Elliott's Singer agrees with Buffett, Dimon on profit guidance

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Dimon said companies might forego investments they should make in their business, such as marketing, hiring or research, in order to hit short-term goals.

"When companies get where they're sort of living by so-called making the numbers, they do a lot of things that really are counter to the long-term interests of the business", Buffett told CNBC Thursday.

Buffett and Dimon announced they are partnering with Business Roundtable, a group of roughly 200 CEOs of major USA companies, to call on companies to consider eliminating quarterly guidance.

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In their op-ed piece, Buffett and Dimon argue that "effective long-term strategy drives economic growth and job creation" and that quarterly EPS guidance "often leads to an unhealthy focus on short-term profits at the expense of long-term strategy, growth and sustainability".

Dimon and Buffett noted that the pressure to meet short-term profit forecasts has contributed to a fall in the number of public companies in the U.S.in the past two decades, "depriving the economy of innovation and opportunity". CEO Jamie Dimon appealed for radical changes to the way public companies disclose financial information. Without company guidance, analysts' estimates are likely to vary more, making share prices more volatile at the same time that estimates become less valuable to investors and, horror, not worth paying for.

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"We think the president has raised some very critical issues about trade, especially with China, around state owned enterprises, fair competition, market access, the ability to own 100% of a company, and these things should be negotiated out and the Business Roundtable supports those issues", Dimon said.

The practice of forecasting has come under severe criticism in recent times with investors pressurising firms to deliver to their promises, said CNBC. Companies including Unilever NV, Facebook Inc., GlaxoSmithKline Plc and BP Plc have scrapped the practice in favor of multi-year outlooks, according to the report.

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