WSJ – Minding the GAAP Matters to Investors – Lauren Silva Laughlin 10/7/19
The number of companies reporting non-GAAP numbers has proliferated. In 1996, only 59% of filers used non-GAAP figures according to firm Audit Analytics. By 2017, that had grown to 97%. A gander at the wide range of valuations that non-GAAP creativity implies shows just how dangerous creative accounting can be for investors, too. Zion Research Group recently calculated Ebitda figures four different, but often used, ways for companies in the S&P 500 by sector. The communications sector produced the widest range between the lowest and highest figures—a difference of $25 billion for the sector as a whole between the most and least flattering techniques.