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Here’s the real story of earnings season

There’s nothing better than a little drama. Ask the people at the hugely popular Married At First Sight, Nine’s smash hit reality TV show.

Ask the Kardashians (no, me either, but I know the name, and they seem popular). Remember back to the tribulations of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and, well, Barnaby Joyce.

It’s compelling viewing. Absorbing reading. And a nice little escape from reality. Harmless fun, really.

Until it’s not.

Now, I’m not lecturing anyone, here. I’ve clicked on my share of salacious headlines and compelling stories. Maybe more than my share…

And there’s been plenty in the way of corporate soap opera in the business pages recently, too. 

Solly Lew and Myer.

The rise, and rise and sharp, sudden fall of GetSwift.

The questions about Big Un. And Buddy Platform.

Don’t get me wrong: these are legitimate stories. But they’re not  the  story.

During the same week people have been watching those slow-motion car crashes, the ASX profit reporting season rolled on.

While people were focussed on the tribulations of a would-be tech excitement machine, Flight Centre’s shares jumped 10% on stunning results. Webjet was up more than 12%.

As the ‘will they or won’t they’ play-by-play was unfolding around GetSwift, shares of software company Altium jumped 27% in a single day.  A2 Milk rose by almost 30% .

Kogan jumped 19%.

Real businesses, real profits. Real prospects.

Real stories.

But there are two problems: 

First, one day ‘events’ like that don’t keep our attention for long.

And two, we’re naturally drawn to car crashes over good news stories. We just can’t look away.

But we must.

If the GetSwift story is your guilty pleasure, then it’s probably better than the trashy celebrity news, in part because there might be some lessons you can learn, that’ll help you invest better.

And that’s fine.

But just don’t let it distract you from the real news. The companies that are being more relevant to more customers. Growing their businesses. Creating real solutions.

And creating real value… for customers, for staff, for suppliers and for shareholders.

Those are the stories that deserve your attention — both because they’re success stories in their own right, and because they’re creating more value for shareholders.

They’re the sorts of companies you want to spend your time learning about.

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