Sell These 3 Stocks Or Live to Regret It
Former Research in Motion(RIMM) CEO Jim Balsillie takes the cake, however, in the quest for displays of conference call absurdity that should have sent investors running breathless for miles.
From his company's Q4 2011 call (in March 2011), get a load of Balsillie's pathetic imprecision as he tried to quantify demand for his company's PlayBook tablet:
It's not in the hundreds of thousands. No, I mean, clearly, it's a major, major launch that we expect to be a growth driver for a long, long period of time. And I just don't want to get into sort of semi-guiding, but the interest is extremely high. This is a shift in computing globally. The demand -- let me put it this way. I've got many corporate clients that have approached us about each wanting tens of thousands, several tens of thousands of PlayBooks. And that is what they're looking at, that is what they're assessing, and they're looking at tablets, and they like the PlayBook architecture.
Contrast this with an Apple(AAPL) conference call where CFO Peter Oppenheimer gets as specific as competitive concerns allow. Each quarter the ultra-secretive Apple names names of the companies piloting and deploying iPhones and iPads. And is there any doubt that Oppenheimer could produce hard numbers, with confidence, if he had to spill the beans on demand?
If you were long RIMM, hopefully you sold long ago. It might be wise to consider starting the process of unloading shares of SGA and SIRI as well.
Often, words clue investors in on what's to come better than backward-looking numbers compiled and presented, more often than not, by bean counters and steadfast MBAs, not pioneers and visionaries.