"Companies are required by the SEC to lead with GAAP numbers becaue it represents the actual amount of money a company earned. " You stated the above so I guess we'll just forget about the SEC and Generally Accepted Accounting Practices and regulations.
While we are at it, let's just forget about the 2002 earnings too. Why mislead people, I stated that what I posted were the cash basis diluted earnings per share. The cash basis diluted earnings are in more places in the annual report than the operating earnings you referrenced.
It appears that the company likes the cash basis earnings per share enough that this is what they show in the charts in the annual report for whatever reason. They are also included the the consolidated financial highlights on page 3 of the report.
As stated in the press release this morning a lot of the difference in the different types of earnings statements were the charge offs last year.
Focus on diluted EPS, not cash basis. That is what the Street focuses on. BB&T reported $2.80 diluted EPS, two cents shy of expectations, but still a healthy and impressive improvement over 2003. Wish the Street had used the cash basis number. The stock would have skyrocketed. BB&T reported cash basis diluted EPS of $2.96.