What a Difference 5 Cents Can Make

By Chris Ariens 

Just after the closing bell yesterday, Fox Business Network reported Hewlett-Packard’s 4th quarter earnings had come in a penny below Wall Street expectations. It took Fox Business 11 minutes to correct its mistake and report that HP had, in fact, beaten analysts’ expectations by four cents.

• Anchor Liz Claman first reported the news at 4:03pm saying, “Hewlett-Packard is out with their numbers and it’s a miss, actually. They’ve apparently missed by one penny.”

• Going to commercial break at 4:07pm, Claman reiterated: “Once again, Hewlett-Packard has come out with its earnings. It has missed by a penny…”

• At 4:14pm, anchor David Asman said, “We’ve just crunched the numbers and the adjusted earnings are 86 cents, which topped estimates – HP.”

Ray Hennessey who is FBN’s director of business news tells TVNewser the anchors reported the net income number (.81) versus the operating income number (.86) but admitted it’s the operating number that analysts look for. “It happens. This is the way it goes; sometimes it happens on live TV.” “Count the corrections on Bloomberg, Reuters and Dow Jones,” said Hennessey, the former news editor for Dow Jones.

As for the anchors, Hennessey says Claman and Asman “did some Monday morning quarterbacking before the show ended.”

The month-old network is still dealing with an on-air error during which the Money for Breakfast anchors mistook the corporation Apple for the country Abu Dhabi. Hennessey says, “This is financial news, people expect fast, accurate information,” but the network should not be judged based on these incidents.

“We’re getting hit because we’re new. We’re in the cross-hairs every day, but that’s part of the deal,” said Hennessey.