Enough about Fleckenstein and
, awreeeeaaaady. Emails predictably overflowing with messages that he was wrong about Dell and that I remain a dope for quoting him. Only, he wasn't wrong (though I may be a dope, but that's for totally
reasons!) You read it right, he
wrong. Go back and read the original column and you'll see that he said Dell would meet estimates for the quarter, which was reported last night. The quarter he was worried about then and is worried about now is the current quarter.
Go back and read it! Get yer facts straight before you clog up my email.
Fleck's guess was that at some point before the end of this quarter, Dell will have to guide lower, and he specifically was talking about operating income.
investment gains and other padding. (After "wampum" is the way he describes it.) Strip that out from last quarter and you get 16.4 cents, not 19 cents. That's a 4% gain in operating income.
Four measly percent!
Not even beating estimates by a full penny, as some media report, after subtracting the investment income. Hardly home-run hitting. Says Fleck, "I'm sick of people who don't know anything and then get bailed out by the stock market. Too many people were born on third base and think they hit triples." (Badda-bing.) Don't like what he says? Take it up with him personally when he chats with
Tuesday night at 5 on
. His only request: "Yahoos need not apply," if ya know what he means.
So the Mick (as in Drexler) is back firmly in charge of
and promises to make it more appealing to older folk, like ... ME! So,
was the problem? No, actually, I still maintain my family's Gap purchases have declined because the quality is
spotty. Same style. Same size. Different fit. Something's wrong with that concept. (That's what happens when they ship the stuff out to plants all over the world ... to one country where large means "40" and another where it means "48" ... at least that's
guess.) Never mind about that stuff, tho, because love him or loathe him (and there are folks in both camps) the Mick is a great retailer ... not one you want to bet against (or so said Gordon Segal, founder of privately held
Crate & Barrel
in one of my recent "Against the Grain" columns in
.) Never met Mick but I'm told he's not a fan, especially after I penned a piece in the
San Fran Chronnie
a few years back about how he was spending more time trying to run Johnny Rockets, the
'50s hamburger chain, than Gap, which at that time was running itself. Some folks thought he was spending
much time trying to micromanage the Rocket, where he was (is?) a very large investor.
Speaking of food: This
morning's col on
brought an earful from investors/customers who are impressed, simply, by the length of the wait. (Four hours one recent night at the unit in Bethesda, Md. "I would not wait that long for any restaurant," writes Michael Faranoff.) You and me both. And remember
yesterday's knock on Jersey tomatoes?
insists I haven't lived until I've eaten a big fat Jersey tomato with a little salt. (But I ask: If they're so good, why do ya need the salt?!)
On to more important things:
Yesterday, I also noted how
won by a landslide over
brand in my son's science-fair project. Slight clarification: It was Charmin Ultra, not plain ole Charmin. Hearing from
of folks who insist that, if I think Charmin is great, I oughta try Charmin with Aloe. (Something to think about after a trip to Meheeco.) But I digress ... if you don't trust the veracity of my son's test, listen to reader
, who writes: "What you may have missed is that Charmin left
shelves (briefly) recently and was replaced by Northern. I won't tell you they couldn't give away the Northern, but I can tell you they made a special mailing to all card holders to let us know Charmin not only was back, but they were offering a rebate!" ... Finally, still getting lambasted for my comments on
. This time the scolding comes ... from my own mother! "Why do you hate Penney's so much?" she asks me
as we're walking from the plane!
... "Well, it's not that I hate it, it's just ... ," I mumble. "Well," she continues, "I love it ... and if you want to see lousy go into a
," which is owned by
. End of
discussion ... and (thankfully) this edition of ... the Hotline.
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.