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      11-21-2012, 11:09 AM   #56

Drives: I miss my E12
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: NY

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Originally Posted by DSB335d View Post
Unions are a necessary evil.
I blame management.

My experience with unions & big business is the USPS... One of the biggest most unbelievably mis managed organizations...
Most astute post here (unfortunately). I'm not a fan of unions either - at best, they rarely do much to support their constituents and at worst, they're extensions of organized crime. However, the only accurate way to describe Hostess' management team is as a clown outfit. Those retards have been unable to run the company profitably since 2004, hitting bankruptcy twice - and giving themselves raises all the while. If they were smart enough to know what they were doing, they'd be guilty of outright theft.

What did Hostess' management team do to accommodate changing tastes in its market (as several participants in the food and beverage space did)? Oh, that's right - they continued selling the same small number of products, made the same way since the 1960s. Failure to innovate is what landed them in bankruptcy in 2004, which they emerged from in 2008 with almost 700M in debt (how could anybody possibly think that was a good idea?!). In the time between 2008 and 2012, they could've looked at market trends; while there's still a place for Twinkies, people increasingly have wanted healthier snacks. But they just went back into bankruptcy this past January after they continued failing to turn the business around.

This is 100% the fault of management. Successful enterprises like McDonald's have added healthier options on their menus and are thriving as a result. These companies saw the challenge and rose to the occasion. To strike an apples-to-apples comparison McKee Foods and Flowers Foods both have healthy / 'wholesome' brands in their portfolios. At this point, evidence is strong that Hostess' management is too unsophisticated to see their deficiency and if they do, they have not demonstrated the desire to do anything about it. Even if an agreement is mediated between Hostess and the union, they will probably wind up in exactly the same situation within two or three years. If you're too lazy to innovate for 8 years, then you'll probably be too lazy to innovate for 10 or 11. Add to this the relentless concessions they've pounded out of the unions (make your staffers unhappy - BRILLIANT management philosophy) and Hostess is doomed until they replace the entire management team. Better off to put this company out of its misery now, keep an eye on where the managers go and if they make their way into the companies of any stocks you own, sell them ASAP.