Topic: Regulatory

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Subprime Friday…
March 3, 2008—Late Friday, three of the biggest names impacted by the subprime mess filed their 10Ks, which we’re sure was just coincidental: Washington Mutual (WM) filed at 4:30, IndyMac (IMB) filed at 4:57 and Countrywide (CFC) filed at 5:04. Words like turmoil, unprecedented, and distressed are sprinkled liberally throughout all three filings. Dow Jones has some […]

Lots of excuses at Office Depot…
February 27, 2008—Yesterday, Office Depot (ODP) announced disappointing fourth quarter results, and mentioned, almost in passing that CFO Patricia McKay, was leaving at the end of the week. We’re sure this sudden departure had nothing — absolutely nothing — to do with a disclosure in the 10-K that the company filed yesterday: We are subject to a […]

UnitedHealth says: blame it on bad PR…
February 26, 2008—Many years ago, I picked up the business section of the Sarasota Herald Tribune, a newspaper that I used to compete against, and saw this headline: “Negative Press Prompts Bank President to Resign”. Apparently, my articles in the Bradenton Herald questioning the accounting techniques at the now-defunct Key Florida Bank were too much for the […]

Ambushed Again?
January 9, 2008—Military vehicle supplier and once highflier Force Protection (FRPT) just can’t learn from its mistakes. South Carolina-based Force Protection has suffered a series of mishaps during the past year, including a series of “scathing” reviews from the U.S. Defense Contract Audit Agency and significant market share loss in its lucrative line of mine-resistant ambush-protected (“MRAP”) […]

Cause and effect at First Marblehead?
November 13, 2007—Like many companies in the student loan business, First Marblehead (FMD) has had a rocky year, falling over 40% so far this year as questions over industry practices grew. In the 10Q that First Marblehead filed late Friday, it used some new and blunt language about the scope of those problems and how the legislation […]

Life is so unfair, says Rambus!
October 19, 2007—Back at you, SEC bureaucrats. That’s more or less what Rambus Inc. (RMBS) said in two 10-Qs filed Wednesday. In both filings (first quarter and first 6 months), the company chose to list as a risk factor the “uncertainty” created by changing standards of corporate governance and disclosure. In particular, it griped that many “new […]

Friday night goggles at ITT…
October 15, 2007—It takes courage to tackle a document titled “Administrative Compliance Agreement.” Snore, snore and snore. But this agreement, attached to the 8-K that ITT Corporation (ITT) threw into the SEC filing pile Friday evening, turned out to be pretty exciting. ITT, a major defense contractor, pled guilty back in March to violating U.S. arms trafficking […]

Filling in some gaps in the Blackberry…
October 10, 2007—Earlier this year, Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIMM) was looking wan. In April the SEC ratcheted its investigation of the firm’s past stock option grant practices up to formal status. Federal prosecutors and Canadian regulators started poking around too, and the options mess led to restated financials and a suit by a Canadian pension fund. […]

Going Dutch…
August 30, 2007—In the United States, “going Dutch” usually means that each person eating at a restaurant or paying admission for entertainment pays for himself or herself, rather than one person paying for everyone. But at consumer goods giant Sara Lee Corporation (SLE), the term doesn’t have nearly the same meaning. In the separation agreement filed as […]

These United States of America…
July 3, 2007—We’re quite sure that all of those Congressmen who were whining last week during the House Financial Services hearing with the SEC about America losing its competitive edge when it came to financial markets, aren’t checking IPO Home on a regular basis. Yesterday, eight companies, including a major hedge fund and a risky start-up run […]