TheStreet.com’s Marek Fuchs wrote Friday that coverage of AT&T’s earnings earlier in the week had two widely divergent takes on the numbers.
He wrote, “Look at what The Wall Street Journal said about AT&T’s Tuesday earnings report: Wireless Growth, Mergers Fuel AT&T Net. Got that? Wireless growth helped lead to an almost doubling of first-quarter revenue and net profit.
“Now check out The New York Times’ headline on the same first-quarter earnings: AT&T Earnings Beat Forecasts Despite Slow Market for Mobile Phones. Slow market for mobile? Uh, The Wall Street Journal told me that mobile’s growth fueled that good net.
“The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times weren’t the only awkward pairing. Dow Jones’ MarketWatch said, ‘AT&T profit doubles on merger, mobile.’ Countered Reuters: ‘AT&T profit doubles, but wireless lags.’
“Strength, weakness. I guess one man’s double is another’s lag. Jokes aside, words should not be such an imprecise measurement of financial fact.
“Which side is right? One has to be, right? Though it would seem impossible, both sides actually include mistaken half-assumptions and miss the key point. They (OK, I) don’t call the business media the lowest form of thinkers for nothing.”
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