Last Monday, I posted an item about Spectrum Brands (SPC) getting creative with its five-year performance chart. While that sort of thing might have seemed a bit trivial, it turns out that it was actually foreshadowing for far bigger problems at Spectrum, many of which my buddy David Phillips detailed in this excellent post on his blog, 10QDetective.

Yesterday wasn’t such a good day for Spectrum, or its investors. Early in the morning, Spectrum provided updated guidance on its earnings and by mid-day, S&P lowered its corporate debt rating. By the end of the day, the stock had dropped a whopping 27% on the news.

The lesson here? Sometimes a warning sign may seem trivial. But if a company is monkeying around with something as simple as a 5-year performance chart, chances are there’s far bigger things going on.

One final reminder: comments on the SEC’s compensation proposals are due on Monday. Here’s where you can submit your own comments on the proposed rules. And here’s where you can read what other people are saying.