By Chris Morris
August 17, 2018

President Donald Trump has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to study what could be the biggest shake up ever to how publicly traded companies report their financial performance.

Trump, in a tweet, said he had told the SEC to examine doing away with quarterly financial reports and instead going to a six-month system after speaking to “some of the world’s top business leaders.” Trump did not identify any of those individuals.

Public companies currently report their earnings every three months, and a missed projection can wreak havoc on share prices, even if it’s a short term stumble. By going to a twice a year schedule, investors would have less visibility into a company’s day to day performance. Some investors worry that lack of transparency could have negative consequences.

Few CEOs have publicly voice support for eliminating the current reporting structure. Earlier this year, J.P. Morgan Chase CEO and Business Roundtable Chairman James Dimon and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett penned an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal arguing against quarterly guidance. The two did not, however, make the case for doing away with quarterly earnings reports.

Trump recently met with corporate leaders at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J. That meeting has already resulted in some controversy, with one Boston-area mayor announcing he would boycott Samuel Adams beer after Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch voice support for the administration’s tax cuts.

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