Friday, September 23, 2011

Just another word on Financial Analysts

Recently I’ve been working with a client in the hardware industry.

They’re not a huge company, but, they’ve won business with the new Woolworths hardware stores - Masters. I’m helping them to upgrade their warehouse management and logistics systems to support the growth in business they’re projecting from Masters expansion plans.

I got pulled into a meeting with the Managing Director where he showed me this piece from the SMH.

He wanted to know what I thought. Would Woolworths pull out of the hardware market? What did it mean for him and his business?

This is the sort of idiotic dribble from a so called ‘expert’ that does no good for anyone except for turning the analyst from a spreadsheet jockey into a ‘rock star’ analyst. It’s great for his career. Not so much for anyone else.

Masters will bleed money. They’re buying property for their new stores, stocking up and expanding. Their target is 150 stores in 60 months, that’s just over 2 stores a month, every month for 5 years.

Congratulations Mr. Financial Analyst - you managed to state the obvious and you think this makes you some sort of genius?

Yes they will bleed money, at the start, and then they’ll get to the tipping point and they’ll start to make money - I’m sure some analyst will turn around and say that they forecast that would happen too…

All I told my client was “this report was put together by an analyst who is no different to the analysts that said sub-prime mortgages were a safe bet and we all saw how smart those guys really were”.

Woolworths are in business to make money and they wouldn’t get into this market lightly. Neither would their partner in this venture Lowe’s.

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