Friday, June 16, 2006

Mark Cuban & Business Week

Businessweek Online has run a story indicating Mark Cuban is planning to trade stocks before corporate shenanigans are exposed on his web site. Hard to believe Mark Cuban has had such bad legal advice. I do not believe he needs the money. So why go after the hassles of conflicts of interest and the usual sordid mess that comes with it. Seems like a game of chicken with PR spin is about to be played by someone.

Biovail Loads Up on Debt

Biovail Corporation (NYSE:BVF)announces a major restructuring in its debt. They have sourced cash and have some clout with the lenders. This is usually a good time to extract better terms and conditions. The press release does not provide any information on what the functional covenants are. Debt ranks ahead of equity. Investors need to know whats what upstairs before they get blind sided. Transparency this is not.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Will Ballmer follow Gates

Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq:MSFT) announced that effective July 2008 Bill Gates will start to ride off into the sunset. This is two years from now. Will Ballmer find something else to do? Will there be succession infighting between different warring groups within the Microsoft nation? Will civil wars break out and cause the company to lose focus? Will headhunters raid and poach as existing employees lose political stature? Its a very big prize and there are always some very big ego's.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Frozen Food Mumbo Jumbo

Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq:FFEX) releases the long awaited 10K for 2005. Numbers seem pretty good. They also announce that they feel that they can meet Nasdaq's continued listing requirements and file a 10Q by June 30. Then they throw in a legalese jargon challenging paragraph saying that while they think they can file the 10q in time there is no assurance the the company will be able to do so. All this two weeks before the due date. This is not safe harbor wording. Management is still not confident that all the problems have been worked out.

Williams Loses $311 Million Securities Class Action

Williams (NYSE:WMB) lost a $311 million securities class action lawsuit. According to partner Chad Johnson "This recovery of $311 million is an extraordinary result. It is among the largest recoveries ever in a securities class action in which the corporate defendant did not restate its financial results. This settlement is also proof that the combination of a vigorous litigation strategy and committed institutional Lead Plaintiffs results in outstanding recoveries."

What this means is that institutional shareholders are learning to use their power to prosecute the corporate suite and recover substantial amounts of funds. White collar criminals have long relied on weak victims to help in their get away. Hopefully others will take note.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Clear Channel Charity Boasting

Clear Channel Communications (NYSE:CCU) makes a big splash about how its "Total Corporate Gift Giving" is over the Billion Dollar Mark for 2005. A careful read reveals that approximately $144 million was fund raising and came from listeners. An even larger $694 million was airtime donated for PSA (Public Service Announcements). The PSA donation was approximately 10% of 2005 revenues of $6.61 Billion. What business can give away 10% of revenue capacity and be proud. Little if any information is offered about the PSA work.

Weekend Follies (June 10-11)

The following stocks release information at odd-ball hours over the weekend when investors are typically not looking at their screens. Basically they are sneaking news out and hoping to call it disclosure. Nine Nasdaq companies were caught in the net Herley Industries (HRLY), Britesmile (Bsml), Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN), Sanmina SCI (SANM), Hei Inc. (HEII), Elron (ELRN), Apollo Group (APOL), Semtech (SMTC), State Bancorp (STBC). One NYSE listed company Cenveo (CVO) and one AMEX listing Transnational Financial (TFN)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Diabetes Spin

American Diabetes Association is having a major conference. That is why there is a veritable blizzard of press releases from various firms who are attempting to do work in this field. Most of the info is pathetic. You need FDA approval before anything goes live. Reporting pre trial data is quite frankly a pitch process for investors and VC money. The SEC should be attending not the FDA.