Warren Buffett likes quarterly earnings reports from companies but not guidance

  • "I like to get those quarterly reports. I do not like guidance. I think the guidance leads to a lot of bad things, and I've seen it lead to a lot of bad things," Buffett tells CNBC.
  • Buffett's remarks come about two weeks after President Donald Trump said he asked the SEC to study ending quarterly reports and moving to a six-month system.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he is fine with companies releasing their results on a quarterly basis, but he can do without their quarterly forecasts.

"I like to read quarterly reports as an investor," Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, told CNBC's Becky Quick on Thursday. "I like to get those quarterly reports. I do not like guidance. I think the guidance leads to a lot of bad things, and I've seen it lead to a lot of bad things."

Buffett's comments come nearly three months after he and J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told CNBC they wanted CEOs to stop issuing quarterly profit forecasts.

On CNBC Thursday, he said, "I think it's a very bad practice to be in the game of earnings guidance, and it is a game."

The remarks also come about two weeks after President Donald Trump said he asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to study ending the release of quarterly reports and making them every six months instead. In an Aug. 17 tweet, Trump said this would "make business (jobs) even better in the U.S."

Buffett isn't going that far. "I like getting the figures quarterly, and I hope that stays," he said Thursday.

Publicly traded U.S. companies are obligated to release their results on a quarterly basis. Many of these companies also issue forecasts of how much money they expect to make in a specific quarter.

Executives often feel pressure to make quarterly forecasts, but "it can often put a company in a position where management from the CEO down feels obligated to deliver earnings and therefore may do things that they wouldn't otherwise have done," Dimon said in a CNBC interview that aired on June 6.

You can watch the full interview here.