Seth Jayson is one of a number of Motley Fool authors who does not "write" articles but merely uses a cookie cutter. He has about 3 or 4 "templates" which he simply looks up the numbers to fill in the blanks. If you click on his name in any of the articles and you go to his list of articles, you'll see the all have similar names. Go compare any with the same names and you'll see immediately that he has absolutely no creativity, is not a journalist, nor an investor - simply a monkey who copies/pastes numbers from one place to another.
Because of the way he does this, similar to other Motley Fool authors, there are frequently incorrect conclusions, or very stupid analysis, because there is no in-depth analysis of what the numbers mean. A frequent error is with earnings numbers or loses - absolutely no distinction when there is a one-off charge, a massive tax credit, or other event which might skew earnings, yet they'll look at it no different than normal EPS.
My favorite is NAV - last year EPS was something ridiculous like $18/share because there was a $1.5 billion tax credit. All these Fool authors were posting about the PE of 1.5 incredulously without even having the common sense to go look at the income statement and see it sticking out like a sore thumb. Now with EPS at 20 cents/share they all look pretty stupid as the PE is now 109.
Thank you for your information on Motley Fool. I only read their stuff when some article pops up related to a stock I own. I don't find their information useful and now your explanation helps verify what I'd been thinking for some time now. I should probably start a new thread related to their "analyst" numbers vs. SPNC actuals, the subsequent downgrade and then immediate reversal back up. Just don't know if I have the time or if it's relevant at this point. Just wanted to point out in my first post how shady some of these upgrades and downgrades are immediately following earnings. Over the years I've learned to anticipate exactly what happened with SPNC this past week. Beat expectations, someone downgrades, stock retreats rapidly for a day or two, then springs back after the manipulation has served it's purpose. I guess you just have to learn how to play their game.