If you’ve been doing your business homework this week, you’ll know that there have been a fair few sets of ‘quarterly results’ in the ether. Now these might not sound very sexy, but to a shareholder, (both current and potential), these results really can be quite the tease.
So just what are these results and who came out on top?
Any company worth its salt will from time to time show the world exactly how their books are looking. Now this isn’t just because they feel like airing their dirty laundry – far from it. This is because current (and potential) shareholders want to know exactly how the business, and their cash, is being looked after.
As if good old fashioned honesty wasn’t enough – quarterly results are a damn good motivator to those at the top of a business when it comes to ensuring all cash is used in the best possible way. Every single piece of financial info can be found in these reports, including how much profit a business has been made, and how much has been distributed in dividends.
These results come out four times a year (which you may have got from the quarter!) and are usually released in January, April, July and October. If you own shares in a company or have your sights set on a particular business, it’s really worth taking five to have a look. Make a note of what numbers you’re really bothered by, and get your favourite highlighter out. (Let’s be honest – who doesn’t love a good highlighting session!?).
If you really want to be smart, keep older reports aside to compare the figures as the months roll by. After all, when it comes to shareholding, knowledge really is power.
So who did well?
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced a 73% increase in profits (City AM). Now it’s worth noting that this figure is pretty sizeable – it’s not a figure you see every day (or should we say quarter!). This was put down to a huge drive in advertising sales. Twitter saw a ‘Year on Year’ increase in revenue of 21% (CNBC). ‘Year on Year’ means just that, revenue this year compared to last, was 21% higher. It’s a term that’s batted around often, but is truly as simple as that.
Credit Suisse the Swiss Investment bank had its strongest quarter in three years. Profits were up by 36%, with a pre-tax income increase of 57%. This was put down to some pretty extreme cost cuts – their entire Canary Wharf office was closed last year, proving that sometimes it truly does pay towards a bigger picture to take a step backwards. So how can you get yourself ready for the next quarterly results and what should you be looking out for beforehand?
Keep an eye out for a business making big changes, this could come in the shape of an acquisition (a business buying another and adding it to its own portfolio), cost cuts or big changes in management.
Because we’re feeling generous, here are a few to get you started. Why not add them to your Watch List to see how they fare?
Amazon. With the fairly recent acquisition of health goods retailer Whole Foods, how may their business do? Two huge global brands with some pretty hefty potential – it could be interesting to see what the ‘before and after’ results look like.
Prezzo. After the closing of a staggering forty high street restaurants, there’s been a shift at the helm. Could the results be a bit tastier after a few months?
The Co-Operative. This week was a good week for the Co-op, and no, they didn’t just sell out of orange juice. After months of negotiating, they were given the go ahead to revamp all Nisa stores nationwide, bringing the local retailer under their own food based umbrella. It doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out for changes like this – for a business they can have huge implications. Keep an eye on your very own Dabbl activity feed for stories just like the above and if one catches your eye? Add them to your Watch List.