The thrill of ploughing through P&L accounts
BUSINESS reporters are a funny lot. Unlike 99.5pc of the population, many of them actively look forward to a company putting out its quarterly or annual results.
A day or even just a few hours spent lovingly combing through P&L accounts, balance sheets and notes to the accounts is an under-rated pleasure for some.
Regulations don't make it easy, though. Stock market rules here and abroad dictate that results must be published within a certain timeframe after the reporting period has closed.
This invariably means several companies a day file their results over a couple of weeks.
And this has led to demands that firms be given a little more leeway in their reporting deadline.
The argument goes something like: "This will ease the burden on analysts and reporters who have to go through them, and will also reduce the chances of a company getting something through without drawing scrutiny."
That idea has its merits, but purely for enjoyment. The Punt likes the rules as they stand. In the US, for example, some of the biggest public companies are filing one day after the next.
Last week most of the big banks were under the spotlight. This week it's been the big techs, the likes of Google, IBM and Apple.
For most business reporters this is a high pressure but thrilling time.