Wrong Number: Mayo Not Shut Out of BofA Earnings Call
Why didn't Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) take Mike Mayo's question Tuesday during its conference call with Wall Street analysts?
Maybe it's because Mayo doesn't know the bank's telephone number.
Sources tell the FOX Business Network that Mayo didn't call a special telephone number reserved for analysts so they could ask company officials questions about the bank's third-quarter results.
Mayo was the talk of Wall Street Tuesday after he issued a controversial note claiming to be shut out of the conference call because of his negative coverage of the Bank of America's stock, which spiked higher after decent earnings for the third quarter.
In the note, Mayo said the bank's "action" lends credence to his overall concerns about Bank of America management and how it's handling its myriad of problems, including massive liabilities tied to its Countrywide Financial mortgage unit.
"This action by the company appears to us to be more insular than they have acted in the past, and diminishes our trust and confidence in the results they presented -- even if the shares are trading up 7% post call," Mayo wrote.
But maybe it's Mayo who shouldn't be trusted on this one. People at Bank of America are now telling rival analysts that Mayo wasn't shut out of the call, but rather, he dialed the wrong telephone number, one that was reserved for the public to listen in but not to ask questions.
Bank of America "is confirming the story with institutional investors who were concerned that a prominent analyst was shut out of the call and prevented from asking management tough questions," said one Wall Street executive with direct knowledge of the matter. "But he called the wrong number. D’oh"
Neither Mayo nor a Bank of America spokesman was available for comment.
Last year Mayo, who covers banking for Crédit Agricole Securities, got into a battle with officials at Citigroup (NYSE:C), claiming that CEO Vikram Pandit refused to meet with him because of his criticism of the bank's finances. Pandit ultimately met with Mayo, but not before Mayo went public with the dispute, first reported by FOX Business.
His note on BofA suggested that he was gearing up for a battle with another big bank. Maybe he better dial the right telephone number first.