Most of the time the existence of the web is awesome. It puts people on a level playing field. It’s easy for any Joe Public to write something and get an audience.
But when the uneducated write about financial topics and express their ignorance to everyone else, it isn’t helpful. Case in point, an author at Seeking Alpha wrote an article just recently talking about how BlackBerry’s Z10 will have higher gross margin than Apple’s iPhones.
The analysis was totally out to lunch because it assumed that BOM cost = product cost (sorry, not even close). It also assumed that retail off-contract price = BlackBerry’s ASP (again, sorry this is way wrong).
I wrote a rant at CrackBerry. For those of you interested in what else goes into gross margin analysis you may be interested to read the post here.
I know I give the financial industry a hard time because of its intense short term focus. But in the case of sell side analysts knowing how to model financials versus the amateur writers who publish to anonymous-friendly sites like SA … sorry. The analysts will win every time. They actually understand financial statements.