First Mates' Wholesale Boating Supply Company: Do or Don'T?

7 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017

See all articles by Mark E. Haskins

Mark E. Haskins

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


This case presents a series of decision points along with a simple process for ascertaining underlying source(s) of disagreement, which represents an important managerial tool. The president of First Mates' Wholesale Boating Supply Company is faced with the reality of missing year-end earnings projections and breaking a 30-year streak of successive earnings increases. He has asked all his direct reports to meet with their teams and brainstorm about ways to finish the year in strongly and successfully. The case presents a number of those ideas for students to debate and discuss as they decide which ones the company should pursue.



Rev. Mar. 18, 2011


Nick Pittman, president of the First Mates' Wholesale Boating Supply Company (FMWBS) was concerned that the company was not going to meet its current-year financial targets. In particular, and based on the report that had just been brought to him by Jane Warner, FMWBS's controller, it looked as if the company's current fiscal year-end earnings per share (EPS) figure was going to fall about $ 0.30 short of its projected $ 3.60. This was terrible. Everyone had predicted a challenging year but not one of such magnitude. In fact, financial belt-tightening steps had been taken, and from the year's outset, Pittman had remained fairly confident throughout about the company's ability to achieve the projected $ 3.60 EPS target. But now, as the year was winding down, not only was yearly EPS on a trajectory to fall substantially short of the year's target, so were total revenues, operating earnings, and sales volume. It was not pretty.

There were two months left in the fiscal year, and as he drank that morning's fifth cup of strong coffee, Pittman crafted the following e-mail for immediate distribution:

To: All Business Unit Leaders and Department Heads

. . .

Keywords: Financial reporting, ethics, performance management

Suggested Citation

Haskins, Mark E., First Mates' Wholesale Boating Supply Company: Do or Don'T?. Darden Case No. UVA-C-2312, Available at SSRN:

Mark E. Haskins (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924 -4826 (Phone)


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