Friday, January 20, 2006

Fastenal Bizarre Financial Reporting Sequence (NASDAQ:FAST)

Fastenal Company (Nasdaq:FAST) has a bizarre technique in reporting financial news. One day after trading it announces the dividend. The very next morning before market open it announces its earnings. I know you get to make two releases over two days and try to get your name out there, but consider this scenario. Usually dividends are good news and investors can at least enter orders for the very next morning assuming the news is favourable. Scary to think what would happen if there was a tough quarter, which almost everyone has from time to time? The lag effect may be parlayed by the nimble and astute. Is this a secret sign like tugging at your ear??

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) does it right

Washington Mutual Inc (NYSE:WM) did it right. They recently announced Q4 and annual results and then declared a dividend. Perhaps I am too conservative but classic financial analysis teaches that dividends are paid from profits. Too many companies declare dividends before they release earnings reports. Dividend declarations before profits calculation is the cart before the donkey of corporate governance.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must clarify Quiet Period Rules

Quiet Period. Most investors do not know what this is. Many companies insist that they are in their quiet period before earnings releases and refuse to comment. Yet you see senior officers and press releases in the news, which is not quiet. As we enter earnings season let us observe how companies struggle with this concept. My understanding of quiet period’s necessity is that as quarterly numbers are compiled increasing numbers of insiders achieve excellent perspective on how well the business is doing. Therefore any announcements may send confusing messages and cause investors to arrive at poor conclusions. I know the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is working on this. Now that we have a new chairman could we perhaps stoke up that project? Please and Thank You.

First Data Corporation (NYSE:FDC) has a three for one day

First Data Corp (NYSE:FDC) released three major announcements yesterday outlining important new deals (must be important otherwise why announce them). The press releases were woefully short on financial specifics. The emphasis was on how wonderful these grand relationships will be and how much (but do not ask us to count it) revenues will accrue. Major companies do not make arrangements without the financial number crunchers going through the necessary due diligence. Also the releases did not indicate when the deals were actually agreed to by the participants. So how long has this news been around? Three big deals all in one-day looks contrived. How does an investor assess the financial impact of this news?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Martin Luther King Day Does it receive Financial Respect?

Does the US Market consider Martin Luther king Day a true holiday. I monitored press releases issued on Jan 16, 2006. While the volume was clearly off the pace was very brisk. Lots of product and marketing communication messages went out. The markets were closed but I spotted 14 releases that I would normally include in my weekend follies. The most significant was Nasdaq Stock Market making a release about changes with the SEC. I am just not sure what to think about that. Comments from NASDAQ (NASDAQ:NDAQ) would be appreciated. The remaining culprits are
Bakbone Software (TSX:DKP), Allos Therapeutics (Nasdaq:ALTH), First Defiance (Nasdaq:FBEF), CE Franklin (Amex:CFK), Renaissance Learning (NASDAQ:RLRN), Kenneth Cole Productions (NYSE:KCP), Compass Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSS), Amcon Distribution Company (Amex:DIT), Macataua Bank Corporation (NASDAQ:MCBC), Duke Realty (NYSE:DRE), Innovex (NASDAQ:INVX), Cinenergy Corp (NYSE:CIN), Equity Office Properties Trust (NYSE:EOP)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Weekend Follies (Jan 14-15, 2006)

Regular readers know that on Monday I declare the participants in the latest weekend follies. By this I mean to point a skeptical finger at companies who release information at oddball hours over the weekend when no one is really looking. This weeks culprits are Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Mullen Group (TSX:MTL.UN), Capital Automotive Group (NASDAQ lists the preferreds) Savient Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SVNTE) and America Service Group (NASDAQ:ASGRE)