The Five Biggest Surprises That Can Kill a Quarter

Watch a National Football League game on any given Sunday (or Thursday or Monday night) and you’re bound to see it: A quarterback is looking down field to throw a pass when, suddenly, a defensive pass rusher storms in from behind and sacks him, surprising the quarterback, his team, the coaches and 60,000 people in the stands.For companies that have been hit with a quarterly earnings or revenue surprise, the feeling is all too familiar. They have huddled week after week in forecasting meetings, stared endlessly at spreadsheets, made lists of deals on whiteboards and decided which plays to make on which deals to get them across the goal line, only to get blindsided late in the game on the real numbers.Negative revenue surprises are corporations’ Enemy No. 1. For…


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