I bet that Hector is pretty happy these days, stocks going up , the board should be happy on Friday. I just hope that the board realizes that Hector has raised the bottom line by dedstroying people lives by eliminating the jobs. That coild happen to any of us at anytime. So many people in the age group of 55 to 59 have been forced out by claiming to have elimunated the job. BULL CRAP. You got screwed so that Hector could raise the bottom line. These long termers have gotten Ferro to where they are today. You owe them more than just money you owe them respect. With stock prices like they are today who would touch the 401k plan anyway. The big boys keep getttinhg those stock options and bonuses and we get shafted.
Even with the recent rise in the stock price, I don't think there is any reason for Hector to celebrate. Let's look at the facts:
Ferro stock price was at $23.5+ in Feb 1994. Six years later, the stock price is $23.
S&P 500 was about 454, six years ago. Yesterday, it closed at 1460. In short, while the average stock was up 222% in 6 years, Ferro was basically unchanged in 6 years.
The problems facing Ferro are numerous. The free-fall of the Euro is a major problem (the quarter point rate hike today is not helping ). The impending slowdown in the US economy will be challenging (1st quarter's 18.6 million annualized rate of auto sales cannot be sustained). The rise in the price of raw materials is another headache. The underperformance of the 401k plan is a significant liability.
Apart from a generally incompetent and boorish high-level management, Ferro has many things going for it. But if I were performing so poorly, I would rather have a root canal every day of the year than go and face Ferro shareholders. I would not be in Hector's shoes for all of Bill Gates' money. Or for all the tea in China. Or, if you prefer, for all the beef in Argentina.
Ferro's earnings should be announced next Tuesday or Wednesday, if history is any guide. I can't find an official date on Yahoo or my other usual sources.
Rohm and Haas (ROH) missed their number by 6 cents (56 cents versus 62 cents) and the stock lost 16.5% today. Part of the blame was attributed to higher raw materials costs for its performance polymer division. More ominously, ROH warned that earnings for the next quarter may be 10% lower than the quarter just ended if raw materials costs stayed high.
Ferro must be facing similar raw material price concerns. Moreover, the recent action in the stock market and consequent loss of about $1.5 trillion in market capitalization will have a significant negative effect on auto and home sales. So Ferro is looking down a twin barreled gun. Significantly higher raw material prices and slowing demand (historically, it takes about 6 months for market cap losses to show up in reduced demand - though I suspect we will see it sooner this time).
In any case, the earnings report to be released next week will be most interesting.
The Company is diverse in products and in geography. A slowdown in auto represents only 16% of their sales (see website)and US auto probably less. Also, home sales are more important in other countries where their ceramic and color products are sold.
I also think the materials they buy are diverse and tend to be stable. They certainly haven't sent out any warning signals.
<Will the Ferro stock continue to move upward? Will anyone be prepared to ask questions at the Stock Holders meeting. Or will thingws continue as status que since the stock is moving. We lost an additional 12 talented employees to job elimination. wow. What were these people doing that we can eliminate the people and the work. Or will more people just have to do more work as usual. Who knows, we'll just have to wate and see. Happy Easter to all.