Table: Profits Will Get Worse Before They Get Better

To make next year's results look stronger, companies may load losses into 2001 by:

SLASHING values of physical assets, which will cut depreciation charges in the future

OVERESTIMATING likely bad debts, thus boosting future profits when customers pay up

CHARGING impending restructuring costs immediately, so as to benefit if they're less than expected

DELAYING the close of sales contracts beyond yearend, to boost 2002 revenues

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