Under The Microscope

After Enron, investors are looking more skeptically at companies whose bookkeeping seems confusing

As questions swirled around its accounting practices, Tyco International, an industrial and services conglomerate with $36 billion in annual revenues--and a beaten-down stock price--said last week it would split into four companies in a bid to "unlock tens of billions of dollars of shareholder value." The company's combative CEO, Dennis Kozlowski, predicted the breakup would add 50% to the stock price. Going him one better, Don MacDougall of J.P. Morgan Chase said the move would make the stock worth $80 to $90 a share--double the current price. Haven't they heard? Post Enron, any hint of questionable accounting is the functional equivalent...