In a much-anticipated financial filing released Thursday, Tyco ( TYC) failed to offer any data to counter the accounting-related criticisms that have helped to shear more than 50% off the company's stock price this year. As a result, Tyco may remain dogged by suspicions that it has given an artificial boost to earnings by habitually marking down the value of certain assets in companies it acquires. Spokesman Brad McGee responds: "We published information we believe investors wanted to see." McGee adds that "we still maintain our disclosure is second to none." Without a clear-cut victory over its detractors, the Bermuda-based conglomerate could continue to face skepticism about its accounting and downward pressure on its stock price. Tyco cut its earnings outlook this week and recently announced its intention to draw down $5.9 billion of credit lines to avoid short-term funding problems. The stock slid $2.15, or 7.44%, to $26.75 Thursday. It's 56% below its 52-week high.
Those numbers could then be compared with prior disclosure to see if there had been big unexplained changes. If there hadn't been, the acquirer would be able to shrug off accusations of spring-loading.