is Under Armour taking share from Nike? Well I'm glad you asked. The answer is that UA's share gain has slowed dramatically and we have more inventory than we'd like. These are things we'll never hear on a conference call.

I listened to 40 conference calls over 3 weeks. About an hour each. Roughly 35 minutes of Q&A. About 20 of them were excruciating. That's 13 hours of time wasted. Ironic that the best question tends to come from the constituent that naturally does not get air time on calls - the buy-side. Yes, this is partially by choice, but I'd argue it is more driven by the tradition of exclusion.

Exclusion is bad in any business.Especially this one.