By Paul Hodgson – CCO and Senior Research Associate
As Events Team Leader Mark Magee says, who found these Executive Quotations of the Week Winner on July 3rd: “Thorsten Heins, CEO of Blackberry, and Edward John Smith, Captain of the Titanic, have a lot in common….
“There’s nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now,” Heins said on CBC’s Metro Morning, a local radio program in Toronto. “I’m not talking about the company as I, kind of, took it over six months ago. I’m talking about the company (in the) state it’s in right now.”
“Yes, it is very, very challenged at the moment — specifically in the U.S. market. The way I would describe it: we’re in the middle of a transition,” he said.
Frivolous: 1. unworthy of serious or sensible treatment, 2. Inappropriately silly
Early in the meeting, Watanabe offered the floor to the unnamed shareholder who had managed to place 18 mostly frivolous proposals on the AGM docket – including a call for Nomura to switch its toilets to squat-down Japanese style units to improve staff physique and discipline, and ultimately boost the stock price. The shareholder did not respond, and the proposals were dismissed.
Nomura shares closed up 2.2 percent [despite the lack of squat-down units], outperforming a 0.8 percent gain on the benchmark Nikkei average. Nomura has lost nearly half its market value since Watanabe took the helm, roughly in line with the performance of global rivals Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
Events Analyst Dovid Muyderman found this piece of lack of commitment in a June 25th 8-K from Pixelworks.
Development work on the product is currently expected to be performed through 2013. The actual timing and amount of the Company’s expenses and payments by the customer cannot be determined at this time, and there is no assurance that all amounts will be received by the Company. In any event, the Company expects its research and development expenses will exceed the amounts received from the customer. Upon the completion of the development, the Company expects to sell units of the product to the customer. However, there is no commitment or agreement from the customer for such sales at this time or assurance that the development will be successful.
How to commit to absolutely nothing in 211 words. You could hardly better it, could you? If my 13-year old daughter came up with that kind of agreement with me over, well, anything, and I wouldn’t put it past her, I’d flatly refuse.
Compensation Analyst Team Leader Scott Patterson found this nonsense in FRED’s 2012 proxy statement.
The Compensation Committee reviewed multiple retailers in an effort to develop a peer group. The Compensation Committee was unable to identify enough companies comparable to Fred’s mix of general merchandise and pharmacy sales, overall sales volume and the quantity, size and geographical location of our stores. Absent a defined peer group and based on its review of all relevant programs, the Compensation Committee believes that the total compensation program for executives of FRED’S is competitive with the compensation programs provided by other companies with which FRED’S competes.
Begs the question, does it not, how would they know? As Scott says: ‘Why not use the “companies with which FRED’S competes” then?’ Our multiline retail GICS industry class contains 19 companies, that might be a place to start. But really, come on, chaps, just read what you’ve just written and see if it makes sense to you. Doesn’t help that they can’t seem to decide whether the name of the company is upper or lower case.