In one of the more striking cases of earnings-call badassery from the third-quarter earnings season, FrontPoint hedge fund manager and The Big Short honoree Steve Eisman today took Genworth Financial CEO Mike Frazier out to the verbal woodshed (call transcript provided by Dealbreaker):
Frankly, the only accomplishment that this management team can truly point to is the survival of this Company, which I don’t mean to minimize, but otherwise, this management team has overseen a massive destruction of shareholder value. [...] I want you to understand that my patience and the patience of your shareholders is not infinite and my patience is just about done. And I would like a response to my comments. And one other thing, at the beginning of this conference call, Mr. Fraizer said that they might do bolt-on acquisitions. Do not do that. Your stock is selling at less than 40% of book value. You do a bolt-on acquisition and I will wager a proxy battle immediately to throw you out of here. And I would like a response.
Notorious rude boy Steve Eisman is not taking any guff from any CEO of any Virginia-based financial firm. The dressing-down doesn’t end there:
Frazier: You can also see the path to not only earning your cost of capital in International, but in fact exceeding
that cost of capital. And we will reinforce that as we lay out both where we are and where we are going in that as we walk
through the Investor Day. But I think you can see that in the numbers.
Eisman: Actually, I can’t. But go ahead.
Nothing like a little passive-aggressive undermining on a conference call to send a company into conniptions. Shares of Genworth were lately down 8.7 percent in midafternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor