Monday, February 15, 2010

Illinois Tool Works Confuses Investors

Illinois Tool Works (ITW) issued a sneaky press release on Monday Feb 15 when most markets were closed. The press release purports to provide financial information but does not include any financials. The verbiage is challenging and confusing. They headlined a 9% increase in operating revenues for the quarter ending Jan 31, 2010. They continue to headline that base revenues are improving and in the same headline sentence lets investors know that base revenues declined 2%. The claim to improvement is because the comparable quarter is a 10% decline. The improvement is partially attributed to easier comparisons. They do not explain what was easier or why.