Shareholder Letters – Does the CEO have anything to say?

So far I have not read a shareholder letter that’s been better than Warren Buffett’s for Berkshire Hathaway. I am sure there are many great shareholder letters out there. You just have to find them. At the same time it looks like there are too many, shareholder letters or comments from CEO’s, that just doesn’t make the grade.  

Have you read any of the shareholder letters from Warren Buffett? If not, I can highly recommend that you do. See the following link to get started. You won’t regret it.

So, with annual reports being released I thought it would be a good idea to look at some shareholder letters/CEO comments.

Yesterday Dagens Industri (a Swedish business newspaper) had an article that looked at the CEO comments from the 25 annual reports released so far by publicly traded companies – see picture below.

Article DI

The article focused on some key words (share, dividend, value creation, thanks to our shareholders, outlook) and whether the CEO had used the words (or similar ones). I didn’t really think that just looking at these words to grade each company was that interesting or meaningful. So I decided to read the CEO comments myself to see if the ranking in the article made any sense.

Is there any shareholder letter as good as Warren Buffett’s? Sure. I think it is. But, I have not come across any. So if you think you have read some – please share your insight.

From reading the CEO comments it’s clear that some are better and more informative than others.

I have only read each shareholder letter once and here a some I think worth reading. CEO Comments

Have you read any great shareholder letters? Please feel free to share.

Here are some articles discussing what to consider when reading a shareholder letter:

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/investing/T052-C000-S002-what-you-can-learn-from-shareholder-letters.html

http://www.olsteinfunds.com/pdf/olstein_news_AAII_Oct_2010_learn_from_letters.pdf

http://www.olsteinfunds.com/pdf/olstein_news_investment_news_dont_ignore_letter.pdf

http://www.olsteinfunds.com/pdf/olstein_news_value_investor_down_letter.pdf

Disclaimer: The opinions in this document are for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the stocks mentioned or to solicit transactions or clients. Past performance of the companies discussed may not continue and the companies may not achieve the earnings growth as predicted. The information in this document is believed to be accurate, but under no circumstances should a person act upon the information contained within. We do not recommend that anyone act upon any investment information without first consulting an investment advisor as to the suitability of such investments for his specific situation.

Disclosure: I did not hold a position in any of the companies listed in this article at the time of publication. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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