Thursday, March 02, 2006

Apollo Group (Nasdaq:APOL) has a problem

Apollo Group (Nasdaq:APOL) continues to disappoint. Poor results and they now suspend guidance. On Jan 11, 2006 we skeptically commented on strange management shuffles. Now the stock is dropping like a stone. Potential Governance problems or just a bad investment? When you have to sneak the old president out the back door you just know it’s not a value play. Lawsuits? Class actions? Sudden returns to stability would look suspicious.

Neuro-Finance Tools of Deception or Windows unto our Soul?

Neuro-finance is gaining traction. Investors now accept that emotion and behaviour are integral components of stock market activity. This represents a radical departure from the efficient market school that claimed all market activity was based on rational pricing. Check out a blog at Understanding this discipline will provide some additional caveat emptor tools for the investor. You can be assured that the financial con artist will not only be studying this field but will also be the star student voted most likely to succeed. The field is new and deserves our attention.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sears has problems in Canada (Nasdaq:SHLD)

Sears has a major governance issue in Canada. The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business (Canada’s major business paper) reports that all six independent board members will be resigning en masse to protest the buyout offer from Sears Holdings. As directors for Sears Canada (which is a separate publicly traded stock) they feel that they are being subjected to coercive approaches. Its has to be very bad for directors to take the highly visible approach of resignation rather than working it out behind closed doors. Perhaps the behind closed doors meetings did not work out.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Merrill Lynch (NYSE:MER) Roars on after Settling Class Action

Merrill Lynch is not really sorry about misleading investors in the last boom. They recently settled 23 class action lawsuits at an estimated cost of $164 million. That sounds big until several days latter they announce a $6 billion share buy back of their own stock. The $164 million is nothing more than a speeding ticket. Sell side research;
Nothing more than a throw away even when it was misleading.

Monday, February 27, 2006

weekend Follies (Feb 25-26, 2006)

Six culprits for the weekend follies list. Weekend follies consist of companies who release information at oddball hours over the weekend. One company from Nasdaq First Franklin (FFHS) makes the list for two weeks in a row. Five NYSE companies: Suez (SZE), Sierra Pacific (SRP), Pope and Talbot (POP), Anthracite Capital (AHR) and lastly Peoples Energy (PGL) who announce that their President is leaving but omit the stock symbol from their press release. Pope and Talbot announce that they need to delay their previously announced earnings announcement. There was no announcement on why the announcement dates needed to be altered. This of course focuses attention on the announcement timing rather than the actual contents of the announcement. Sorry sometimes I cannot help myself.