Earning Digest

The Infamous Earnings Calls: A Walk Down Memory Lane

Earnings calls can make or break a company's reputation in the financial world. While many go smoothly, some have become notoriously memorable for all the wrong reasons. Let's explore some of the most infamous earnings calls in history.

1. Enron's Last Earnings Call

In October 2001, Enron, once a Wall Street darling, had its final earnings call. The call was filled with vague answers and evasive responses, especially from CEO Jeff Skilling. This call signaled the beginning of the end for Enron, leading to one of the biggest bankruptcy filings in US history.

2. Valeant Pharmaceuticals' Price Hike Controversy

Valeant Pharmaceuticals' earnings call in 2015 turned into a nightmare when the company had to defend its 500% and 200% price hikes on two life-saving heart drugs. The backlash was swift and severe, resulting in plummeting stock prices and legal troubles.

3. Facebook's First Earnings Call as a Public Company

Facebook's first earnings call post-IPO in 2012 was less than stellar. The company missed revenue expectations and showed slower user growth, causing its stock to drop by 11% the next day. It was a wake-up call for the social media giant about the realities of being a public company.

4. BlackBerry's Market Share Collapse

In 2013, BlackBerry reported a massive $84 million loss in its earnings call, along with declining sales numbers. This was a significant indicator of BlackBerry's falling market share in the smartphone industry, a stark contrast to its former glory days.

Conclusion

These calls serve as reminders of the volatile nature of the business world and the importance of transparency and accountability. They are lessons in what not to do during an earnings call, especially for budding companies looking to make their mark.