Entries by Sandy Tilney

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A very exclusive club…

The March 6, 2006 post on Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) noted that the company, along with Longview Fibre (LFB) and Southern Copper (PCU) were the only three New York Stock Exchange listed companies that did not issue stock options to management and directors. The list was compiled by downloading a file from Value Line that showed […]

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Retention Agreements

Daniel Loeb of Third Point Management often provides entertaining copy in his attachments to Third Point’s public filings. Take for example, his letter to the CEO of Ligand Pharmaceuticals last fall when he filed a 13D. Loeb quoted one analyst as saying that the CEO was “the worst CEO in biotech” and that it was a wonder that the board […]


Irrational Exuberance Defined

In memory of the tech wreck that occurred 6 years ago today when the NASDAQ closed at 5048 (intraday high of 5132), I would like to nominate JDS Uniphase as the poster boy of the era.  Consider the following idiotic justification for writing off $40 billion of goodwill that was part of the footnotes of […]

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Rule 10b5-1

There are hundreds of filings each week disclosing sales of company stock according to pre-arranged plans.  These so-called 10b5-1 plans, require an executive to reserve a certain number of shares and then commit to selling a set amount each month (the normal duration) for a predetermined period of time.  The intent is clearly a good […]

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Free lunch

A star (definitely not a gold star) this week goes to Fieldstone Investment Corporation (FICC) and United Online (UNTD) for finding a new way to enrich insiders at the expense of shareholders. FICC has instituted option grants that vest over four years and come with “dividend equivalent rights”. Those rights allow the option holder to […]

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Mini KKR hedge fund

When Michael Price triples his stake and takes a 5% interest in a company, you pay attention. In this case, MVC Capital is the charred remains ($178 million net asset and market value) of a fund that invested in technology issues and lost 55% of its book net worth in the three years ending in […]

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Oil and Gas Companies Undervalued?

Energy Partners Ltd (Market Cap: $1 billion) and Range Resources (Market Cap: $2 billion) filed executive severance plan descriptions at the end of last week that read as if they are worried about a change in control. Both stocks have more than doubled over the past year, but management may be feeling vulnerable given all […]