Thursday, May 6, 2010

Management Trolls

Investors who conduct stock research online (e.g. readers of this site, or those who use to access annual reports, as opposed to waiting for their snail mail copies) have likely spent at least some time in a stock message board. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misplaced advertising, spamming, falsities, and trolling that takes place on these boards that renders them virtually useless for the serious long-term investor. As such, it would seem highly unlikely that senior management would see it fit to spend any time perusing such non-valuable, non-credible arenas.

But that assumption would be wrong. The following exchange illustrates Blonder Tongue (BDR) COO Robert Palle's response to questions about management on the Yahoo! Message Board for BDR:

ajofny says: Where is this company going? The Chairman and CEO is 79, the COO is 63. What is its strategy?

newkram says: There is no strategy. management (such as it is) is just treading water till they retire or pass on ( whichever comes first). This is a company that should never have been allowed to go public. It is essentially a privately-held/family-owned company masquerading as a public company.

gands2 says: The family owned/family run image was reinforced when Palle, the co's president and largest shareholder, wasn't on the last CC, with Ms Nikoo the chairman's daughter as substitute. Nepotism an investor's red flag imo.

bobpalle22 says: At BT we are in the process of grooming the next generation of management. The last CC was reasonably benign as the numbers were in line with expectations. I chose to allow Ms Nikoo to represent me on this particular call. I think she performed wonderfully. Did you have any questions she could not answer? re my ownership....Come on girls, I am a buyer, and still a buyer, but the SEC window must be open to buy. Bob Palle

The other conversers are listed as male, leaving a question as to why Palle is referring to them as "girls".

How do we know this is actually Palle, and not some faker? The company issued a release to basically cancel his statement: "...[P]lease disregard Mr. Palle's message posted this morning and review the Company's press releases and SEC filings."

So here we have a company whose CEO recently underwent personal bankruptcy, and whose COO is going around responding to message board trolls. Meanwhile, just one day earlier, the company announced a new $4.1 million contract (last quarter's revenue: $7 million) for one of its brand new products. What to make of this company?

Disclosure: Author has a long position in shares of BDR


Anonymous said...

Were the loans taken out by Luksch non-recourse, or were they backed by any kind of collateral?

editor said...


Bob Palle said...

Why is everyone picking on me?

Rayhaan said...

@bob-coz u r an 'upstanding' creature of the 1st order
@saj-thx god u got outta dis 1....maybe such INTERESTING behaviour should could as a red flag!