Trump pushes for an end to quarterly earnings reports

President Donald Trump on Friday advocated for a possible end to the long-held quarterly earnings reports for publicly traded companies, saying it would boost business and in turn help create jobs.

In a morning tweet, the president said he had spoken to “business leaders” for their ideas on growth and they believed filing earnings reports every three months was one obstacle for growth. One idea would be to report every six months.

CNBC has reached out to the Securities and Exchange Commission for comment.

The issue of how reporting hamstrings corporate executives is not a new one. CEOs have complained often about the process in which companies try to meet the expectations placed on them by Wall Street analysts, and markets move on the results.

In early June, corporate heavyweights Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon bemoaned the quarterly guidance system, in which companies forecast expectations of their future earnings.

“Quarterly earnings, they’re a function of the weather, commodity prices, volumes, competitor pricing. And you don’t really control that as CEO,” Dimon said in a CNBC interview. “Sometimes you’re just like the cork in the ocean, but do the right thing anyway and you’re going to be fine in the long run.”

Dimon said executives should “feel free to drop” quarterly guidance if they felt like it was intruding on their business plans.

Buffett, too, said companies can shortchange their long-term interests by trying to meet 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 said in the same interview.

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