On 11/11/2011 10:14:01,
Fascinating article guys. Most of us think of franchises in terms of sustainability of superior margins or growth, or barriers to entry around natural/regulatory monoploies, patents etc. Not too many think of franchises as stemming from the human capital side of the business and how steady or volatile that is.
I guess a sceptic looking at this company would have to question just why it is the company ceased reporting the level of that human capital & is this in anyway related to the step up in relative R&D spend.
The point raised re sell side analysts is valid. I am continually surprised by the amount of irrelevant research that is produced. I guess it comes down to the following (i) most clients still want it, (ii) very few investment firms specialise in producing research that is provoking, contentious and actually looks at a business and valuation istead of the present qtr. Eliminating qtrly earnings would be a start in my vie, but I conceed that it is unlikely to change.