As the Fool's newest newsletter service, Motley Fool Global Gains, matures, I'm sure we'll often run into foreign companies that report their financial achievements in new and ever more interesting ways. Current case in point -- Italian motorcycle-maker Ducati Motor Holding (NYSE:DMH), whose Q3 2006 report I previewed last week. Whereas American companies, and their Wall Street analysts, routinely focus the amount of profitable pennies per share accruing thereto in any given quarter, all the while mentioning firmwide results almost as an afterthought, Ducati takes another road entirely:

It doesn't tell you the per-share results at all.

Before we begin our march through the earnings news, therefore, let's run down the per-share performance. To do this, simply take the firmwide results and divide by shares outstanding. For the first three quarters of 2006, Ducati lost $0.018 per share, an improvement from the $0.13-per share loss it had incurred by this time last year. With each American Depositary Receipt comprising 10 common shares, that means holders of Ducati ADRs saw an $0.18-per-ADR loss last week.

That's nice to know .
But it's also distracting. At the Fool, although we acknowledge the common focus on profits per share, we prefer to think of companies as just that -- entire companies. From that perspective, therefore, let's also look at how Ducati describes itself as a whole.

  • Revenues of $293.7 million rose 1% over last year, helped by an improved product mix.
  • A 7% decline in the cost of goods sold, combined with those sales gains, lifted the firm's gross margin 620 basis points to 27.6%.
  • Operating costs rose 3%, and taxes more than doubled, eating away at the gross margin gains and leaving Ducati with a $5.8 million firmwide loss year to date. So far, therefore, the firm is falling short of analyst predictions that it will break even on the bottom line this year.

Long story short, Ducati has a long road ahead of it before it can catch up to profitable rivals such as Japan's Honda (NYSE:HMC), or America's Polaris (NYSE:PII) and Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG). But at least it's on the right road. Losses are shrinking, and the firm continues to make good on CEO Federico Minoli's promise to "maintain a tight control on sales and production in order to avoid excessive [inventories]." While the firm's inventories didn't contract as much in this quarter as they did in the first half, at 2% down from a year ago, they're still headed in the right direction.

Declining sales and money-losing operations don't make the cut at Motley Fool Global Gains, where we prefer to seek out the best international stocks for our subscribers. But if Ducati continues to make progress in its turnaround, sure, we'll take a look. Meanwhile, if you're interested in peeking in at what we've already scoped out for our members, take a free tour of the publication.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above.