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Tenneco Inc. Message Board

  • Kevin_Keggin Kevin_Keggin Apr 13, 1998 7:14 AM Flag

    Got my proxy

    I finally got my proxy. I was a little worried whether I would get it, since my stock had been held up in probate for several years and my mother sold it to me immediately after she acquired clear title. But it finally came and I am prepared to do what I can to help shareholder equity and employee morale.
    So, Captain, how should I vote?

    #1 Easy-- vote the bums out, right?
    #2 Independent accountants-- How should I go on this one?
    #3 Shareowner proposal-- Management is against it, so it seems that I should be supporting it, right? Just tell me how to vote on this one, Captain, and I'll do it.

    SortNewest  |  Oldest  |  Most Replied Expand all replies
    • Thank you for asking.
      Here is the recommendations on voting your Tenneco proxy:

      Item #1 (election of 4 Directors): Recommend voting WITHHELD.
      If you don't like Dana Mead and all he represents this is an easy one. But the WITHHELD status should be given equally to
      the other three directors. Look at Page 28 of the proxy booklet and you own eyes should be able to detect that the (management
      supplied even) performance graph of TEN has been below both the Peer Group and the S&P 500's performance since 12/1996. So if you
      vote for this group of 4 scalawags you are telling Dana that you approve of the previous year's performance under his helm.
      Obviously you don't want to convey that message. Of the group of 4, two had been appointed by the Board in January 1998, and one (Ms.
      Eickhoff) appears to be brand new. In light of the sub-standard performance, it is far better to reject (with a WITHHELD vote) the
      entire group, since the 3 "reasonably new" persons have been handpicked by the current Board (i.e., Dana).
      Vote WITHHELD to reject what the Board has done with Tenneco in th past year. (Unfortunately the wording of the ballot does not permit a more appropriate "Reject" vote; WITHHELD is as close as it gets.)

      Item #2 (Independent Accountants): Recommend voting AGAINST.
      Arthur Anderson is a fine accountancy; However, the proxy statement booklet provides you (the stockholder) on Page 31 with
      no clue at all of how many consecutive years Anderson has been the accountant for TEN. Every five to ten years independent
      public accountants should be changed, just so you have the feeling that they are really "independent". A long term relationship
      with your auditor just has got to build up a cozy relationship. A change of auditors would naturally have the new firm question
      some of the methods and procedures built into the financial picture of a company. It just seems to be a good idea to change once
      in a while; and it will keep the in-house auditors more on thier toes.

      Item #3 (Shareholder Proposal): Recommend a vote FOR.
      Stockholder J. Quilter (God Bless him) uses his right as a stockholder to put to a vote of the stockholder something that
      has bothered him. Currently some number of shareholders apparently just sign and date the proxy and send it in; this allows
      management (under their current rules) to vote the proxy the way they want. This proposal will only allow proxies to be counted the way
      they are explicitly voted. This certainly makes sense, even though management's arguement is that substantially all other public
      companies do it this way. It's time to change.

      Finally --- to further hammer home a message to management, you have my permission to print this message and include it with your proxy. This message is available to everyone on the Internet worldwide. God Bless the Internet for ease of communications and sharing of thoughts.

      • 2 Replies to Captain_America98
      • If the reasons listd in the Captain's message aren't enough, take a good look at the cash position of the company. It may
        appear on the surface to be adequate, however at the end of each quarter, they will approach major customers asking to prepay
        receivables in the millions of dollars prior to the quarter's end. At the beginning of the next quarter, they will give the account the
        money back in the form of a roll over of receivables for 3-6 months; always careful to have the payments conclude within the
        calendar year. Always a nice way of making the picture at the quarter's close much rosier.

        Also may want to ask how many new patents have been applied for or issued within the automotive group. Would suspect very few as most of the company's emphasis has been placed on reducing costs (ha ha) and maintaining or growing share in an ever decreasing market. They continue to put a new dress on an old gal (no offense ladies) to mask the lack of innovation.

        Ride control aftermarket, all manufacturers, was 52,000,000 units in 1982. !997 market was 32,000,000. Look to MEMA (Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association) for additional and more current info.

      • Thanks for the advice, Captain. Your logic was impeccable. When there is so much employee bitterness, and the stock is merely treading water in the midst of a raging bull market, that indicates to me that the management should be tossed out. I'm sorry I have only 48 votes to cast, but that's all we got from probate, and I have been reluctant to buy any more at the present time given all the negativism that surrounds the company. I certainly hope that things will begin to change for the better.

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