It's earnings season again, as you may have noticed, and we're into the whole crazy song-and-dance, this time hopped up on a nice mix of optimism, desperation, greed and fear. In short, business as usual.Those who look for improvement have reason to feel somewhat satisfied. The shorts have plenty to work with, too. So here you have today's news, where Google ( GOOG) reported an 18% increase in net income off a 3% rise in revenue -- this during the worst economy since Rome salted the fields of Carthage. The reaction was, of course, muted. "Google earnings beat expectations," wrote paidcontent.org, then added, "but revenue growth keeps slowing." Of course revenue growth is slowing. At this point, a company whose revenue is down 5% can tell its investors that it's kicking the doors off the barn. Be that as it may. Everybody keeps writing about each individual earnings statement as if Company X should somehow have avoided living in the same atmosphere we all breathe. When things turn around and the economy comes back, the coverage will shift, naturally. Then every headline will cite Company X's amazing turnaround in revenues and earnings per share, and laud its senior management for the excellence of its vision and size of its boni. It's summer. Everybody wants to sit back and wait for things to change in some meaningful way or other, and in the meantime have a sandwich and a little snooze. So I thought I would offer a simple template for reporting companies, bloggers, financial journalists and analysts to use so we can all ignore the boring details -- all of which are utterly driven by the marketplace, almost none of which are really anybody's fault.
First I'll provide a press release that, if altered with taste and discretion, may be suitable for printing by blogs, online news sources and wires verbatim, in its entirety. Then I'll provide a short resulting article for those who report on such things in old-style print outlets, webzines, aggregators and online newsletters. Just plug in the numbers and there you'll be, ready to hop on the phone and market yourself to CNBC or head out to McGonigle's for a little liquid refreshment, not necessarily in that order. Come to think of it, that sounds like a bit of work. I think I'll get to it on Monday. Let's take the rest of the day off.