A CEO said to me at his annual meeting: "It is good of you to come. I become tired of presenting to the board of directors who already know everything I am about to say."
Along the same lines, when I told my Father that I was first going to the QCOM annual meeting he was rather dismissive. Told me about heading up to the annual meeting of his fortune 500 company and meeting the participants on the way down saying it was already over.
It is true that the legal responsibilities for an annual meeting can usually be fulfilled in just a few minutes. But when I got to Qualcomm's, there were crowds of interested stockholders--many of whom would not fit into the 500 seat auditorium of building Q so monitors and seats were set up in the lobby of that amazing building. The next year they began using the San Diego Symphony Hall downtown.
What brings it to mind is that the QCOM annual meeting is going on right now and I'm in Montana. The CEO of that company knows that many of us are very involved in his decisions and his presentations. I believe he tailors his acts and thoughts to our desires. And the enthusiasm of the company is contagious.
Raven has me and a few other people who sometimes show up for their annual meeting. I really suspect that my presence added to the feeling of responsibility Ron Moquist felt to make a good presentation--not that he wouldn't have anyway, but there was an extra spark because of the presence of some interested stockholders.
I go to the annual meetings of several of my smaller companies when it is convenient and Raven even when it is slightly inconvenient. Please join me and make Dan Rykhus' et al day even better than it already was going to be. Usually the third week in May.
Well, the meeting is a week from today. I am scheduled to ride my bicycle across Nebraska beginning the following weekend. And there is no way I can leave my old dog for 3 whole weeks. So maybe I'll miss the Raven annual meeting for the second year in a row. I'm not happy about that, but it is a long drive (700 miles to and 700 back followed by several hundred to that biking trip. I might, but it would be a superhuman effort if I did.
Meanwhile, I did sell a few of my Raven shares yesterday and some calls today. I am well over my 10% limit and so have been wanting to dispose of some of the excess for some time. I was not real pleased with sale of those $35 August calls at $1,85 and was just about to move my limit up when the things were traded. So I'll live with that decision and, as I've regularly said, a PE above 20 for Raven seems an appropriate time to be selling. I also had some idea that the next earnings report was not apt to be real great, but that the one in November may well be. So I did not choose to be exposed to a possible sudden rise in price at options expiration in November.
Earnings report on the 20th as I recall. I've not done much of a review and frankly, I have more trouble analyzing Raven since engineering became so much the larger part of their success story.
My wife and I went to the Hershey Co. meeting many years back and they passed out info sheets showing how many shares the directors held. We were upset that my wife with 200 shrs held more then one of the directors. He had 50 shrs. Some people have no pride. Good idea though to go to meetings, Went to Corning Glass few yrs back and Rorer Amchem. My wife met Martha Stewart at her meeting. Still talks about it. Enjoyed a few days off and played a little golf.
Yes, I would like for anyone who is made a director to own shares in the company. But most companies recently seem to give shares to their directors which I find quite offensive. I've never understood what it is that a director does which is valuable enough to warrant compensation of $50,000 plus some stock each year. And, of course, expenses.
But I wrote about that a couple years ago and am probably getting near to harping upon it now.
I suppose some people are so valuable to a particular company that we want them on our board even at great cost and even if they won't buy their own shares. Brent Scowcroft on QCOM's board comes to mind. Raven might be sorely tempted to add a political figure from the army or defense department for example to help grease the wheels for Aerostar in Washington. I would not like that, but it might still be prudent.