Money for Nothing, and Your Enron Earnings for Free

From a WSJ summary of today’s testimony in the Jeff Skilling trial:

[Former Enron investor relations head] Mr. Koenig didn’t relent when [Skilling lawyer] Mr. Petrocelli pressed him about whether
Enron had improperly upped its reported earnings in the fourth quarter
of 1999 to meet analyst estimates. Mr. Koenig repeated that the change
came more than two weeks after the quarter ended, only a day before
Enron was planning to announce its results and just hours after the
investor-relations chief had learned that the analysts’
consensus-earnings estimate for Enron had risen to 31 cents a share
from 30 cents a share.

You catch that? Skilling heard that the analyst consensus had gone up, so he just unilaterally upped Enron’s about-to-be-reported quarterly earnings — two weeks after the quarter ended. Kewl.