Why McDermott International's Shares Dropped Today

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Mar 4, 2014 at 5:18PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of energy engineering company McDermott International (NYSE:MDR) fell as much as 10.6% today after the company reported earnings.

So what: Fourth-quarter revenue dropped 48% from a year ago to $517 million and fell way short of the $820.1 million analysts expected. A net loss of $324 million, or $1.37 per share, was also far below the $0.15 per share profit analysts expected.  

Now what: New CEO David Dickson took over late in the quarter and is already trying to streamline operations to improve long-term profitability. The short-term impact is a lot of charges related to prior projects and other write-offs. I'd like to see the operational improvement before jumping in, because the revenue and earnings figures were alarmingly bad last quarter.

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Travis Hoium and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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