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3 O'Clock High: An Earnings Bodyslam


Grey Lady indeed.

While you were Sleeping (off the effects of having a steel chair bounced off your skull from behind as you made that "Give me the title belt" pantomime gesture to the audience)...

I was doing some on-line research on the topic of large men in tights settling their soap-operatic differences through simulated grappling (in a steel cage, should events require) when I stumbled across the fact that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) reported big numbers this week.

Specifically, the men in tights increased revenues 25% year-over-year to $103 million which had the effect of bumping earnings to $13.6 million vs. 10.9 last year.

"Hmmmm... " I pondered, narratively, "I wrote about WWE last year (and a few other times). As I recall, I pondered getting long the stock but passed, mostly because I couldn't get comfortable with the McMahon's. I wonder how the stock is doing? Let's punch up the ticker..."

Those who are familiar with the professional wrestling art form will recognize this moment as that period during which the audience recognizes the Baby Face's immediate peril while the Face himself remains ignorant. It is the moment at which a nine-foot tall man holding a sledge hammer extends his hand to me, seemingly in friendship, and in a victory of stupid hope over experience, I consider accepting the gesture at face value.

The time between my deciding to punch up the ticker in a stock I passed on months ago and when the chart actually appears is analogous to my theatrically pondering whether or not I should shake the hand of a man who only moments ago tried to light me on fire.

I missed a 25% revenue and earnings gain. Obviously this isn't going to end with the stock just where I left it. It's going to end with me getting a sledge hammer to the face. Frankly if I don't know that by now then I kind of deserve what I have coming to...

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) 12-Months
Chair Shot Courtesy of

But knowing it's coming doesn't make the chair-shot that is missing a huge move feel any better.

I take solace in the idea that the great revival of WWE's stock will be covered in the New York Times business section without any reference to me about 12 months from now, as soon as the grey mare finishes covering the troubles in the video game sector they revealed last Sunday.

No bitterness, Minyans. I'm happy considering myself a sort of Spiritual Godfather to their stories (a mindset I'm offering to Prof. Peppy most every morning). The greater point in observing the paper's "Sweeping up after the elephants" position in the newsflow parade is that it's where they generally stay, along with most print media covering business.

And the great points flowing from that are:

1. It's not at all an overstatement to say that reporters like Herb, good reporters who stick by their guns especially when bullies try to silence them, are providing a service to society. Good, insightful reporting isn't just a right to which we are all protected, it is skill too seldom practiced.

2. When I read "Wal-Mart Extending Dominance of the Grocery Business" in the same NY Times that I'm mocking as being half a year (or more) late on the video game industry it doesn't make me mad at the paper for being wrong. Nor do I see evidence of a conspiracy to hurt me, Jeffmacke, as a Safeway (SWY) shareholder in the headline.

I just think how wrong they are, make a note to myself to make fun of them later, when even they see that they were wrong, then look to buy a little more Safeway stock.

It simply feels better to go through life as the guy holding the sledge hammer.
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Position in Safeway

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