Sneaky!

November 4, 2003

One of the sneaky little tricks that companies like to play on their investors involves putting out good news on the same day they put out bad news. Most investors are blinded by the good and wind up ignoring the bad. Such is the case at CompuCredit (CCRT) , a fast-growing credit card issuer that targets people who can’t get regular credit cards. On Monday, the company released impressive earnings of $1.11 a share, blowing away analysts estimates and causing the stock to climb by nearly 20 percent Tuesday morning to over $24 a share. The stock is already up five-fold since last November, when shares were trading at around $4. The bad news, however, delivered in the form of ammended 10-Qs and a 10-K also filed yesterday, was that the company was apparently counting some of its chickens before they were hatched. According to the revised filings, the SEC required the company to take a closer look at its revenue recognition policies, prompting Compucredit to revise a whole host of numbers. This news, of course, was never mentioned in the cheery press release!

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