Friday, September 08, 2006

Hewlett Packard Broke the Law

California's Attorney General feels that Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HP Nasdaq:HP) broke the law when HP investigated its own board members. The AG's investigation continues but they are not sure about laying charges. How much time will senior management spend running the company and how much time will they spend trying to keep themselves out of jail? Was the investigation necessary? Who will eat HP's lunch when they inevitably miss something? Watch for an SEC investigation. They have to start one or look overly permissive of wrong doing.

Kraft House Cleaning

The world awaits Altria's (NYSE:MO) and Kraft's (NYSE:KRF)next move on the further disposition of Kraft. In the meantime the former President of Kraft "Roger Deromedi" reaches agreement on his termination. (You do need to tidy up matters such as those). Roger Deromedi bailed in early June to pursue other interests. In the meantime the market is somewhat disappointed with Altria's dividend announcement. Have we slipped a gear or two?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hewlett Packard Governance Woes

Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HP, Nasdaq:HP) wanted to remove George Keyworth from the board. He refused stating that he was elected by the shareholders. Now the company says they will not nominate him again at the next AGM. HP's beef with Keyworth is alleged media leaks during the Carly Fiorina era. Patricia Dunn, the current chairwomen, had electronically surveiled the phones of ten directors and subsequently is fingering Keyworth as the culprit. She claims to have legal advice that the surveillance was legal. HP is to file SEC documents on Wednesday Sep 6 with so called full disclosure. I am not sure how a company can conduct electronic surveillance on members of its own board. This also begs many governance questions as to what Boards can and may do when they are dissatisfied with the boss. If shareholders where to vote for Directors they should support those who best represented shareholder interests. Look for better explanations as to why Thomas Perkins resigned during this time. Previous SEC filings made no mention of specific reasons. Was Thomas Perkins gagged? In the meantime HP makes good gear

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Weekend Follies

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: Bristol Myers (NYSE:BMY), Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL), ExpressJet Holdings (NYSE:XJT),