Data: Employee Benefit Research Inst. Thanks to a regulatory crackdown, corporate earnings releases now rely less heavily on the pro forma numbers that critics contend present the bottom line minus "bad stuff." Although it's still perfectly legal to use pro forma results, Securities & Exchange Commission rules that took effect in March require companies to reconcile them with figures calculated according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
Moreover, in SEC filings, companies cannot give pro forma numbers greater prominence than GAAP figures. "It's very 'in' now to be in accordance with GAAP," says Charles Mulford, an accounting professor at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Still, not all companies have kicked the pro forma habit. Among them are Netflix (NFLX
), a Los Gatos (Calif.) video-rental company, and Broadcom (BRCM
) an Irvine (Calif.) communications company. In an Apr. 17 SEC filing, Netflix highlights "strong financial results for the first quarter," including non-GAAP net income of $31,000. In contrast, the filing puts its GAAP results at a $4.5 million loss. Management says it believes the non-GAAP figures provide "a more representative measure" of performance. Broadcom says the same. She likes vanilla. He likes chocolate. Cuisinart solves that problem with its $80 Flavor Duo Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, a dual-chamber device that lets you simultaneously churn out two different quart-size batches of homemade frozen treats. It's noisy, but you'll never fight over flavors again. Index funds mean low-cost investing, right? Not so with the first fund to track the Standard & Poor's Hedge Fund Index. The new Rydex Capital Partners SPhinX fund tracks the index by investing in 40 hedge funds covering nine strategies. The minimum investment is $25,000, about a 10th of what's typically required for a hedge fund. But Rydex charges annual fees of 1.95% of assets, plus the hedge-fund annual fees, which can be 1% to 2.5% of assets. The funds also take 15% to 25% of the profits.