Let 'em make their own darned models. Don't help them.
That's how I have always felt about this "guidance" issue. I think it's all about companies trying to get as much coverage as they can so that lazy investors will buy their stock. But to get coverage you need lazy analysts to follow you so you have to give the lazy analysts the numbers so they can then snare lazy accounts to buy your stock
Honestly, I wish there were more to it. I wish I could say it makes the markets more efficient or honest - it doesn't. I wish I could say it increases value. It doesn't. It's just a big waste of managements' time.
Look, if it weren't for companies desiring coverage, they would just put out goals and if they missed their goals they would lower them, and if they made their goals, they would raise them. Analysts could try to figure out what a company could make and put a rating and a price target on it, but if the company didn't guide, believe me they would rather cover a company that did because it is awfully hard to build a model without guidance.
I have to tell you, though, after spending a whole day talking corporate governance at The Deal conference, here's where I come out: it might not matter. The stock pickers are being replaced by the ETFs and the indexers. We have millions of dollars spent convincing people -and they are being convinced - that owning stocks is way too risky. So, to hell with guidance: you are just most likely going to end up speaking to an index fund anyway, and they don't even bother to ask questions, so....what's the point?