Our client Carol Levenson quoted in this story
Mr. Quail and Mr. Beristain are easier to impress than Carol Levenson, director of research for Gimme Credit. In a July 13 note to clients, Ms. Levenson said Alcoa “is unequaled in its efforts to put a positive spin on bad news by accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative.”
If results look worse than they were a year ago, Alcoa’s spinmeisters make comparisons with the previous quarter, she said. If the performance of business units is deteriorating, the company changes the makeup of the unit to make historical comparisons difficult, she said.
“If free cash flow looks bad, it will redefine it,” Ms. Levenson wrote. “Someday we will write a treatise on the psychology of earnings reports and presentations. And Alcoa will be our case study.”