E An Unusual Sunday Blog

Today will be a Sunday with a difference for global-investing.com subscribers. We had a busy time last week keeping up with quarterly results being published by our stock-pick companies because they are in a rush to beat the August doldrums, when market volumes fall and analysts go on vacation.

One of our stocks reported at the crack of dawn local London time on Thursday, July 26, because of the expected pile-up of other reports that day from Britain. There was no way I, from New York, or our point-man on this share, Martin Ferrera in western Canada was going to get on-line all bleary-eyed to cover the conference call at 4:15 NY time after our company' fiscal Q4 results came out. We relied on our brokers, the company itself, and services like seekingalpha.com to send us updates on our company, Martin's pick, Renishaw plc, a UK technology leader with a provincial address (in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, UK), global reach, and a quirky publicity-shy founder who is now chairman. With 11 corporate results that day, we missed No. 12, through no fault of ours.

Seekingalpha.com, which I was associated with when it was young and eager, charges companies for distributing their results and is now attempting to also charge users who log into the transcripts of their conference calls. That is double-dipping, but would be tolerable if they did the transcripts well getting prior information about hard-to-understand names and subsidiaries, company officials and competitors. Most of the time the redactors have not been briefed or given names, and they just guess. That's bad enough.

But what happened to Renishaw plc is worse. The transcript came out overnight Saturday-Sunday under the headline Lawson Products, LAWS-Q, a totally unrelated company which had reported on its Q2. Neither Martin nor I was warned either by the IR at Renishaw or by SeekingAlpha (the transcription service Renishaw had paid for) that the material had been posted on its site. I opened it for no good reason because it was Sunday morning and stumbled upon the results Martin and I had been waiting for.

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