Friday, June 09, 2006

Idaho Dept of Finance Survey

Received this email from NASAA.

The Idaho Department of Finance is soliciting input as it develops its Strategic
Plan. If you would like to provide comments, please do so by going to and completing a short survey. The
Idaho Department of Finance appreciates your assistance in this effort.

Sears Complains to OSC

Sears Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq:SHLD) will have its day in court on a July 4 hearing at the Ontario Securities Commission. Ed Lampert who controls SHLD is trying to take over 100% of Sears Canada. He is being twarted by other US based hedge funds/activists who naturally want a higher price. Lampert is complaining that the other funds skirted disclosure requirements. Secretly he resents having to pay more. You can understand everyones position. The buy low sell high dynamic has devolved into corporate bitch slaps. Quite frankly the regulator has better things to do then mediate disputes betwen professional sharks.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

H&R Block Confusion

H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) issues Q4 and year end results. They start the tease with a short blurb on record revenues, how they will increase the dividend and how they will continue with a stock buy back program. They also announce 2007 guidance all before dealing with 2006 realities. The huge drop in profitability is dealt with much later and explained away as previously announced restructuring and settlements. This comes from a company which could not explain interest rates and charges to its own customers and eventually had to pay up. The losses in the mortgage division are substantial. They want and need investors to believe that they have fixed it. In the mean time they need you to believe that tax is OK even if the had a very bad start this season. The reality is that it is all too weak. Management is whistling through the grave yard. It will not take much to blow this one up.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

ABM's In and Out

ABM Industries Incorporated (NYSE:ABM) reports record profits. They claim that this quarter had one less day than the comparable quarter for last year and because of fixed price contracts they made a windfall of $2.4 million. If the windfall had not existed then the reverse would also be correct they actually would have earned considerably less profit and experienced a decrease in profitability. In the same breath they also explain that the board spent $2.4 million in professional fees for an independent investigation into last years accounting problems at a subsidiary. No comment on the results or when the results might be available. By the way cash position has been cut in half which is never a happy event. This is a maintenance company reporting fully 30% of total assets are represented by goodwill and intangibles. Hmmm

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Think Board Continues Turnover

Think Partnership (AMEX:THK) experienced another board resignation. Dominic Ragosta who only joined the board Dec 05 has resigned. Just several weeks ago they had experienced another major episode of pushing and shoving. The company's investment proposition is not that compelling. Board level and executive infighting makes the investor take a big and very wide pass.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Golf Galaxy Mulligan

Golf Galaxy (Nasdaq:GGXY) pulls its registration for a follow up offering to issue more common shares and allow certain holders/insiders to sell out and or liquidate. The stock price has dropped since the offer was made May 3. Money talks and BS walks. Is Golf Galaxy in the sand trap or was it just a bad hole and should be forgotten. The gallery will be closely scrutinizing this one as it seems weak. Now management needs to pull something off that gets the shareholders excited again.

Highwoods Explains Variances

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) plays some word games with there recent press release. The critical Funds From Operations (FFO) was lower than guidance which had been issued as recently as the end of Feb. Suddenly they have some impairment costs and costs related to extinguishing a pref share issue. Surely this could have been foreseen and identified in advance.

No Follies

Could not catch anyone this weekend so there are no follies.