Welcome, sir, glad to have your presence and your wordsmith talent here! Especially since you and I seem to hold equal or at least parallel opinions on this company. : )
I view RSH as a passenger balloon over a vast ocean. The sense that the water seems a little closer as comp sales decline is becoming more clear by the day and now there is a mad scramble to cast whatever ballast can be scapegoated over the side. That which cannot be tossed is busy blaming and being blamed directly. The result is chaos with the coherant competent looking for their life rafts! Selling the towers will provide the liquidity need to accellerate the company shrinkage that will occur in '02 and quite possibly beyond. The decisions to mute monthly sales reporting and alter the dividend payout schedule are peeks under the corporate cloak of an already naked mob of incompetent good-old boys who previously viewed their "club" memberships as their ticket into a private den of money grubbers rather than the heart of a well-oiled publicly held company.
CFO Newman's tenure will be limited in direct proportion to the number of naked toes he steps on as he struggles to inform the entrenched about which numbers really matter.
Few real turnarounds in corporate history are acheived solely by the hiring of an "outsider" to sit on the same old corporate throne. If this messiah "must" come from outside it should make everyone realize how clueless the remaining insider back benchers really are.
And with that we arrive at where RSH is today----a top-heavy management structure rife with Peter Principle types hoping that their golden parachutes do not turn into lead ballons.
Finally, I raise my Christmas toasting goblet to your quote:
"Without significant change, and soon, the future for RadioShack is neither bright nor lengthy. The company may appear sound, but so has many a ship prior to its "Unexpected Sinking".
Thank YOU, sir, for your welcome, your kind comments, and for your toast, which I herewith return with reference to your quote: " ... And with that we arrive at where RSH is today----a top-heavy management structure rife with Peter Principle types hoping that their golden parachutes do not turn into lead ballons ... "
Based on Insider trade filings, my perception of the prospects for the company derived from my experiences as an employee, my reading and interpretations of the Annual Report, and my sense of the overall prospect of the retail sector, I liquidated my holdings in RadioShack in early October of 2000, eliminating a position I had maintained for many years. Had I been merely an investor, not also an employee, I would probably have exited the stock about a year earlier. I wish I had. Still, I wasn't hurt by the transaction. I even set a personal target to consider repurchase should the stock post 5 consecutive closes above $55 with reasonable indication of continued upward trend. Any who have followed the stock are aware my "target" was never in danger.. There are VERY VERY serious problems within the company, and no "Messiah", not even Newman, can singlehandedly remedy the deteriorating situation. The sale and leaseback of Towers is probably a Newman-conceived strategy aimed at bolstering "on-paper" cash position and garnering tax advantage in order to ammeliorate the effects of negative sales-growth figures and declining profits. I fear such accountancy ledgerdermain will fail to bamboozle the market in the least. No point is served by recounting further anecdotes of personal frustration or disappointment. I feel the current management of this company is blinded to its role in the decline, and does no service to the stockholders, the employees, or the public. While certainly not on the order of Enron, this is indeed tragic. It need not be inevitable. I fear, however, it may be so.