First, let me tell you a little about the company, because you’ll want some details before adding this investment to your portfolio.
Here are the cold, hard numbers: This company will do about $2.1 billion in revenue this year, which is up from $1.94 billion the year before. That’s a modest growth number, but at least there’s growth.
I know, I know. You want to know how much the company spent, even though I was hoping you wouldn’t ask.
Last year, this company spent $2.096 billion, which means they lost roughly $15.5 million.
Unfortunately, this year isn’t going to get much better. Based on the CFO’s best assumptions, the company will lose about $18 million on $2.1 billion in revenue.
Listen, I know it doesn’t sound like a great investment, but at least hear me out. There’s wonderful growth opportunity here with a few fixes.
For starters, this company has had five different CEOs in the past four years. The first guy left because the company’s board ran him out of town. It was probably a good decision to end the relationship because there wasn’t much growth in the company.
The board brought in a new CEO shortly after, and he stayed for about two years. But he got lured to a Wall Street company, so we can’t blame him.
After he left, the board hired an interim CEO, who was in place until last week, when some members of the board formed something of a coup and asked another interim to resign from his post in a nearby city to come take the helm at this company. But after the current shareholders found out that laws may have been broken in this coup effort, the board reversed course and rehired the former interim CEO to replace the new interim CEO.
Yes, I know this sounds like a company on the threshold of disaster, and I understand that you may be questioning why I’d ever ask you to invest in this business, but you’ll have to trust me that the upside of this company is off the charts.
For instance, when the board meets about the welfare of the company, they occasionally (usually) throw racial epithets at each other. It makes for wonderful TV, though it probably doesn’t do a whole lot to improve the company.
In the spirit of full disclosure, you all should know that about 10 of the “offices” this company manages are on the brink of collapse, and there could be a hostile takeover just around the corner by another company.
Here’s a good one, though again, I think it shows what great opportunity there is in warranting your investment dollars: A couple of years ago, the company’s internal auditor was fired because he found some menial, multi-million-dollar contract irregularities, and he reported them to law enforcement. The board immediately terminated the auditor, which was obviously the wrong thing to do. But in the spirit of honesty, the same board members later said the auditor did nothing wrong. So there’s that.
I’ll tell you one last thing about this company, because it’s important in your financial planning. No matter where you look, no matter what you read, and no matter how many board meetings you attend, it’s quite difficult to understand what growth potential there really is for this company. There seems to be no vision for the future. In fact, nearly every moment of the board’s time is spent dealing with mistakes of the past (and yes, the board has created most of these mistakes).
There’s no discussion about vision, no real platform by which the board works together to achieve a common good for the employees or the customers. In fact, one glimpse at the company, and the only thing transparent is that the spiral to ruin isn’t far away.
So what say you? How big of a check do you want to write? Are you ready to dump most of your life savings into this company?
Let’s end this charade.
There is absolutely no chance in a million worlds any of us would ever invest a penny in this business. We’d buy Sears stock before buying this company, and we know Sears will soon file for bankruptcy. You could line up 10,000 investors, and they’d all laugh in our faces.
You know there’s bad news right around the corner, right? You – each and every person reading this – is already an investor in this company.
Each week, each month, each year, you invest a little more into the Houston Independent School District, and every dollar you spend might as well be burned in the massive parking lot of the HISD headquarters.
By now, you’ve heard the news of the past week, in which a majority of the board fired one interim superintendent, hired another interim, and was then forced to rehire the former interim superintendent back.
Heck, the person they tried to hire in the middle of the night – illegally, mind you – publicly said the HISD board of trustees is the problem with our school system.
My research into Texas law says there’s no way to recall the election of the HISD board of trustees, which really is a shame. They all – every single last one of them – should be escorted from the table. They should never again be trusted with the future of my son, who is in his first year at an HISD school.
Unfortunately, I can’t find a law that will allow that, so we have two options left: Call a special session of the Legislature and file a bill that allows a recall, or ask the Texas Education Agency to save us from ourselves.
We cannot fund a governing body that has shunned our children. We cannot support elected officials who have shunned our schools. We cannot stand by and do nothing. National politics be damned. This is local, and this matters most.
If you have a stake in this city and her future, get involved in the tragedy that is HISD, and do it now.