Sunday, June 07, 2009

Why You Need to Read the Notes

So here's why you need to read the notes before you buy any stock. As I'm sitting and reading MicroStrategy's (MSTR) 2008 annual report I'm impressed by the Company, its product (an online platform to help companies track and analyze all recorded transactions - which is a trend with strong tailwinds) and I'm flipping through the notes to see if there's any red flags. By the time I'm in the mid-50's, (and keep in mind there are only 70+ pages) I come to the section on commitments and contingencies where the report says the following:

"On January 31, 2007, we entered into an agreement to purchase a corporate aircraft for delivery in mid-2009, which we expect to begin operating during the 2009 calendar year. The aggregate purchase price for the aircraft is $46.1 million, payable in installments on various dates related to the completion of manufacturing of the aircraft and the delivery of the aircraft. "