The Financial Reporting Blog

A weekly update on financial reporting topics curated by Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation professionals.


Reading the Tea Leaves at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Lafayette

l was struck by how the Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Lafayette, La. was packed on a mid-March Tuesday night. When I ate there a year ago, I was one of a half-dozen people in the restaurant. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but the price of oil nearly doubled over that period. The regional economy may not be that responsive to moves in the price of crude, but people’s reaction of being tight-fisted vs. loosening-up can change quickly based upon perceptions.

Mercer Capital Supports New Valuation Credential

Mercer Capital supports the new credential for valuation professionals whose practices are dedicated to valuing businesses and intangible assets for U.S. public companies. The CEIV™—Certified in Entity and Intangible Valuations™—is now available to current or prospective members of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Is Cash Always King?

When it comes to money, “enough” is the hardest word to define. The challenge of defining “enough” extends to corporate managers deciding what cash balance is appropriate. Cash balances can provide a cushion against unanticipated adverse events in the business. When companies need cash is usually the worst time to try to raise capital. Having sufficient cash on hand to weather an unexpected downturn in the business can help shareholders avoid dilutive capital raises at inopportune times. On the other hand, cash is a very low-yielding asset.

Charles Ellis on Indexing

A few months ago Amazon put Charles Ellis’ new book, Index Revolution, on my recommended list. I probably would not have bought it had I not heard Ellis give an extended interview on Bloomberg Radio one morning while walking the dogs. He is quite persuasive about the rationale for index funds. Although I own index funds, it is not a subject I had given much thought.

Distribution Policy in 30 Minutes

Of the three primary corporate finance decisions, distribution policy is the most transparent to shareholders. The purpose of this whitepaper is to help directors formulate and communicate a distribution policy that contributes to shareholder wealth and satisfaction.

1 2 3 37