Reading Earnings Reports and Annual Letters

  • August 2, 2018
  • Scott
There are four earnings reports and Annual Letters that I like to read.
  1. Apple’s quarterly earnings transcripts (like this one) are always educational. You can learn a lot about Apple, Samsung, suppliers, chips, consumers in different geographies, and how the biggest company in the world by profit, and biggest tech company in the world by revenue, thinks about the world and their business.  (and also, from reading the reactions of journalists to these transcripts and reports)
  2. Chuys quarterly earnings reports.  Chuys is a chain of fantastic Tex-Mex restaurants based in Austin, Texas – started in 1982. In the late 2000’s, Chuys was a mere 15 restaurants around Texas, and decided to get serious about growing the business.  In 2009 the first Chuys outside of Texas opened in Nashville.  There are now approximately 97 locations in the USA…. !  Creamy Jalapeño salsa and Macho Burritos and Tres Leches for everyone.  I like reading their quarterly reports because you can learn about labor costs in the economy in a meaningful way, how restaurants think about operational improvements, and how commodity prices impact margins – eggs, avocado, tequila, etc.  You can just tell how professional the team that manages Chuys is. They know their stuff.  And you know what leaps off the page in these reports? Chuys’ management team is constantly focused on how to improve their operational efficiency and results – while still creating a great customer experience (does this sound familiar?).
  3. Amazon’s Annual Letter from Jeff Bezos.  This is like an MBA in Amazon thinking. And it is free for the taking. Jeff thinks differently and it is worth spending time understanding how he thinks, especially if you’re worried about Amazon entering your market.
  4. Buffet’s Annual Letter. Well, Buffet is the original – and in my opinion, the best. His annual letter hits all the elements of the economy – insurance, reinsurance, trains, housing, real estate, paint, candy jewelry. It’s insanely good intelligence and insight.  Again, all the advice is free. His letters go all the way back to 1977 online.

So why read this stuff? I think it pays to stay curious.  Of course I like to read the earnings transcripts from our clients as well, and the marketing materials they put out – because they help us understand our clients, their philosophy, and how they put those values into action. All of which is important if we’re going to do a good job delivering digital operations results for our clients.

I’m curious if anyone has other good reading recommendations along these lines?

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