I was cruising cyber-space, seeing what others had to say about today’s earnings call for Overstock.com. I made my feelings clear about the use of the word “improvement.” Overstock’s numbers are terrible, and when compared to last year, no one in their right mind thinks that’s “improvement.”
Investigative reporter Gary Weiss suggested a potentially appropriate phrase for the use of such a word: materially misleading. Indeed, Gary also points out what pansies the analysts were on today’s call, not asking anything remotely tough.
So what’s so misleading? Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, keeps using incorrect words for their performance. He even issued a press release saying “Our business is dramatically improving.”
The problem with statements such as this? Gary points out that there are people out there who might actually believe them. That’s a big problem.
I’ve suggested that Patrick and company get themselves a good dictionary so they don’t erroneously refer to putrid results as an “improvement” in the future. I know where they can get one .