Dumbest of This Week's 5 Dumbest: KV Pharmaceutical Goes Price Hiking

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- KV Pharmaceutical's ( KV.A) arbitrary and blatantly greedy pricing strategy was considered the dumbest thing on Wall Street this week by readers of TheStreet.

As of late Friday, about 65% of the roughly 175 readers that took our poll thought that KV's decision to hike the price of its new prenatal drug was a particularly bad idea.

The company recently won the exclusive rights to produce a shot that helps prevent premature births. However, the shot that once cost about $10 will now cost $1,500.

"All the upfront development of the drug was done by the National Institute of Health," Dr. Kevin Ault, associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine, told ABC. "You and I paid for that with our tax dollars, it's not like this pharmaceutical company is trying to recoup its investments in research and development, as is usually the reason for the price of new drugs."

The Food and Drug Administration's approval to grant KV exclusive rights to the product prevents the pharmacies that had been producing the shot from doing so anymore. It also prevents doctors from using anything but the KV formulation.

With approximately 16% of votes, Gilbert Gottfried's tasteless tweets making light of the devastation in Japan was voted the second dumbest thing on Wall Street this week.

Gottfried took to Twitter on Monday to make some inappropriate jokes about the tragedy in Japan. He was quickly fired as the voice of the Aflac ( AFL) duck.

Aflac quickly cut ties with the comedian following a string of similar comments.

"Gilbert's recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac," Aflac Senior Vice President Michael Zuna said on Monday. "Aflac Japan -- and, by extension, Japan itself -- is part of the Aflac family, and there is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times."

While its hard to argue that Gottfried shouldn't have been canned, it should be noted that Aflac was extremely tolerant of the actor's other arguably tasteless jokes about a number of taboo topics for several years.

Aflac has since started its search to find a new voice for the iconic Aflac duck.

HP's ( HPQ) bland long-term company strategy, introduced by new CEO Leo Apotheker, was considered dumb by 10% of voters.

After weeks of buildup, Apotheker finally unveiled a less-than-impressive company strategy on Monday.

"So mundane," remarked a reader during TheStreet's live blog of the event. "Wow, what a letdown," commented another. Lastly, in the perfect post-event summary: "Zzzzzzz....."

The former SAP ( SAP) chief didn't discuss the possibility of reorganization the company's software business, which many analysts foresee as a huge opportunity for growth. Instead he discussed his cloud and connectivity plans, without citing any specific revenue numbers.

CloudSystem technology is a start, but his plans left investors wondering how much of this vaunted $143 billion cloud market will actually end up in HP's coffers.

He also didn't elaborate on plans surrounding the company's WebOS operating system, which has a place in popular gadget markets like smartphones and tablets, and could potentially be one of HP's most potent weapons for finding growth. Instead he talked about extending the system to PCs and printers, which probably won't do much in helping the company effectively compete with Apple ( AAPL), Motorola ( MMI) and Google ( GOOG).

The news that that Pepsi ( PEP) is no longer playing second fiddle to Coke ( KO) was considered dumb by 6% of voters.

On Thursday, Beverage Digest released annual market share data that showed that Pepsi is now ranked third behind Coke and Diet Coke.

Pepsi has been losing ground to Coke for some time, but it seems to have helped the process along in 2010 by turning its back on advertising in the 2010 Super Bowl in favor of a $20 million charity competition, the Refresh Project. According to Advertising Age, it was the first time in 23 years that Pepsi decided the Super Bowl just wasn't for them.

The Refresh Project has gotten some great attention, like a New York Times article profiling how a shadowy figure from India known only as "Mr. Magic" was employed to stuff the ballot box in order to help charities win the Pepsi grants.

Credit Suisse analyst Carlos Laboy said in a research note that he was "worried about the morale implications for PepsiCo's beverage people of having the company's namesake brand and its top beverage brand dropped to a tertiary spot within its category at a time that a tangible sign of brand momentum for the core brands would help." That lack of momentum, said Laboy, has nothing to do with larger trends in the soft drink market, and everything to do with Pepsi. "There is no U.S. beverage category problem, just a Pepsi problem," he wrote.

About 3% of voters found it dumb that fans have been unable to find the TV channel that carries a number of March Madness matchups.

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament fans were grateful when CBS ( CBS) announced the Big Dance's early round matchups would finally be spread across a few networks.

However that gratitude likely faded as soon as the first Big East follower tried to watch No. 1-seeded Pittsburgh take it out on UNC Asheville, only to ask "What and where is truTV?"

In many ways, the 14-year, $11 billion March Madness broadcast deal with the NCAA has been a dream for fans. Workplace slackers no longer have to settle for score updates and - thanks to NCAA "corporate champions" Coca-Cola ( KO), AT&T ( T) and Capital One ( COF) -- can test the office's bandwidth by watching every game on the NCAA's March Madness on Demand streaming site for free. Turner and CBS are also giving Apple device owners a free app that streams all games to their gadget of choice.

The one problem is people don't know where they can find truTV. In fact, there is so little demand for the network year-round for it that DirecTV ( DTV) is adding it temporarily, just for the tournament.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Theresa McCabe.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to @TheresaMcCabe.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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