Elliott's Singer agrees with Buffett, Dimon on profit guidance

Warren Buffett

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But Buffett says the practice of CEOs providing a heads-up on how earnings-per-share results are shaping up often causes them to make poor decisions to ensure that the company beats or meets the results they've communicated to Wall Street.

J.P. Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon appeared on CNBC on Thursday to discuss why he doesn't think tariffs are the way to go.

Business Roundtable said it supports companies moving away from offering quarterly guidance and focusing on long-term goals.

So they should stop the forecasting, the two men said.

Although we've seen no immediate opposition to the proposed elimination of quarterly EPS guidance, it's not hard to imagine what at least one argument might be: just because companies don't publish the number does not mean they won't calculate such a number. They have said the practice of telling Wall Street what to expect from earnings can distort management's priorities.

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Dimon has blasted excessive reporting requirements and the short-term focus of quarterly earnings.

Several big companies like AT&T, Coca Cola, Facebook and UPS have stopped issuing quarterly earnings guidance.

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 12, 2016 shows Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase at the Economic Club of Washington, DC in Washington, DC. Without company guidance, analysts' estimates are likely to vary more, making share prices more volatile at the same time that estimates become less valuable to investors and, horror, not worth paying for.

Dimon and Buffett noted that the pressure to meet short-term profit forecasts has contributed to a fall in the number of public companies in the U.S.in the past two decades, "depriving the economy of innovation and opportunity".

Dimon said Thursday that about 20 percent of Business Roundtable members still do quarterly guidance and about 60 percent provide annual targets. Companies including Unilever NV, Facebook Inc., GlaxoSmithKline Plc and BP Plc have scrapped the practice in favor of multi-year outlooks, according to the report.

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