The practice of the managers of a company performing any action that misrepresents the company's financial health. The practice of managed earnings may include falsely inflating stock prices by improperly reporting income, failing to capitalize expenses, hiding losses in subsidiaries, or prematurely recognizing revenue. See also: Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Aggressive accounting.
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Corporate earnings that have been manipulated in order to produce a desired result. Earnings can be managed utilizing a variety of both acceptable and questionable accounting methods. For example, a company might time gains and losses from asset sales in order to produce steadily rising earnings.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.