This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The Upshot at the JPMorgan H&Q Conference: Ending With a Whimper

Houston, We Have a Business Problem

When your earnings are in the toilet, you've fired enough people to fill an NBA arena, and you're clueless about your business outlook, speaking at an investment banking conference has got to rank right up there with changing the kitty litter on the fun-o-meter.

So forgive Brian McFadden, a midlevel Nortel Networks (NT) executive, for spending an hour at the JP Morgan H&Q Technology Conference Thursday playing duck and cover from the Canadian optical gear maker's monumental problems.

McFadden, president of Nortel's metro optical unit, instead gave a perfectly nice technical presentation about Nortel's prospects in the metro optical business.

Granted, analysts believe McFadden's group might just be one of the company's bright spots, if telecommunication carriers start spending money again (a survey released today by Epoch Partners analyst Seth Spalding estimated that carriers' capital spending in 2001 would be down from 6% to 15% over last year). But then again, you wouldn't know that from McFadden's chat. He spent so much time at the 100,000-foot level that you'd think he was bucking to replace Dennis Tito as the next business executive in space.

Still, the assembled fund managers tried hard to bring McFadden back to earth. They wanted details, numbers, projections -- anything that would give them a clue how to play this stock. McFadden smiled, rocked on his heels and gave them nothing. -- Adam Feuerstein

In This Case, No News Means the Same Old Bad News

Ericsson's (ERICY) Gary Pinkham felt no need to perfume a pig.

Speaking to a half-empty room of investors at the JP Morgan H&Q conference, Ericsson's VP of investor relations characterized the wireless-equipment maker's first quarter results as "terrible." He dubbed the company's recent cash flow "horrendously negative." Pinkham had no "sensible outlook" for the second quarter, and dejectedly detailed the loss of market share in the handset business and a 90% drop in income before tax in Q1.

Sooey!

Wait, it gets better. Actually, it doesn't: The second quarter will be just as bad. Pinkham estimated it would take six to 12 months to work through inventory, and seemed to say buildups still might be growing. Inventory backups have caused a 10%-to-15% price drop. On the bright side, Ericsson can hit its 10% operating profit margin goal with no sales growth this year or next -- aim for the mud in front of your snout. Ericsson's major objectives at the moment are "to restructure the business and minimize losses," Pinkham said. "We're not fighting for market share." -- Tish Williams

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $132.54 0.88%
FB $80.54 0.07%
GOOG $540.11 -0.44%
TSLA $247.73 0.86%
YHOO $43.48 -0.44%

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs