Friday, September 9, 2016

Business: at FLOW, Good News Quickly Becomes Bad News

apologies to the band, Modest mouse, for the headline

"wish me luck"

FLOW CEO Garfield "Garry" Sinclair was heard to appeal for fortune and providence via his staffers.

he knew he was going to need them.

indeed, Sinclair was not even  through his famously polished annual summary before the heckling started.

What started as sporadic 'fire" turned into an all-out assault on the telecoms giant. ironic, since the CEO's spiel included news of a profit - the first in a decade (nine AGMs exactly) and, at a billion-and-change, quite a sprucy performance.

but the shareholders, punch-drunk from the "long winter of discontent" were in no mood to cut the CEO and the Board (with new Chairman mark Kerr-Jarrett at the helm) any slack in the face of the classic "fightin' words" : No Dividend.

Noted minority shareholder activist orett Staple flatly told the directors that he did NOT believe there was a profit, raising the unsavoury (and, in my view unfounded) implication that the Board had signed off on a cooking of the books.

After a near three-hour shellacking, culminating in a rejection of the company motion to retain auditors KPMG and set Auditors' remuneration, it was clear that Sinclair's wish was not going to be granted, except to say that he was lucky to have survived.

With darkness descending on Kingston's Knutsfoed Court, the much-anticipated raffle brought some sorely needed levity to a nightthat none on the head table will be anxious to repeat, especially with the fresh spectre of a first-quarter loss now hanging over the enterprise.

We have high hopes for a FLOW rebound (subject to the revealed intentions of new corporate parent, Liberty Global), but we can't resist going out with another Modest Mouse title (look them up

We Were Doomed Even Before the Ship Even Sank

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