Read Herb's column this morning.
Where are all those cocky, nasty, vicious, son-of-a-!@#$%^ emailers now?
On Feb. 1 this
column noted in passing that
Ashok Kumar warned that
revenue growth last quarter was slowing. "These aren't numbers I'm making up," he was quoted here as saying at the time.
what most readers wanted to hear. Oh, sure, I received a slug of sanity, even from a few Dell diehards who appreciated hearing the other side. But in keeping with a market that does not want to hear bad news, a market that does not want to believe a naysayer like Kumar and a market in which fundamentals have become irrelevant, Kumar's comments merely caused the
to spin out of control --
, I tell ya. It was as if I had attacked America itself! How dare I waste space on an analyst who dares question the value of Dell's stock -- especially Kumar, whose earnings call on
the prior quarter had been a tad light. (Ah, so what if the tax rate happened to fall!) "Perhaps we'd like to see some of that vaunted journalism instead of unsupported quotes from a discredited analyst," wrote reader Alan Morrison.
Another reader, who goes under the name AJTheatre, admonished me for having quoted sources who questioned the value of Internet stocks. "Maybe someday they will implode, but the enormous profits made since your call on these stocks makes one wonder why this one-note theme of yours with one Dell analyst is anything but the same bluster you heaved on the Net stocks."
Added Steve Starnes, "If valuation with a company like Dell is concerning you, something is wrong. There are far too many stocks that have absurd valuations, without the earnings or market share that Dell has. Let's focus our attention more on the
of the world and leave Dell alone."
But none were as downright demeaning as the note from Greg R., who wrote: "You and Kumar are clueless." He insisted that he wasn't being blindly optimistic. And he said that it wasn't the prospect of a split driving Dell's stock, as this column and others have suggested, but "the realization that Dell continues to dominate. ... Computer sales are better than ever, and it's primarily Dell. ... Dell is unstoppable!"
As I wrote at the time, "Maybe Dell as a company is, but at some point, even Dell the stock has its limits."
That's the case today, at least, as Wall Street reacts after several analysts issued concerns similar to Kumar's.
While rehashing yesterday's news: During the dinging this column received over Dell, I pointed out that the honorable (and I do mean that)
fired an empty bullet with his "hostile react-o-meter musings."
"The goal is to make money," he wrote. "Sometimes being right makes you money, sometimes it doesn't. I like it more when it makes money.
"This is not a paper exercise."
My retort at the time: "Couldn't agree more, Jimster. It's an online exercise, and in the quest of making money, many investors appear to be forgetting that in order to keep the money, they should also be asking how they can lose that money."
Maybe now they'll start asking, and risk will finally start getting some respect.
Herb Greenberg writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with the editorial policy of TSC, he does not own or short individual stocks. He also does not invest in hedge funds or any other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Greenberg writes a monthly column for Fortune and provides daily commentary for CNBC.