... maybe FCF
""This FCF thing is not really a killer. But it's just one of those things that add up to a perceived trust issue. JS/ND are still paying for their comments prior to the dividend cut. Also the shareholders of course. What's wrong with saying reviewing capital allocation?""
Thanks again for perspective, JoJo. Always good to see "the other sides" of our coins.
It's understandable as to why ppl might consider the div cut to (and all that entails) to be a violation of trust. There were some variables that, at the time, did get my attention (Sunit leaving, etc). Believe me when I say I explored those doubts diligently. I reached out. Some info, relating to Sunit, I had been reluctant to share, but since everyone's talking about it now... it probably doesn't matter. Suffice to say that it didn't take too long before I was satisfied that the move on the div was every inch the strategy JS claimed 'from the gate'. Subsequent Q's supported the conclusions. The options Jeff had would have drawn the ire of shareholders irrespective of the choice. He could have cut the div immediately after the merger, but then shareholders would have said "since the div was sustainable, why not wait a yr until you get a better handle on the company as a whole"? In fact, Jeff alluded to this predicament after the heat got turned up.
I spoze it's a lot easier to "call the plays" after the game, and I think we have to be careful in that regard. The div cut, while not completely necessary for the survival of CTL, certainly turned out to be the right move in light of the opportunities shareholders are now beginning to see. In order to move forward with the long term plans, which will include further consolidation, the leverage ratios have to drop. e.g. the S+TMUS = lots of debt. Combining CTL becomes a lot more lucrative if both sides can manage that debt before 2023.
Jeff does not 'shoot from the hip'. He's doing the work exactly as planned. While the div cut may have been suspect in Feb '19, I think most ppl, by now, have seen otherwise.
Since you probably have not followed Jeff's career as much as some others here, think about it this way: If Jeff was trying to "tapdance" in order to "get what he could", he certainly would not have cut the div. He knew the fallout that would come from "the masses", and he too would be giving up a decent yearly $chunk$. He could have simply made some changes, kept the 0 sum contracts, and the TV, cashed in his options, and "played golf with Post". Instead, he made the hard choices... because they were necessary. Remember, he announced, what was it? ... $1.2 mil?.. stock purchase shortly before he announced the div cut. Who would do that knowing the pps was going to get pummeled within 45 days? After he announced the div cut, and correct me if I'm wrong here as I'm on some strong meds at the moment, He filed for another $1m purchase.
When it comes to my $$, I don't fully trust anyone (and if you ever had doubts, divorce will show you a world you never knew existed). When it comes to CEO's, in 26+ yrs there have been essentially, 2. Dr. Huber, and Jeff Storey (two very different people, with very different skill sets).
We can speculate on "why he said this" or "why he didn't say that", and the exercise may help us. We certainly do need to be vigilant when it comes to our portfolios. But we can't "second guess" our way to more wealth. It may seem unorthodox to some, but I spend as much time looking at the history, and moves/behavior of CEO's, COO's, and CFO's as I do the numbers. I've gotten on "planes and boats" more than a few times just to follow up, and verify, the data. Most of my background is in science/tech, but I also have an undergrad in Bus-Adm: Marketing. In fact, that was my first undergrad experience, and it taught me a lot about how to analyze a "market", and gave me some decent insight re: human behavior (frailties). Motivations: Ya gotta look for them. It would take a lot more than a forum post to fully illustrate "all this entails", suffice to say that I have found no cracks in Jeff's "story". He "walks it, long before he talks it", and his cards are held firmly against his "shirt buttons".
I'm not saying Jeff is incapable of 'missteps', because I have seen a couple. But he's also demonstrated that he is capable (and willing) to learn. I'm always watching. Even the best intentioned people can act 'outside their paradigm' at times (particularly when $$ is the topic). If Jeff ever appears to do something that I cannot account for, I'll want to know why ASAP. I'll be sure to let you know, either way.
PS we canceled "back to Asia" this winter, for obvious reasons. We already had the tickets bought for Taiwan.... and they weren't in "coach". <sigh> You're in Makati, di ba? We got family in Sta Ana. Ingat, kuya.