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3 O'Clock High: Jumbo Minyan Mailbag


"RadioShack may bounce but a turtle has to have his pride"

The Ghost of Christmas Future

Minyan "Magic" Mark R
. writes:

I think you mentioned this before, but after reading the Mailbag from the Buzz n' Banter last Wednesday you might want to mention again that companies cannot recognize revenue (i.e. Record the Sale) until a gift card is used. Retailers can pocket the cash, earn interest and hope the recipients love their gift cards but a "sale" in January is basically a December sale delayed.

You're right, the holiday selling spike is flattening.

While you are spiritually correct about the sale actually occurring when the gift card is sold, not redeemed, the retailers still have discretion over how they treat the sale.

As you might suspect, the retailers are reluctant to draw a ton of attention to the fact that .10 - .20 of every gift card dollar is never redeemed. Buying gift cards is akin to using an ATM that charges 8% sales tax and shreds every 5th bill.

In regards to the Holiday Season starting ever earlier and ending ever later, it's only a matter of time before a Macy's (FD) is playing a Muzak rendition of Jingle Bells 24/7/365.

That Giant Sucking Sound

Minyan JT "Marlin" writes:


I feel the pain of your Comcast (CMCSK) experience. Comcast (in my opinion) sucks. They suck, suck and, to be brutally honest, Comcast really does suck. I have one suggestion, my friend, from one warrior of 'net land to another: Verizon (VZ) DSL. By the way, I switched from Comcast cable to DirecTV (DTV) as well, because of Comcast's rates.


While no one enjoys both throwing and watching a good tantrum more than I do, my own experience is that nature abhors an annoyance vacuum. To be a tech consumer is to concede that you will, at some point soon, end up in the purgatory of a Tech Support Line phone tree. (My personal favorite portion of which is the repeated recorded suggesting that I seek help from the company web site. It takes a certain Evil Genius to to repeatedly say that to a customer who you know is calling because they can't get on-line. I respect that.)

Please send my regards to the disembodied voices at 1-800-DIRECTV.

Can RadioShack (RSH) possibly get worse?

Minyan "Wyatt" RRP

Macke Oh Macke, regarding your Buzz from this morning, are you bullish RadioShack (RSH) or did you choose that picture of Snapper because he looks sleepy?

Snapper: Dozing or a coiled spring of Buying Power?



There's going to be a longside trade in RadioShack, if only because it's hard to imagine the newsflow getting any worse in the near term. We've got massive volume and a nearly 10% drop on the stock today in response to a huge EPS miss, a guidance gutting, seemingly grotesque mismanagement on an operational level (wireless inventory writedowns... you guys didn't see that coming, huh?) and, oh yeah, the CEO seems to have lied on his resume' then engaged in the most ham-fisted cover-up since the last Olympic skating judging fiasco.

If the stores manage to stay open all weekend without getting burned to the ground by an angry mob of torchwielding shareholders the market may consider it a moral victory. Which is a pretty low bar for the company but, still, I'm not getting long the stock here.

Were I short it, I would take a lot off today. Were I long the stock I would chug a gallon of Maalox and look to dump the first bounce, largely out of spite.

Finally, were I on the board I would be building a gallows right on the front lawn of corporate HQ. The last quarter gives you all the reason you need to can the CEO but even if he were great he'd still have to go. He lied then lied again (using oily legal speak).

As a board, you simply can't afford to give a guy who would act like that a second chance.
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