A publicly traded company works like this:
Company makes a bet on how well they'll do in sales in a projected time.
The public sees that bet and invests based on the support. The support will contain an action plan on how they elect to carry out the plan. If the company succeeds within a margin, the company is "a horse worth betting on", or on Wall Street, it's the company you buy stock in.
The horse runs four races per year. If it doesn't do as well as he aimed, the horse gets beaten and the jockey gets fired.
I hope you like metaphors :)