Mar. 10, 2003
During investment banker Herb Allen's annual gathering for media moguls in Sun Valley, Idaho, last July--when locals were paid $20 an hour just to be available for baby sitting--Coca-Cola CEO Douglas Daft at one point turned for advice to investment legend Warren Buffett, who sits on Coke's board. What would happen, Daft wondered, if Coke suddenly stopped giving Wall Street quarterly earnings estimates? Buffett answered that Coke's shares would be more volatile and some investors would sell but that these were prices worth paying. Daft would forever "be free from that fiction," Buffett said, according to someone close to both men, and better able to focus on long-term goals. That did it for Daft. This past December, Coke made it official: no more advance earnings estimates. A month later, McDonald's followed suit, and a few days after that, AT&T made it a trend...