AGNC analysis of the income account> earnings of subsidiaries

We need to examine American Capital Agency Corp’s (AGNC) earnings statements and balance sheets to make sure there are no misleading artifices in their income account.  Today we will check to make sure they didn’t manipulate their earnings by padding their income account with some subsidiary sleight-of-hand.  This is easy since AGNC has no subsidiaries.  No adjustments are necessary.


Please read this excerpt from Securities Analysis on the topic and apply it to stock you own or are considering to purchase with subsidiaries.



On comparatively rare occasions, managements resort to padding their income account by including items in earnings that have no real existence.  One flagrant corporation did the following during the Great Depression:


“An examination of the balance sheets discloses that during these two years the item of Good-will and Trade-marks was written up successively from $1,000,000 to $1,600,000 and then to $2,000,000, and these increases deducted from the expenses for the period.


These figures show a reduction of $1,600,000 in net current assets in 15 months, or $1,000,000 more than the cash dividends paid. This shrinkage was concealed by a $1,000,000 write-up of Good-will and Trademarks.  No statement relating to these amazing entries was vouchsafed to the stockholders in the annual reports or to the New York Stock Exchange in subsequent listing applications. In answer to an individual inquiry, however, the company stated that these additions to Good-will and Trade-marks represented expenditures for advertising and other sales efforts to develop the business of Tintex Company, Inc., a subsidiary.


The charging of current advertising expense to the good-will account is inadmissible under all canons of sound accounting. To do so without any disclosure to the stockholders is still more discreditable. It is difficult to believe, moreover, that the sum of $600,000 could have been expended for this purpose by Park and Tilford in the three months between September 30 and December 31, 1929. The entry appears therefore to have included a recrediting to current income of expenditures made in a previous period, and to that extent the results for the fourth quarter of 1929 may have been flagrantly distorted. Needless to say, no accountants’ certificate accompanied the annual statements of this enterprise.”


Be seeing you!

Published in: on September 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

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