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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Should Quarterly Earnings Reports Matter?

A picture shows the logo of British energy giant BP during the World Gas Conference exhibition in Paris on June 2, 2015. (Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images)

The logo of British energy giant BP is pictured during the World Gas Conference exhibition in Paris on June 2, 2015. (Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images)

A flurry of quarterly earnings reports came in today, including those of Exxon, where profits fell more than 58 percent in the fourth quarter, and BP, where profits went down 91 percent in the same period.

Yet, do quarterly results really matter? The head of the world’s largest investing company would like the public to put less emphasis on them. Laurence Fink, head of BlackRock, sent a letter to hundreds of CEOs yesterday, writing that, “Today’s culture of quarterly earnings hysteria is totally contrary to the long-term approach we need.”

Here & Now
‘s Jeremy Hobson takes a look at the conflict between short-term and long-term thinking in the investment community with Rana Foroohar, assistant managing editor for business and economics at Time.

Guest


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