Friday, July 28, 2006

Bristol-Myers Conundrum

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) when they slipped out that they were the subject of criminal proceedings neglected to mention that their offices were actually raided by FBI agents who took away boxes of evidence. This raises an interesting legal conundrum. On one hand a company has the responsibility to disclose material facts. On the other hand a criminal lawyer usually gives you instructions to shut up an not say anything. "What you say can and will be used against you in a court of law" The stock dropped in value creating investor pain. Who is responsible? What class action should or will determine where investor justice resides on this one?

Walmart German Retreat

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) has sold their German operations. No specific reasons were given other than a general comment about the fit no longer fitting. Not that long ago they also retreated from South Korea. So much for global domination. Walmart needs to make some public statements about how they view their global operations. Investors need to be concerned about retailers who cannot do well in economies where the public has money in their pockets. Does everything have to be a complete monopoly or Walmart cannot play.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bristol-Myers Excuse Me!

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) reported financial results for the second quarter and six months. Tucked away in the guidance was this surprising announcement. “The company learned yesterday that the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice is conducting a criminal investigation regarding the proposed settlement of the Apotex litigation described above.” Criminal investigations have a way of stopping civil matters as everyone heads for the hills.

Walmarts Union Problems

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) lost a major court decision in Canada. Walmart was attempting to prevent a provincial labor relations board from even hearing cases related to unionization of store workers. The courts have ruled that labor relations boards will hear labor relations matters. United Food and Commercial Workers Union is looking good. Watch for a strong unionized base to develop in Canada and then sweep down into the US. Cold air from Canada may have a new meaning.

Callaway Stuffs?

Callaway Golf (NYSE:ELY) reported disappointing numbers. Look at the huge accounts receivable number of $258 million or 75% of the entire quarters revenues. Comparables do not compare favorably. Are the retailers dragging payments? Was the chain stuffed? Executive silence on this issue is loud.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Comverse to be pursued by Milberg

New York Law Journal reports that embattled law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman has been appointed by a New York judge as co-lead counsel in a consolidated suit regarding backdating of stock options at Comverse Technologies (Nasdaq:CMVT) this is a huge vote of confidence from the bench in the storied law firm. Of course if this firm implodes for some reason what happens to the lawsuit?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

infoUSA Designates Existing Director as Independent

infoUSA (NASDAQ:IUSA) established the position of lead independent director and appointed Bill L. Fairfield to serve in that capacity. Essentially they have taken an individual who has been closely tied to much of the existing corporate baggage and have designated him independent.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Weekend Follies July 22-23

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. The culprits are ICICI Bank (NYSE:IBN),
Connetics Corporation (Nasdaq:CNCT), Nanometrics (Nasdaq:NANO), Schnitzer Steel Industries(Nasdaq:SCHN)previously reported in this blog for inadequate financial reporting and PHH Corporation (NYSE:PHH)who announced that their financial reporting for the past four to five years is unreliable.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

PHH Blows Up

PHH Corporation (NYSE:PHH) announced that its Audit Committee concluded most of its financial statements in recent past have been unreliable and may not be relied upon. Thanks a lot PHH for sneaking that one out well after market close on Friday during the dog days of the summer. We are talking about statements for the past four to five years.