FRANCES PERKINS AND THE TRIANGLE FIRE

George Mokray: “Per yesterday’s column . . . Frances Perkins was a gutsy woman. Here’s a story of her tangling with Alfred Sloan, from Edwin Black’s Internal Combustion, a history of the internal combustion engine:

In 1934, when Sloan telephoned Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins to renege on a promise made to meet with labor strikers, Perkins lashed out bitterly at the GM chief. Shocked at the reversal, Perkins shouted into the phone, “You are a scoundrel and a skunk, Mr. Sloan. You don’t deserve to be counted among decent men… You’ll go to hell when you die… Are you a grown man, Mr. Sloan? Or are you a neurotic adolescent? Which are you? If you’re a grown man, stand up and be a man for once.”

A flabbergasted Sloan protested, “You can’t talk like that to me! You can’t talk like that to me! I’m worth seventy million dollars and I made it all myself! You can’t talk like that to me! I’m Alfred Sloan.”

“There’s also a Frances Perkins Center which is still working on her issues, most recently preserving Social Security. My grandfather was a labor organizer for the ILGWU and one of the lawyers for the workers in the Triangle Fire case. It is part of my family history. Thanks for remembering.”

ANOTHER UPDATE

David Andrews: “Any news/update on CVV?”

☞ Aristides’ Chris Brown writes: “Sure. Company recently announced $15.5 mil in orders ytd through mid-Mar, which is $9.3 mil of Jan orders, then $6.2 mil of orders in the next month and a half. To put that in context, the company made eight cents a share on $5.1 million in revenue in their last completed quarter, and finished that quarter with a record backlog of $9 mil. My opinion is that margins should at a minimum be stable, as the company is experiencing increased utilization of certain fixed assets, so I can (conservatively) see the company earning $0.60 a share (or more) this year. So, you have a company that is absolutely in the sweet spot, growing exponentially, trading (at $10.10) for only 17x forward earnings and about 1.3x (conservative) forward revenue. . . . How can this be? (1) Company has zero analyst coverage and is very small. (2) Company’s closest public peers are all semiconductor capital equipment companies that traditionally trade at a low multiple and are highly cyclical, and right now many folks are worried about a major correction in semiconductor cap equipment. (3) Company may need to issue shares this year, so why buy now when you could buy the secondary offering? . . . I believe the company is going to continue to grow revenue and earnings, which is why we own it here, and if we are lucky enough to get a chance to buy shares at a lower price in a secondary offering, I would jump at the opportunity.”

NEW FROM GURU

AMRN – about $7.10 a share. “Data could be out in April,” Guru writes, “but for sure second quarter. I’ve checked all the studies and there is a remarkable consistency: its product lowers triglycerides, especially in conjunction with statins, and it lowers LDL (the bad cholesterol). If this trial doesn’t work, it will be the first time. The beauty is that even if it doesn’t work, the stock is still worth comfortably more than 7. I hate to say ‘can’t lose’ because there always seems to be some way, but this looks as close to a can’t lose as I’ve seen since, say, INCY.”

☞ INCY brought us a triple. “Can’t lose” always scares me. Even so, how could I resist?

 

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