Magazine for Senior Financial Executives: Gains and losses – From the Editor – productivity, operating cash flow gain; loss of Stephen Barr, senior contributing editor – Brief Article – Editorial

Gains and losses – From the Editor – productivity, operating cash flow gain; loss of Stephen Barr, senior contributing editor – Brief Article – Editorial – Obituary

Julia Homer

AMID THE SPECTACLE OF A LEADERLESS SEC AND CONcern that the Fed’s rate cut betrays its underlying fears for the economy, two hopeful signs have emerged. The first, widely reported, is that productivity grew in the third quarter at an annualized rate of 4 percent. The second, highlighted in our cover story (“Tuning In to Cash Flow,” page 44), is that a new analysis finds that operating cash flow for the S&P 100 in 2001 was almost 9 percent higher than reported. Although operating cash flow is not immune to manipulation, investors have increasingly turned to this measure as a more-reliable indicator of corporate performance than earnings. Taken together, the gains in productivity and operating cash flow suggest companies may have reason to be optimistic about prospects for moving out of the current slump.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE, WE ARE SADDENED TO ANNOUNCE the recent death of senior contributing editor Stephen Barr after a long battle with cancer. An energetic, passionate, and persistent reporter, Stephen started by writing stories on fleet leasing and became one of the best financial journalists in the country. He called attention to the dangers of earnings management and the conflicts of interest swirling around FASB, Congress, and the accounting firms years before these topics made the headlines. His ability to dig through SEC documents and court filings, coupled with his easy, fluid writing style, resulted in some of the best stories CFO has produced over the past 10 years. We will miss him as a colleague and, above all, as a friend. *

JULIA HOMER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

COPYRIGHT 2002 CFO Publishing Corp.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group