This post is far from the purpose of this blog, but I wanted to share an observation I made this morning that I thought readers might find interesting.
Citigroup reported its third quarter financial results yesterday evening. Today, the New York Times, the WSJ, and Bloomberg reported the results. The differences are striking. Below, I provide the first two paragraphs of each story. And so I pose the question, "where do you get your finance news from?" Do you get it from the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, etc.?
The difference between the $101 million profit from continuing operations (Bloomberg), mostly due to an $851 million gain (WSJ), that ultimately resulted in a net loss of 27 cents per share to common shareholders (NYT) is based on several accounting principles that the average American is not aware of...I even struggle to keep them all straight -- and I am a genius! ha ha.
So who is doing a better service to its readers? Is the New York Times "exposing" a "lie" (I use that word facetiously) or are they really misleading the average reader? Conversely, are the WSJ and Bloomberg "hiding" something? Or is this just more of the same conservative/liberal spin on a story? Do I really have to read three different news sources to get the full picture?
NEW YORK TIMES
CITIGROUP'S TROUBLES CONTINUE IN THIRD QUARTER
Published: October 15, 2009
After pulling off two consecutive quarterly profits, Citigroup posted a loss in the third quarter as spiraling consumer losses overwhelmed its strong trading results.
The banking giant said that it had a loss to stockholders of 27 cents a share or $3.2 billion, compared with a loss of $2.9 billion, or 61 cents a share, in the third quarter a year ago. The bank reported a profit from continuing operations of $101 million. (here for story).
CITIGROUP HAS $101 MILLION PROFIT AS RESERVES GROW MORE SLOWLY
Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc., the lender 34 percent owned by the U.S. government, posted a $101 million profit, defying expectations for a loss, as the company slowed the pace of building reserves for future loan defaults.
The third-quarter profit compared with a loss of $2.82 billion a year earlier, the New York-based bank said today in a statement. On a per-share basis, the company had a loss of 27 cents because of a charge related to the exchange of government- and privately held preferred shares into common stock. Eighteen analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News estimated a loss of 29 cents. (here for story).
WALL STREET JOURNAL
CITIGROUP SWINGS TO NARROW PROFIT ON EXCHANGE GAIN
Citigroup Inc. swung to a narrow profit in the third quarter on an $851 million gain from its securities-exchange efforts in the quarter that left the U.S. government owning a one-third stake in the company.
The bottom line wasn't as bad as analysts feared though the far-flung bank saw more credit losses and a build in loan loss reserve. (here for story).