I hate to pick on the work of an intern, but presumably the value add of a site like MarketWatch is that there is editorial staff. How then did a piece of under 100 words manage to make multiple errors, mislead and add nothing of value? Intern Sara Sjolin clearly began with the premise that Biglari Holdings(BH) move of over 5% today was newsworthy and required explanation. Here is her dispatch:
New York (MarketWatch) — Shares of Biglari Holdings Inc. BH +4.13% rose 5.6% Friday after a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that Biglari Sardar, the chairman of the company, bought 150 shares at $377.13 a share over the past few days. The insider purchase totaled $56,565 and Michael Gallo, analyst at CL King & Associates, said that the chairman has not bought stock since the price was at $300 a share and that it explains the stock move.
The story erroneously refers to Sardar Biglari as Biglari Sardar and fails to note that he is CEO as well as Chairman. It attributes the stock’s rise to Mr. Biglari’s purchase of shares without noting that Mr. Biglari is required to use a significant percentage of his bonus compensation to purchase company shares on the open market. It further quotes an analyst erroneously claiming that Mr. Biglari had not purchased since the stock was at $300, when a simple perusal of SEC filings shows that his last purchase was 639 shares on 3/14 for $403.66.
I hope that if Sara or her editors read this, they take it as a reminder of the importance of verifying facts and statements. If a little part-time blogger like me can spot 4 major errors in a 100 word article in 5 minutes, an organization with the resources of MarketWatch ought to do better. A message to readers as well, make sure to verify what you read no matter where it’s published.
Disclosure: The author owns shares of BH
- Why Is Sardar Biglari on a Rocking Chair? (fool.com)