Who's Filing Now?

Once again, as Wall Street waits for happy hour, we Fools wade into 8-K filings that, if the timing is to be believed, executives would rather you not read.

For example, there's this one from Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) , which reported that audit committee member Ari Bousbib would not stand for ratification as a member of the retailer's board at next month's annual meeting. Bousbib cited personal reasons for leaving his post after less than a year on the job.

Ohhhh-kayyyyy.

Trump trumped
More troubling, though, is the departure of Wallace Askins from the board of Trump Entertainment (Nasdaq: TRMP  ) .

The announcement seems innocent enough at first. Askins' decision was announced in a May 3 earnings release and referred to as retirement, which would make sense since Askins has been with Trump Entertainment since 1995. Quoting The Donald:

I have known Wally Askins almost twenty years and he has always been a trusted advisor and a respected director. His extensive business experience and uncompromising integrity has helped this company for many years. Everyone at the Company wishes him the best in his retirement.

Nice. If only the 8-K, issued the same evening, struck a similar tone:

Mr. Askins has advised the Board of his intention to resign from the Board, effective as of May 2, 2007. Mr. Askins is ... a member of the Board's Audit Committee. Mr. Askins' current term as a Board member was scheduled to expire in 2008.  [Emphasis mine.]

For the record, May 2 was the date of this year's annual meeting. It's common practice for directors to retire or resign at the conclusion of  an annual meeting. But such departures are usually signaled well in advance, as Best Buy did with Bousbib.

Not here.

And, seriously now, am I the only one who thinks it's weird that Trump would refer to Askins' leaving as retirement in a press release only to describe it as a resignation in the 8-K?

Regardless, Askins' departure leaves Trump with just two audit committee members, one short of the minimum required for membership in the Nasdaq. Which, finally, brings us to this past Friday. Trump disclosed that it had been notified by the Nasdaq that it had till no later than next May 2 to add to its audit committee or face delisting.

But that may be a minor issue next to investor confidence. Consider this line from Friday's filing: "Mr. Trump has notified the Company of his intention to designate Ivanka M. Trump as ... replacement, subject to the receipt of regulatory approval."

Oh goody.

But wait, there's more: Trump revealed in the May 3 filing that board member Cezar Froelich represents potential Trump competitors in his legal practice. Is he referring to Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN  ) ? Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS  ) ? Perhaps MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM  ) ?

Nope, it's -- get this -- Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS  ) , which, despite owning 17.9% of Trump Entertainment, plans a 20-acre casino resort in Trump's Atlantic City stronghold.

That's right, Fool: Trump's top investor is already busy trying to put him out of business. No wonder Froelich won't seek re-election to the board when his term expires in 2009.

Now, ask yourself: Would you pay good money to own stock in a company where the founder's business diva-cum-supermodel daughter controls the books? How about one where the largest outside investor hopes to be the competition?

With Trump, investors could get both and a bad comb-over. No thanks, Donald.

Think you've found a late filing we Fools should see? Let me know.

Best Buy is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Click here now to get access to the entire portfolio, which is beating the market by more than 35%. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked 5,950 out of more than 28,700 ranked players in our Motley Fool CAPS investor intelligence database, usually favors two scoops of ice cream over the inside scoop. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Tim's portfolio holdings can be found at his Fool profile. His thoughts on SEC filings, Foolishness, and investing in general may be found in his blog. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy may be filed under "F" for fair, or Foolish.


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