OLD Media Moves

What? An honest earnings release from a company?

August 26, 2006

TheStreet.com’s Mark Fuchs points out that retailer Chico’s did the unthinkable this past week: It gave business journalists an honest press release on its earnings where it took the blame for its bad results.

Marek FuchsFuchs wrote, “I wanted to see how they would blame the weather for bad results in a business that caters to older, slightly less fashion-conscious women, where fashion swings shouldn’t be as steep.

“And what did they say, right there in their press release?

“That they screwed up royally. That they didn’t have good clothes in the stores at the right time. And, on top of that, that their marketing efforts missed the mark.

“The Business Press Maven was left a touch flatfooted in light of what Steven Colbert would call such ‘truthiness.’ And as you might guess, the stock was hit badly as soon as the market opened the next day. But talk about a good company building long-term trust with investors.

“When companies tell open lies about the weather to excuse bad results (and, yes, though there are occasionally legitimate explanations, most are lies — you rarely hear good results credited to weather), stock prices tend to factor in these false claims at some level — with a big assist from the business media’s repeating management claims with little critical thought.

“Bad stenographers, bad!”

Read more here.

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