Thursday, August 21, 2008

Circuit City still talking big plans, but nobody's listening

Or at the very least, nobody's giving their plans much credence.

RICHMOND, Va.—Circuit City Stores Inc. said Tuesday it's still considering a sale ofthe company four months after the consumer electronics retailer first announced it was reviewing its options to improve shareholder value.
The Richmond-based company remains committed to its turnaround plan but "the board continues to pursue strategic alternatives for the company that offer the best possible results for our shareholders in the long term," Chief Executive Philip J. Schoonover said in a statement announcing the appointment of James A. Marcum as the company's vice chairman.
Marcum, 49, is one of three directors nominated and elected to Circuit City's board in June to defuse a proxy battle with Mark J. Wattles, whose investment firm holds a 6.5 percent stake in the company. Marcum will continue to serve as a company director.

All of this sounds positively charming, except that nobody seems to be taking their turnaround plans seriously. Exhibit A: CC's stock has been getting flogged at under $2 for longer than any investors who got in between $6 and $10 in the past year like to think about.

At this point, long-term CC stakeholders really have to hope that things are darkest just before the dawn.

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