The last we
, its stock was battered after a series of financial missteps and financial management sidesteps.
Now this: Yesterday the company issued a press release saying that
Prez Herb (whatta name!) Baum was joining Action's board. Just one question: Why did they announce it yesterday when, according to Action's March 1 proxy, Baum has been on the board since Feb. 1. (Gotta watch these guys!)
The buzz on the boards, prior to this announcement, had been that Hasbro is likely to buy Action, which owns the license to Hasbro's Winner's Circle die-cast metal race cars. Action's stock, which was 7 3/4 as recently as three weeks ago, closed yesterday at 11 15/16. The press release with Baum's appointment didn't hurt the rumor mill.
But another explanation could be that Hasbro is looking out for its own interests. According to stats from the
U.S. Toy Manufacturer's Association
Web site, the Winner's Circle cars dropped from No. 6 to No. 19 in unit sales last year. Even worse, in terms of dollar sales, the cars ranked No. 17 in 1998 and didn't make the top 20 in 1999. (Ouch!)
And think about this: If Hasbro was going to buy Action, would it put an exec on its board?
Hasbro officials declined comment; Action didn't return our calls.
Garbage is good:
A sign of the quality (or lack thereof) of a market is the quality of the stocks that are behind its rise. (I'm actually just making that up but it sounds as good as anything else I've read.) Keeping that in mind, I went back and looked at the performance of the
Greenberg Garbage Index, formed last December. It's filled with companies whose stories, historically, have been better than their substance. Since inception, the Garbage Index is up 84%.
That's 84% in 3 months!
If you go back to the
original column, I mentioned that when
, one of the oldest names in short-selling circles, starts rising, then we're all in trouble.
Well, the biggest gainers are
-- part of the biotech bubble -- with a gain of 335% and (you guessed it) CopyTele, up 254%. (Awright, it's up to 2 31/32 from 84 cents, but it's the principle that matters! Seen the
Pulled something at the last minute!
Herb Greenberg writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at
email@example.com. Greenberg also writes a monthly column for Fortune.
Mark Martinez assisted with the reporting of this column.