OLD Media Moves

H-P earnings stories, save WSJ, miss the mark

November 18, 2006

TheStreet.com’s Marek Fuchs examined the coverage Friday of computer company Hewlett-Packard’s earnings, and he believes that the wire services missed what caused the drop in the stock price. The reason it dropped, he argued, was that the company was forecasting the same growth even after a restructuring.

Marek FuchsIt had nothing to do with the scandal about the company investigating business journalists and their sources on the board.

First up is the Associated Press, Fuchs noted, He wrote, “The article then goes on to discuss stock performance, earnings, comparison to troubled Dell, the investigation, back to the stock price and … way, way, down in the third sentence from the bottom, only two little lines about how the company said it had completed the bulk of its money-saving, restructuring program.

“We’ll get back to that in a moment. Just know that MarketWatch offers basically the same pair of buried lines about the end of cost-saving opportunities.

“Reuters, which scored a phone interview with Mark Hurd, the semi-embattled CEO, speaks excitedly of future guidance and doesn’t even mention the end of cost savings as we know it for H-P. MSN Money mentions a “sour note,” but it’s — you guessed it — the investigation.

“The Business Press Maven wants you to compare all that endlessly told nonsense to The Wall Street Journal’s accurate take this morning. Look at the headline, so instructive: ‘H-P Net Soars, but Pressure for Sales Gains Rises: Earnings Aided by Cuts as Overhaul Concludes.’

“Got that? It’s the end of the line for easy cost savings, stupid. If H-P’s going to do anything from here, the pressure is on to drive top-line growth.”

Read more here.

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