Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sallie Mae (SLM) - The Conference Call from Hell

It will go down in history as the conference call from Hell, displacing Jeff Skilling and the famous Enron Call from 2001. I am referring, of course, to the conference call conducted yesterday by Sallie Mae (SLM) and Albert Lord, its CEO.

First, he slams down the ancient sell side practice of asking a "multi part" question to conform to the single question requirement of most managements. The victim was Jason Miller.

"All right. This is the last question I answer that’s more than one part. We will look at the dividend in the second half of the year.."

And then Lord begins to display either his total contempt for the analyst community or his total ignorance of the company he is running.


"And you didn’t mention how much equity you were going to need to get back up to the single A rating."

Albert L. Lord

"You’re talking to the wrong guy. I don’t know that answer."

Then an analyst begins to question him about access to the pass through market.


"Okay, but clearly you’ve been talking to the arranging banks and they must be telling you something."

Albert L. Lord

"I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I’ve been talking to whom?"


"We’re trying to make -- we’re trying to figure out what your stock is going to be worth and you’ve got to give us some guidance, you’ve got to give us some numbers. I don’t even seea margin number here for the stuff that you’ve done. Can you give us some handle on what your stock is worth?"

Albert L. Lord

"You should give Steve a call."


"But you’re the CEO. You’re the guy who just took over the company."

Albert L. Lord

"Yeah, that’s exactly right. I’m the CEO. You should give Steve a call. Next question."

And then the grand finale, after no more questions from the analyst crowd:

Albert L. Lord

"How good is this? Steve, let’s go. There’s no -- no questions. Let’s get the fuck out of here."


Mark Perkins said...

I like the name of the new blog. Wasn't that what Wallstreet was going to be?

Eric J. Fox said...

Legend has it that the agreement to set up the NYSE was signed under a buttonwood tree back in the late 1700's.

john said...

fun read,
John Bougearel