Friday, February 24, 2006

Staples (Nasdaq:SPLS) Not Enough Independence

Staples has reorganized their executive power grid. Unfortunately board power is fused with executive power. The critical question is who is really watching whom? The Chairman is also the CEO. The President has a seat on the board and is the COO. The CFO is also the vice chairman. How independent is this board?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dollar Tree Redux (Nasdaq:DLTR)

Dollar Tree stock draws some skepticism. No wait a lot of skepticism. On Feb 2 at 9:02AM they release sales and revenues. Twenty days later on Feb 22 at 8:32AM they release their full financial quarterly results. In the mean time the stock moves from a close of $24.59 on Feb 1 to a close of $28.55 on Feb 21. This represents a 16% increase over 20 days. The stock jumps on Feb 2 to close at $26.58 on huge increases in volume. Feb 22 the stock closes at $27.60 on even larger volumes. This one scares me. Caveat emptor.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) hedge restatement

Bank of America will restate earnings to comply with evolving interpretations of SFAS 133 according to Alvaro de Molina the CFO. Primarily the restatement is driven by hedge transactions. When a large organization like Bank of America restates earnings this way perhaps there is too much hedging on the books and not enough basic business. You know the old fashion spread business. Take in cheap deposits and lend out on loans. Pay for staff and expenses and the rest goes to shareholder.

Allstate (NYSE:ALL) declares dividend with an extra serving of corporate puff

Allstate announces a pretty fancy dividend increase and then goes on to do some corporate puffery about how big they are with individual consumers. They neglect to deal with the fundamentals that allow a record increases in dividends, especially in a post Katrina claims environment. This might be a good time to deal with guidance or something like that.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Weekend Follies (Feb 18-19, 2006)

Nine Culprits this weekend. Weekend Follies points the finger at companies who issue substantive news at oddball hours over the weekend. Five companies on Nasdaq: WFI (WFII), First Franklin (FFHS), Nara Bancorp (NARA), Borland (BORL), and SMSC (SMSC). Three NYSE companies USG Corporation (USG), Goodrich Corporation (GR), Apartment Investment and Management (AIV) One on AMEX Maui Land and Pineapple (MLP)