Ahh, those predictions of future business. We're now
seeing how shaky they really were in good times - merely
linear extrapolations of order data.
To the businesses, they were a critical but small, component
of the total equation. Then there are the analysts who,
because of their omniscience, looked at a much larger picture,
and how the company, along with its customers and rivals,
fit into it.
Visibility is now the buzzword. And we see that
nobody has it, and everybody wants "the other guy to
provide it." How silly! I must say, the analysts, who
are paid big bucks to prognosticate accurately, seem like
a bunch of phonies. "Yeah, I was wrong, but nobody
could see this coming, that it could be so severe..."
Gee, fella, your ability to do that is exactly why you were
being paid so handsomely!
How convenient for them to have Regulation FD to
try to shield them from the fact that so many of them were
just actors, mouthing scripts that were handed to them through
their back channels. How I recall the words of a sage on
TV (I can't remember who it was, sadly) to the effect that
"These hot young fund managers who have never seen
a downturn won't be able to get a job teaching kindergarten
[when things come apart as they are now]." Same should
go for most of the analysts.
JDSU is probably the most forthright in it's almost
childlike innocence. "We've never seen anything
like this, and we see no prospects for it getting better."
Well, the good news is that other than the disruption of
16,000 lives and the closing of facilities all over the
world (ever see a company town after the company leaves?),
a couple of analysts came on TV to speak well of the dead.
Great, solid, well run company with huge cash on the books,
etc. No customers, No visibility, but a real buy here. If
that attitude catches hold, perhaps as we near the end of
earnings announcements, we will finally hear that "Gee,
this visibility concept really is silly, since when did
we ever really have the ability to predict the future, anyway?"
That might help a lot. Perhaps my dilemma springs from the
fact that the Nasdaq suddenly is going through a micro version
of flat trading for months which is a replica of the years
of flat trading on the Dow. A miniature "Alan's Alley!"
- Charlie Miller
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