We wrote yesterday about a flawed article on SeekingAlpha about AbbVie(ABBV) and Abbott Laboratories(ABT) which contained information which was extremely erroneous(off by over $15 billion), and built a thesis based on that false data.
The article, which can be found here, has been edited extensively, but something is missing: there is no indication anywhere on the page that any editing has occurred. This is intellectually dishonest and is neither good journalism nor proper netiquette. Perhaps worse, the edits consist of correcting the data, removing all points about each company related to balance sheet, and maintaining the same conclusion despite the removal of most of the supporting points. Frankly, we are unable to comprehend how Mr. Broens can, when faced with an entirely different set of facts, reach an identical conclusion. Such ‘analysis’ should call into question all of his hundreds of articles and their conclusions.
Silently changing the article is also unfair to those who have commented on a previous version, making their comments, in some cases, incomprehensible. It would be appropriate for the publisher to add appropriate explanatory text so that the context of the comments is preserved. An acknowledgement of those who pointed out the error would be appropriate as well.
What is clear is that there are no editorial standards at Seeking Alpha. If you’re reading Seeking Alpha with an expectation that it is curated content, or that any journalistic principles are upheld, this ought to disabuse you of any such notion. It’s nothing but a glorified message board, and analysis appearing there should be taken with a massive grain of salt.
Disclosure: The author holds no position in any stock mentioned.