I’ve referred to the sell-side analyst gig as the most impossible job on Wall Street before.
Here’s another example as to why I feel that way – a guy who got it right with a bearish call on Valeant, only to have to watch the stock double before he was vindicated. Can you imagine his interactions with the funds who went short on his original call (if any actually did)?
In July 2014, Dimitry Khmelnitsky advised investors to sell Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and then watched the stock double in a year.
“It was very painful,” Khmelnitsky, an analyst at Veritas Investment Research Corp., said in an telephone interview from his office in Toronto. “What I felt was pain.”
Khmelnitsky was the lone analyst with a sell rating on Valeant for 20 months, sticking to his recommendation through the bull market as star hedge-fund managers including Bill Ackman piled in. Now that Valeant has plummeted almost 75 percent since its August 2015 peak of $262.52 — as scrutiny intensified over its soaring drug prices, accounting and controversial distribution system — the downturn has vindicated his research. Yet the analyst, an accountant by training and a former soldier in the Israeli army, doesn’t see it that way.
Even when you’re right, this game doesn’t care enough not to rip your heart out and trample on it before handing it back to you.