Monday, November 14, 2005

Maybe YOU Should Be a Chartered Accountant

In case you read the last post and ended up wondering about the ExxonMobile financial statements (I probably just got down to about one reader pressing on past the first sentence, didn't I?), I have some links together from the 2004 Annual Report.

Balance Sheet - You can see at the top of Current Assets that Cash and Cash Equivalents have risen to $18.5 billion (yes, these statements are rounded to the million) from last year's $10.6 billion. Total shareholder's equity went up $11.8 billion or 13 percent.

Income Statement - Sales are up $54 billion or 22 percent over 2003 and if you compare 2004 to 2002 you see an increase of $90 billion or 45 percent. Of course, to paraphrase Jon Stewart, this may be because all of China decided to go out for a drive one afternoon (revenues from new markets vs. a change in prices). What points to prices being up is that costs are not keeping up with the rise in revenues (unless it is just soooo incredibly cheaper to do business in China). This has resulted in net income more than doubling from 2002 ($11 billion) to 2004 ($25 billion).

Cash Flow - Cash is the blood of a company, and how is this blood flowing? Net Cash from Operating Activities has just about doubled from 2002 ($21 billion) to 2004 ($40 billion). Investments in Additions to property, plant, and equipment has remained stable at around $12 billion per year for 2002 through 2004. Under Cash Flows from Financing Activities we find that dividends paid out to shareholders have increased much more modestly than revenues and income (from $6.2 billion in 2002 to $6.5 billion in 2003 and $6.9 billion in 2004) staying around a 5 percent increase per year. At the end of the cash flow it is revealed that the cash in hand at the end of 2002 was a little over $7 billion.

They are definitely saving for something. The question is - What?

My post title comes from the fact that typing all of this up made me flash back to the Monty Python skit I watched this weekend.
Counselor (Cleese): Well I now have the results here of the interviews and the aptitude tests that you took last week, and from them we've built up a pretty clear picture of the sort of person that you are. And 1 think I can say, without fear of contradiction, that the ideal job for you is chartered accountancy.

Anchovy (Palin): But I am a chartered accountant!

Counselor (Cleese): Jolly good. Well back to the office with you then.