Monday, December 17, 2007

The markets only work in the long term

Ask any financial advisor and they'll always tell you to invest in the long term. Well, my guess is that investors in marketing services group, Chime, are hoping that this advice is correct. Chime put out a very positive trading update today, only to see it's share price drop nearly 9%. Lord Bell's quote read: "Our trading performance is very strong, our new business pipeline is very strong and our prospects look very good". Could he have been more positive? My guess is that right now Chime is wishing it hadn't said anything. Now some will argue that it released this on a day when the markets were down but in truth Chime's share price is already off nearly 40% from its peak earlier in the year. What would appear to be the case is that the markets have long memories and they remember what happened during the last recession and they are taking any opportunity they can to get out of media stocks, especially those with an advertising component. Of course we aren't in a recession and Chime is certainly sounding pretty bullish about its prospects. But it would seem that even a business with as much marketing intelligence as Chime can't manage perceptions around its stock price in a climate like this. Indeed the lesson from this would appear to be - say as little as possible and don't expect anyone to hear any of the positive news as they are only listening for bad news.