On housecleaning…

June 21, 2007

images-15.jpegLast Friday afternoon, a reporter from Dow Jones contacted me to ask me my opinion on this 8K filed by Oakley (OO). The reporter — Brett Philbin — said that when he contacted the company about the filing, a spokesman described it to him as a “housecleaning item”. Brett told me that he also talked to three analysts — one who saw it as writing on the wall that a deal — as announced earlier this morning — was in the works. Two others said it meant nothing.

Because I had my own deadline, and because I actually took last weekend off from digging through the filings, I forgot about it until Monday morning, when Brett pinged me again. Was it a sign that a deal was in the works? Unfortunately, I was inconclusive. While there were some indications, there wasn’t the same smoking gun that I’ve seen in other deals that I’ve caught pre-announcement in the past, like Golf Galaxy (old ticker:GGXY) and AtRoad (old ticker: ARDI). And, the fact that the company didn’t include the actual document in the 8K — just a description of the changes — made it hard to parse for the subtle sorts of language changes that I like to hone in on.

Just another reminder that while it’s relatively easy to spot these sorts of things, interpreting them is more of an art than a science. I’ll be talking about this a bit more in the coming weeks. Clearly, the two analysts that Brett spoke to on Friday — I don’t know who they are — are probably feeling pretty silly right now, since they’re paid big money to make these sorts of calls. Then again, hindsight is always 20-20.

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