After the trip to Australia it was on to Shanghai for two more great days of finance for my pals at EA. Once again my host was Andy Billings. We did training at the China Pop Cap studio and the EA general office, both days were great. Teaching for these teams are great because the students really appreciate getting information about EA from the ‘mother ship’. Sometimes in these groups the team can feel disconnected from the home office. EA does a nice job of bringing training to these teams and helping them feel connected.
Both days went well, there was a lot of interest in these groups on how the stock market works. We had a lot of discussion about why the EA stock has done so well in the last year and a half. The focus of the EA day course is really on income statement training, however we will go into any topic of interest as it relates to finance. These groups on China wanted to learn about the stock.
I like to teach students about what I call the big five metrics on the stock market. I like to say if all five metrics look good your stock will be fine. The big five are revenue growth, earnings per share or EPS, free cash flow, EBITA, and return on equity or return on capital. When I started doing financial statements training at EA the only one of the five metrics that was ok was cash flow. So I like to say EA hired me in 2009 to train their leaders in finance because they needed to grow revenue and get profitable and they had cash to pay me. Now that EA has turned it around and is growing revenue and has great margins I realize that I was grossly underpaid. The company has almost quadrupled since Andy and I started doing these financial statements training.
The groups in China were very receptive and interested in the stock information. We also had a great time playing an income statement training game called Duality. In this game the students really learn how EA makes money at the game by game level which is critical to the business.
Andy and I had a great time taking a Shanghai street food tour one evening. I decided that Shanghai is not too bad after that, pretty good food and some cool places. Shanghai was also less polluted than I had ever seen it, kudos for cleaning things up China!