Longtime readers will recall my column's ongoing commentary on Black Box (NASDAQ:BBOX), a rollup of "infrastructure services" companies, for questionable earnings quality. In May 2004 I went so far as to give CEO Fred Young first place for his abilities to put the positive spin on a bad situation after he labeled a 14% decline in fiscal fourth quarter revenues.
At the time, he cited as "stable" a 14% decline in fiscal fourth quarter, which missed analyst estimates. But nobody cared, the stock continued it's gyrations, and I pretty much took it off the radar.
Until now: Young resigned yesterday. The company offered no explanation, though based on prior disclosures it would appear options backdating might have had something to do with it. Of course, if a company was backdating options, investors should wonder what else it might have been doing.
Black Box's stock, meanwhile, is pretty much back to where it was when I first started writing about it and much lower than that day in May when Young proved Wall Street will believe what it wants to believe -- and anything a company spins their way -- until it can't.
BBOX 1-yr chart: