Firms can’t use accounting gimmicks to hide revenue growth. They can keep earnings up with various balance sheet maneuvers and cost cutting, but markets can see through it. Looking at the graph below of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Weldon the CEO from 2002 to 2012 was aloof and allowed JNJ to run without tight reigns. By 2010, there was serious problems at both the consumer division and the medical device division. The stock more or less bottomed around the time Weldon left the CEO chair in 2012.