I don’t write on business issues much even though I do follow them pretty closely. The main reason I don’t write on these issues is that they tend to be specific to the business or industry and rarely are they a broad or pervasive issue. However, here’s one that is spreading faster than ants on a picnic….HOPE!
Sears Holdings (the company that operates both KMart and Sears stores) and Sprint Nextel Corp both reported disastrous financial results from the previous quarter. Over the past couple of years, both companies have managed to become “Worst in class” in their respective industries.
Both companies had their analysts calls today. After a recap of the results of the quarter it is typical for the company management to answer questions from analysts that follow the stock. As I reviewed the information from the analyst calls I noticed a trend; both companies have horrible strategies, are executing horribly and have no real specifics for turning their stock plunge around. In spite of that, both companies hold out HOPE that things will get better, HOPE that they can raise their stock price, HOPE that they can get customers to forget their past experiences with them and buy from them again.
Apparently the “Audacity of HOPE” is not just limited to presidential politics! I suspect that HOPING for improvement will work about as well for shareholders of Sears Holdings and Sprint Nextel Corp. as it will for those of us that are shareholders in America, if Barack Obama is elected President.