Duck and cover…

November 11, 2004

It’s always interesting when companies try to bury their own bad news by releasing it on a day when few people are likely to be paying much attention. For example, last Tuesday, which you might recall was Election Day, troubled Tenet Healthcare (THC) reported its quarterly results and also filed its Q. Coincidence? Probably not. Looking at the long legal disclosures in the Q — they stretched on for a whopping 20 pages — it’s not too difficult to see why Tenet, which recently began defending itself and two former executives in an anti-kickback trial in San Diego, might choose Election Day. The recent crop of legal disclosures was 5 pages longer than the Q filed back in May as well as in the K filed back in March. Among the new problems Tenet faces are new investigations in El Paso, New Orleans, St. Louis and San Francisco. That’s in addition to the previously disclosed problems in Florida and Southern California and an IRS investigation whose back-interest now stands at $136 million.

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