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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

7 Clues for Investors to Look for Within Annual Reports

By Nellie S. Huang





You don't have to be Warren Buffett to know what makes a company tick


Way back when, if you owned stock in a company, you'd often find a glossy annual report in your mailbox. Nowadays, all you may receive is a letter telling you where to download the report on the company's Web site. And truth be told, annual reports are being supplanted by the Form 10-K, the annual filing required by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Don't be put off by the form's intimidating appearance. We've highlighted some key sections--and what to focus on in each.


1. Business. The first part of the 10-K provides a thorough look at what the firm does or makes, its divisions, and where in the world its products are made and sold. It also gives info on key customers and competitors, and where the company stands in its industry. You may even learn an interesting fact or two--for example, that there really were a Mr. Procter and a Mr. Gamble, and that they founded P&G in 1837.


2. Risk factors. Listed in order of importance, these are the factors that may adversely affect the company's business. Much of this section, found just after the "Business" description, may elicit a big duh, such as P&G's disclosure that "our businesses face cost fluctuations and pressures that could affect our business results." But read carefully and you may ferret out less-obvious risks, such as a disproportionate share of sales coming from a single product or customer.


3. Management's discussion and analysis. In Part II of the 10-K, the company reports and analyzes its performance over the past year compared with the previous year's results. 4. Income statement. This is a basic report of sales, expenses and profits. Ideally, you want to see a trend of rising sales and earnings. A 10-K typically shows three years of results, as well as a five-year summary in the section called "Selected Financial Data." Focus on the trend in net earnings rather than earnings per share, in part because share buybacks, which cut the number of outstanding shares, can skew earnings per share and thus camouflage a drop in overall profits.


5. Balance sheet. This is a snapshot of the company's assets (such as cash and inventory) and its liabilities (such as outstanding debt). Zero in on how much long-term debt the firm carries and whether retained profits, the earnings a company reinvests in its business, have grown in each of the past three years. Great companies have little or no long-term debt on their balance sheets--or they generate enough profit annually to pay off that debt within three to five years.



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6. Notes to financial statements. To some people, the 10-K notes matter as much as the statements. That's because Note 1 describes the accounting methods used to prepare the financial statements. If a company has made a change to its methodology from the previous year, that renders a comparison of the current year's financial statements with the previous year's useless.


7. Auditor's report. Look for this key sentence: "In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly...the financial position of the company." That means the company has honestly described its finances over the past year to the best knowledge of the accounting firm that is auditing the 10-K.

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Nellie S. Huang is a senior associate editor at Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.



All contents copyright 2013 Kiplinger's Personal Finance Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.

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