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TalkTalk may tell investors to tighten belts after cyber incident

Customer growth affected by customer care? Shurely not...

TalkTalk is likely to deliver bad news to investors next week, as analysts suggested it has managed to halve its customer growth forecast after spaffing the sensitive data of more than a million existing and former customers.

Shares in the telco sit at their lowest point since an initial drop of 10.7 per cent after confessing to the breach, despite the established wisdom that data breaches "don't hurt stock prices".

This notion was put forward in the Harvard Business Review, in article suggesting this was due to shareholders lacking "good metrics, tools, and approaches to measure the impact of cyber attacks on businesses and translate that into a dollar value."

Talking to the Financial Times, Simon Weeden, an analyst following the company at Citi, suggested TalkTalk's growth forecasts had been cut in half following the hack.

CEO Dido Harding has stated that her job is safe, however she is likely to face a grilling from MPs next month, when an inquiry into TalkTalk's security issues begins to invite attendees to give evidence.

Weeden warned the FT that "TalkTalk could even suspend its guidance on future financial numbers and skip its interim dividend when it reports its interim results next week."

More will be known when TalkTalk presents its financial results for the first half of this financial year on Wednesday, 11 November. ®

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