In a move guaranteed to tick off analysts, Coca-Cola
Analysts may be fizzing, but one important person's drinking it up: board member Warren Buffett. Coke joins another Buffett investment, Gillette
Coke's leadership is simply tired of the constant, short-term focus created by an environment of earnings guidance and estimates. Tired of the drive to eke out that one last cent per share so the Almighty Street isn't disappointed, instead of paying attention to longer-term business plans. We can't say we blame 'em.
The company will still provide information for investors, but it will be more strategic, long-term stuff. Coke doesn't want to stop the flow of information altogether, but it does want to shift its focus.
In one response, and in what has to be one of the more hilarious quotes of the year, a Bear Stearns analyst told the Associated Press, "One of the byproducts of this measure is that you're going to have analysts doing more analysis."
Bravo, Coke, for taking an unpopular stand. Shareholders will be better served by executives who spend time actually running the company and planning for future growth, rather than just meeting short-term, short-sighted expectations.