Earbud/headphone company SkullCandy filed to go public and raise about $185 million, valuing the firm at ~half a billion dollars. Yes, that’s billion, with a “b.” Actually they initially filed back in the end of January, but they’ve amended the registration/offering a handful of times since. You’d think a firm of that size preparing for a public offering would have an “About the Company” or similar page on their website with at least general corporate info, right? Apparently the brain trust at SkullCandy doesn’t think its really important. Not at all.
We get paid to cast a skeptical eye on potential investments, and when a firm not only doesn’t have any financial info on its site, but ANY corporate info at all, consider my brow raised. In 2011, a firm’s website IS its public image, ESPECIALLY to investors who aren’t going to rely on the firm’s Facebook page or Twitter feed for info. SkullCandy should have taken care of this before they filed their initial S-1 months ago. Do you want to own shares in a company whose executives can’t even make sure the firm’s website is up to date and contains the information stakeholders are looking for? Not the end of the world, but I wouldn’t ignore it, shows poor focus and attention to detail. Even their new competitor, ZAGG, has a perfectly functional and easy-to-find set of pages about the firm and its financials,(and I am by NO means a ZAGG bull):
As a matter of fact, I can’t think of a single public midcap or larger firm that DOESN’T have developed corporate/about the company and investor relations web pages. Heck, we’re a teeny-tiny operation and even we have About pages here at Stone Street Advisors. Its 100% inexcusable for a firm Skull’s size not to have their act together! The CEO may have a Harvard MBA, but if he can’t even get someone down the hall in their small 200 person operation to get the basic information stakeholders (read: potential investors) need onto the website, that does not speak well for he and the rest of the firm’s leadership. If you consider yourself a prudent investor (and you must, since you’re reading this site afterall), these are the sort of details you cannot afford to overlook, as they may very well portend missteps down the road. Had the firm gotten an IR/corporate site up shortly after they initially filed, I might let it slide, but that was 6 months ago and a handful of amendments ago. In management’s defense, they did apparently (per the S-1/a) implement logistics/supply chain solution with UPS and rolled-out an ERP that connects to the UPS system, a MAJOR accomplishment in any corporation and one more mission critical than the firm’s website. But we have to ask ourselves, if management can’t get the website taken care of, who knows what else they’re missing and/or screwing up. It all comes down to Rule #76: No excuses, play like a champion.