Guidance--the revenue and profit forecasts that companies divvy out to Wall Street analysts--is dying a slow death. Hooray for that!
As a slew of big names--Wal-Mart (WMT), Costco (COST), Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo (YHOO), among them--announced in the past two weeks that they would suspend or limit guidance because of economic uncertainty, analysts who follow these companies have reacted skeptically. Not giving 2009 guidance "hardly instills confidence in the business," Sanford MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 6, 2009 3:25 PM ET
You think you lost a bundle in the market? The CEOs who lead the companies in the upper decks of the Fortune 500 have fared even worse: Their stock holdings in their own companies declined in value by $54 billion last year.
A just-released study by executive compensation consultancy Steven Hall & Partners sums up the damage. For CEOs who head 175 of the top 200 corporations in the Fortune 500, MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 22, 2009 2:06 PM ET
"We can't copy. If you want to copy somebody, you're going to be second at best, and always a step behind."
-- Doug McMillon, newly named president and CEO of Wal-Mart (WMT) International. He's succeeding Mike Duke, who is due to take Wal-Mart's helm as CEO Lee Scott retires.
When McMillon talked with Fortune's Geoff Colvin in "The Colvin Interview" last October about innovation and Wal-Mart's global growth prospects (click here MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Jan 8, 2009 5:02 PM ET
Is the role of the Fortune 500 CEO changing? I think it is. Of course, we've never seen so many corporate chiefs gain fame by testifying in the halls of Congress -- and then get skewered on Saturday Night Live. Any leader's nightmare, indeed. But as the world spins out of control, even the admired CEOs (a rare breed!) are feeling a need to step up and broaden their traditional MOREPatricia Sellers - Dec 12, 2008 4:42 PM ET
"If you get too caught up in that good life, it's probably time to move on, simply because you lose touch with what your mind is supposed to be concentrating on: serving the customer."
--Sam Walton, the late founder of Wal-Mart (WMT). Today the company that Sam built--the world's largest corporation--announced that November sales were up 3.4%, beating Wall Street's and its own expectations. Management attributed the strong performance to aggressive MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Dec 4, 2008 6:05 PM ET
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz needs less optimism and a stronger dose of reality in his brew.
Monday's fourth-quarter earnings report -- net income down 97% to $5.4 million on revenues of $2.5 billion, which were up 3% -- missed expectations. Same-store sales, down 8% in the United States and 7% globally, were worse than Wall Street predicted. Moreover, $170 million in restructuring costs to close 600 U.S. stores, as detailed by management MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 11, 2008 12:12 PM ET
"In my mind, there is no doubt that this is Wal-Mart time. This is the kind of environment that Sam Walton built this company for."
-- Lee Scott, president and CEO of Wal-Mart (WMT), in The New York Times today. Consumers are going for value and there's no better evidence than Wal-Mart's October sales. Same-store sales at Wal-Mart increased 2.4%, beating expectations. The stock dropped only 1% on a 443-point down MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Nov 6, 2008 6:22 PM ET
My Fortune colleague Geoff Colvin reminds us in his Guest Post that the best time to test and stretch your talent is during tough times. Ever since we published Geoff's piece on Postcards yesterday, I've been thinking about this a lot. Last night, at a Bank of America (BAC) dinner at Manhattan's Four Seasons restaurant to benefit the International Women's Media Foundation's Courage in Journalism Awards, I sat with a MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 21, 2008 12:28 PM ET
We've spent the last three months slicing and dicing the accomplishments and career histories of the most powerful women in business -- far too many facts and figures to fit into our Most Powerful Women package in the magazine. Here are 10 intriguing facts that we couldn't find space for in print:
Youngest woman to ever appear on the list: Marissa Mayer, VP of Search and User Experience at Google (GOOG). MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Sep 30, 2008 12:11 PM ET
"Big is the enemy of cool."
--Urban Outfitters (URBN) CEO Glen Senk said this in the company's recent earnings call. Urban Outfitters is one of the few winners in today's punishing retail environment. Management reported a 79% increase in second-quarter net income.
Senk's words echo the philosophy of J. Crew (JCG) CEO Mickey Drexler, the subject of a cover story in the current issue of Fortune. But J. Crew isn't sharing in MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Aug 28, 2008 6:21 PM ET
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