Battered Citi (C) might lose billions more in debt gambling writedowns…is that information that you, the average investor, might want to know? Thought so. Then why did Citi CFO Gary Crittenden reveal this information to a select group of Deutsche Bank clients on a private conference call instead of putting it in a press release, as the law requires his to do?
Fortunately, someone noticed. Ladenburg bank analyst Dick Bove blasted Citi and Crittenden over this secret tip, Dealbreaker says:
The fashion by which the company made this information available is questionable and unacceptable to this analyst. The company did put out a press release indicating that the call would be held but not to all investors. The call was handled so only one analyst and the clients of his firm could ask questions. Material information was made available but it is open to question if it was made available in a fair and honest fashion to all investors. Perhaps SEC FD is dead. Shame on Citigroup.
Of course, for Bove, this transgression isn’t a deal killer. After he scolded Citi, he reiterated his Buy rating, citing the “improved performance of the core business and the positive longer term outlook.”