A review of $MAT ’s past year earnings was reported on 13th Feb, 2020. Unlike cash flows, the reported earnings include “accruals”, which is the forecast of benefits not yet collected. see financial-education-hub.com.... While, there could be forecast errors due to unintentional mistakes or deliberate distortion, causing weak realization of accruals. Based on this, whereas two firms report the same earnings, the one with higher accruals would perform worse next period.