Potbelly was one of those disasters you could see coming. Ever since its IPO, its stock has done little more than head lower, and for good reason.
The Container Store is finding out that a publicly traded retailer has to balance investors' needs with protection of the company's special character.
Whenever a retailer with a good concept goes public, the challenge is to balance the need to feed The Street with protecting what made it so special.
In the recent quarter or two, companies -- especially retailers -- blamed the weather for dismal performance. But on Tuesday, retailers had to blame something else.
It's rare that a company confesses to creating a fiction, but that's exactly what has happened in recent days in the bizarre tale of Let's Gowex.
Investors are lukewarm to its latest moves, but the company could easily be sold.
Its broader legal issues coincide with a slowdown in growth.
Disclosure: I've done zero work, and have no intentions to do any work, on Chicago Bridge & Iron CBI, which was the focus of an accounting takedown by Prescience Point Research Group.But I do have a take on CBI's response -- and I wouldn't be saying anything if it wasn't for the nature of its response.Not this part:CB&I has reviewed the report and strongly disagrees with its assumptions and conclusions.But this part:Notably, the report warns readers to assume that the short-selling firm and/or its affiliates hold short positions in CB&I common stock and that they stand to realize significant gains in the event that CB&I's stock price declines. CB&I believes that this conflict of interest should cause the report and its conclusions to be viewed skeptically.To which I say: Of course they're conflicted -- but no more or less conflicted than somebody own owns the stock. Prescience Point, which says it spoke with the company twice during its research, discloses that it's short at the top of its report.This ridiculous concept of trying to deflect critical commentary because the author is short is feeble, amateurish and, well, absurd, unless the company also criticizes bullish reports by analysts who it believes are conflicted because they own the stock.Reality: Everybody, if they own or short a stock, is conflicted. Everybody talks their book. That's Wall Street.
If all else fails, or at least the stock isn't sizzling the way it should be, change the story. That's the moral of SolarCity, with news that it's planning to acquire Silevo, an unknown maker of high-efficient solar panels. The deal, in SolarCity's words, will make it the "most vertically integrated solar company in the world." We can slice it and dice it any way we want, but to Reality Check the most striking part of the the deal was the role Elon Musk, SolarCity's chairman: He opened the call and pretty much ended it. Until now, he has has been much more of a silent partner at a company run by his cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive. The obvious question: Why do this deal?
News that SolarCity is getting into the manufacturing business has certainly goosed its stock, as the company gets renewed "story stock"Ã¿Â status, with the added bonus of the Elon Musk afterglow.