Saturday, January 19, 2008

Zale Corp Update

The new CEO Neil Goldsmith at Zale must be wondering if he made the right decision. Richard Breeden's hedge fund Breeden Partners has amassed ownership of almost 18% of the company. Despite that buying supporting the stock, the price has dropped so severly I'm having a hard time drawing support lines on the chart ( click here for the Zale stock chart ).

I have felt that the company has been badly undermanaged for years and the board somewhere between asleep and derelict. With the collapse of the debt markets, the private equity guys are temporarily on the sidelines (but lenders will eventually emerge just like robins in the spring, but it may be a few years before they write many "covenant lite" commercial loans...). So, only strategic buyers and hedgies with a lot of cash are in the game - so they may get ZLC on the cheap....

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