Here’s an easy way to piss off Wall Street at the absolute worst time.
GNC on Thursday attempted to deliver its earnings call and all of the emphasis is placed on “attempted.”
Right from the start the call was hit with technical glitches. First the call was delayed and then erroneous announcements were made several times, causing analysts to miss a huge part of the actual message being delivered by the company.
Finally, management couldn’t hear critical questions from the few analysts present.
This wasn’t a routine call either. GNC had hugely missed the mark during its Q3 profits report because of a messed up discount strategy.
Last week Oregon’s attorney general accused the nutrition store of selling dietary supplements that were spiked with banned substances.
GNC shares plummeted 28% on Thursday, easily their worst day since the company went public in 2011.
Company share are now down 40% on the year and trading levels are nearly out of control.
The Thursday problems started in the morning when a third-party operator had to delay the call because of technical glitches. The operator then accidentally told analysts the call had been postponed until next month.
In reality, the event wasn’t postponed but some analysts missed a large portion of the call because of that announcement.
“Your system is screwed up!” Barclays analyst Meredith Adler told GNC during the call. GNC CEO Michael Archbold couldn’t hear that message and said: “We seem to still be experiencing technical difficulties.” “Yeah, no kidding,” Adler said under her breath before the operator incorrectly referred to her as “Mr. Adler.” “This has been a disaster!” Adler fumed.
GNC apologized for the technical troubles while also trying to explain the company’s poor financial performance.