Tuesday, January 15, 2008

THE HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL MODEL--OR HOW MY BUSINESS WENT TO HELL WITH RECORD EARNINGS AND PROFITS

January 15, 2008

Intel’s Big Quarter Fails to Meet Wall St. Forecast



SAN FRANCISCO — Intel reported record fourth-quarter revenue on Tuesday, but the chip maker’s shares dropped sharply after hours as its earnings and its first-quarter projections disappointed analysts.
The company reported revenue of $10.7 billion, up 10.5 percent from the previous year, on strong demand for computers and electronics during the holiday season. Its net income was $2.3 billion, a 51 percent rise. But earnings per share were 38 cents, 2 cents short of analysts’ forecasts, according to Thomson Financial.
The report comes amid rising investor concern about the impact of a possible slowdown in computer spending during the first half of the year. For the first quarter, Intel forecast revenue of $9.4 billion to $10 billion, on the low end of analysts’ forecast of $10 billion.
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I have written before on the travesty that Harvard has delivered to American business through the teachings of what it purports to be a 'business school.' What Milton Friedman did to South America, Harvard has done to North America.
Like killer bees on the loose from some exotic equatorial land, HBS graduates continue to shred what was once the world's finest business model. At the core, the mother-lode, the queen-bee's torpid side is the thumping, heartbeat-like need for quarterly results.
CEOs live and die by quarters, fund-managers and 'analysts,' whatever the hell that term is supposed to signify, lay havoc to balance sheets by their expectations being or not being met--by quarters. Essentially, American business is being drawn and quartered.
One need look no further in this upside-down and totally screwed economy than the fact that Intel suffered a 14% decline because it missed analysts earnings estimates by two cents. Intel boasted
  • Record quarterly sales
  • Record quarterly profits
  • Gross profit margin 58%
  • Revenue increase 10.5%
  • Net income up 51%
But (horrors) earnings per share were 38 cents, instead of the 40 cents expected. So, on an earnings slide of 5%--with every other indicator off the map in a tough business environment--the stock drops 14%. No wonder more and more companies are taking themselves private. The quarterly pressures on American business and the obscene stock option packages CEOs demand for juicing those quarterly numbers (often illegally and fraudulently) have brought us a disaster yet to be reckoned with. U.S. business is becoming all hat and no cattle, all sizzle, glitz and fraud. The Harvard model led the way.