President Trump Is Interested in a Major Shakeup for Corporate Earnings Reports

President Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Aug. 16

President Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Aug. 16

This summer the U.S. House of Representatives passed the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018 (S. 488), also known as the JOBS Act 3.0, with bipartisan support.

Trump said Nooyi, who will step down in October after 24 years at PepsiCo, had brought the idea of the reporting change up to him at a business roundtable meeting on August 7, at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

"If public companies moved from quarterly to semi-annual reporting, that would deprive investors of timely information and dramatically increase the potential for insider trading", said Robert Pozen, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

President Donald Trump is calling on federal regulators to consider scrapping the requirement for public companies to report quarterly results, after business executives told him twice-yearly reports would make better economic sense.

Business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and exchange operator Nasdaq have been lobbying hard over the past year for lawmakers and the SEC to relax listing rules, warning that the decline in listings hurts jobs and pension funds.

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"That would allow greater flexibility & save money", Trump said in a tweet. I asked, what could we do to make it better? "In the end, all companies have to balance short-term and long-term performance", Nooyi said.

Currently, all publicly traded companies in the US must file reports with the SEC four times a year, every three months.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, a Trump nominee, has said increasing the number of public companies and initial public offerings are among his top priorities. "So we're looking at that very, very seriously".

The SEC has been reluctant to make changes in quarterly reporting, which has always been a cornerstone of United States capital markets.

It "also subjects us to the quarterly earnings cycle that puts enormous pressure on Tesla to make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long-term", Musk said.

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Earlier this year, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, the head of JPMorgan Chase, urged companies to stop issuing quarterly earnings guidance.

But Trump's proposal goes much further, worrying shareholder advocates who have been calling on corporations to disclose more information, not less.

Scrapping the quarterly requirement "is a solution in search of a problem", said Charles Elson, a professor and director of the University of Delaware's Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance.

Even if the SEC concluded the change was a good idea, companies would likely stick with the current regime to avoid investor backlash, said Ed Yardeni, founder and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research.

SEC spokesmen didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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