no slapps: I to have a past connection with MCI and Worldcom. In about 1995 I started an account with a professional money manager. One of the stocks he bought for me without my approval was MCI. I knew MCI was a real company and I would not have resisted including it in the portfolio. Later, of course MCI was acquired by Worldcom and I told my manager that Bernie Ebbers was a con-man and that I thought Worldcom would go to zero. Since I could not prove it and I did not want to pay him and then tell him how to do his job I allowed Worldcom to remain in the portfolio. Still later, Worldcom offered to buy Sprint for $125,000,000,000. This was a patently absurdly priced acquisition and was eventually scotched by the regulators. When I received the prospectus for the Sprint acquisition I copied the Worldcom balance sheet showing $40,000,000,000 of goodwill and told my manager that their was no way with its very meager reported profits and suspect balance sheet that it had any economic goodwill and that someday they would have to write off that goodwill. At that time, I also insisted that he sell the Worldcom stock and the shares of the new MCI spinoff. I managed to get about $20 per share and I avoided the subsequent wipeout. I am telling you this long story to explain that even though Worldcom's stock appeared to be performing very well for quite a while the company itself was rotten to the core and cooking the books ever since Ebbers got control of it and started to make serial over-priced acquisitions to impress Wall Street with Worldcom's rapid growth. This kind of situation is what I am thinking about when I refer to Wall Street morons. They simply don't know how to price stocks and the they can't tell the difference between a con-man and an honest person.
Now I don't say that the Cohen's have done a really great job lately, but in their industry, who has? And it is not easy to come out with popular new products like clockwork. If it was, you and I would be doing it instead of wasting time debating this subject. My support of them is more of a "lifetime achievement award". I contend that they are honest and do the company's accounting correctly. They haven't given us all the cash and they were slow to react to asian competition and the change in the retail market. But they haven't cheated their shareholders and they haven't blown the many years of accumulated profits. And for your information they they don't do business with K-Mart which shows some foresight. The shareholders of Fleming can only wish that their managers had such judgement. So I again request that you forget the idea to try to get them to sellout so we stockholders can make a quick buck. They aren't likely going to do it. My offer still stands.