Trump backs CEOs, proposes easing corporate reporting rules

Trump Directs SEC to Study Six-Month Reporting for Public Companies

Yesterday, Clayton said in a statement that many investors and market participants share the president's perspective "on the importance of long-term investing" and that the SEC's corporate finance division is continuing to study company reporting requirements.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that he wanted the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to explore doing away with quarterly corporate reports, replacing them with filings every six months.

Trump's proposal - released via Twitter and prompted, he said, by a recent conversation he had with PepsiCo Inc.

Trump recently hosted company leaders at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, including the heads of Apple Inc AAPL.O , Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV FCHA.MI , Boeing Co BA.N , FedEx Corp FDX.N , and Honeywell International Inc HON.N .

While Trump can not force Clayton to make changes, as a matter of courtesy the SEC chairman may promise to study the issue.

"I asked [the leaders] what it is that would make business (jobs) even better in the U.S.", Trump tweeted. "'Stop quarterly reporting & go to a six month system, ' said one", he tweeted.

Quarterly reporting has always been a cornerstone of USA capital markets, with bank analysts known for making closely monitored recommendations on buying or selling stock tied to the numbers.

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Others said quarterly disclosures are essential for investment decisions and support richer USA stock valuations, and that a change could make shares more volatile. "In the end, all companies have to balance short-term and long-term performance", Nooyi said. "Either way we're talking about a very short-term period", Yardeni added.

The UK, for example, does not require companies to report earnings every quarter, though more than 90% of listed firms still do, according to MarketWatch. "One of the inherent issues with quarterly reporting is that it does tend to drive management to make decisions geared toward short-term metrics, which is not always in everyone's best interest".

There are also tremendous expenses tied to preparing quarterly and annual reports.

Under Trump appointee chairman Jay Clayton, the SEC has taken steps to relax rules for issuers, including allowing firms going public to file information confidentially, and is now discussing relaxing some other compliance rules.

President Trump called on financial regulators Friday to consider allowing public companies to share information with investors less often, a potentially major shake-up of how corporate America operates. "And so they don't do it, because the definition of being a successful business is narrowed to what your quarterly earnings reports are".

"I do believe it will help upper management".

In a report published by the US Treasury past year, the administration outlined policies it hoped would revitalize listings - but did not go as far as suggesting quarterly reporting requirements be scrapped. In 1996, nearly 950 companies went public, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. "It's a lot of work to report every three months", said Charles M. Elson, director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware.

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