Today we offer a template that should be serviceable for all earnings-related stories, be they generated by a security analyst, reporter or blogger. Underlined names and phrases may be replaced by those more appropriate to the given company or topic under review.


July/August __, 2009

BARFINGER CORPORATION SHOWS IMPROVED EPS GROWTH; DISAPPOINTS STREET

By Hortense Wazoo, staff reporter

The Barfinger Corporation today reported earnings that, because they were better than expected, threw all the people whose job it is to predict such things into a complete tizzy, confusing everybody and leaving a nasty taste in our collective mouth.

Revenue, earnings per share and cash flow were all essentially flat from year to year, a tremendous achievement in this economic climate, according to analysts, but one that might not be repeated unless it is, which would once again surprise people concerned about a dead cat bounce or green shoots that possibly could turn yellow overnight unless sufficiently watered. These concerns have a majority of observers scratching their heads and other less savory areas of interest.

This aura of doubt could land Barfinger in the heavy rough, not the kind you find on American golf courses, but the real nasty stuff you encounter at, say, Turnberry.

Note to Writers: The latter is a mere placeholder for the fictional Barfinger Corporation, which is in golfing supplies and horse collars. Look for a possible amusing twist on the actual entity's field of operations here, as in "finds itself in oily waters" for an energy company or "may be facing some serious static" for a media enterprise. A full list of approved cute references in this regard is available upon request.

Thumbnail Mini-Analysis Here, i.e.: Even as Barfinger has been hurt by problems in its sector a complete list of designated problems and their associated catchphrases may be downloaded; they include "plunging ad market," "collapsing mortgage sector," and "beleaguered banking institutions," among others , it always could rely on hats, flags and beaverboard. Those businesses, of course, are all showing increased signs of wear and tear (particularly if it's a garment-related company; if it's ice cream, it can be said to be "melting down" and so forth).

Actual Reported Numbers Go Here, i.e.: The Company produced $___ million of operating income on revenue of $__ billion, with a significant swing upward in earnings per share. While this shows major improvement from the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009, everybody was looking for more while expecting less.

"They did pretty well, given the total collapse of mercantile capitalism during the quarter," said Charley Bluefin, an analyst with Dewey, Cheatham and Howe, the investment banking concern we always go to when we need our basic assumptions articulated by an ostensibly disinterested source. "But we're going to downgrade them anyhow, since we have a sell on them right now and really hate to appear wrong."

Place for Unsourced Speculation and Opinion Masquerading as Analysis, i.e.: Rising financial distress in the associated sector/global economic situation/aroma of surrounding community is likely to damp demand for whatever it is they do. And a growing wave of bankruptcies could mean that existing long-term assumptions might be possibly impacted, or could be, if they were.

In fact, deals with a number of Barfinger's suppliers show that the economic downturn is placing all business related to its operations in mortal danger. Many are not expected to live, or if they do, will require a respirator for years to come.

Digging a Deeper Hole Now: Barfinger is by far the biggest supplier of ___________ to the entire world. Being a leader puts it in the greatest possible danger, and will, it is thought by some who will remain unnamed, bring the company to its knees by next ________ ( pick day of the week/month/year). Further senescence, decrepitude and exsanguination will likely rise again this year, as other undesignated stuff that bolsters our assumptions declines.

For some reason, Barfinger's stock went down __% in early trading immediately following this report.

STOCK SYMBOL; REPORTER CONTACT INFORMATION