Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Performance Transparency

In my business and personal life, I am a big believer in appropriate transparency to various constituencies:  lenders, stockholders, customers, donors and employees.  Transparency builds trust and cultivates loyalty.  Telling people what they need to know v. what they want to hear is a difference some do not understand. Best to make sure that you understand the difference too.

I like to nose around for no-spin, facts that help me independently assess which way the economic windsock is blowing.  There is quite a bit of hot air in the media and through so-called experts that can whip that windsock around. If your nose is similarly motivated, you might be interested in what I  want to share with you today-- a couple of companies that provide monthly operational reports:  Fastenal (FAST) and W. W. Grainger (GWW). Click on the company name to be transported to their sales releases..

Though you may not have an interest in either of these companies from a trade/investment perspective, if you wish to have a data source that allows you to have a no-spin, facts regarding industrial supplier volume (a nice bellwether for economic trends from these giants), then you have a nice resource.

Because I believe that Fastenal provides the yardstick by which all companies should be measured for periodic reporting of key data, I wanted to highlight that for you.  For those of you who are fundamentally oriented, how do your favorite companies measure up?

Since the market is getting a little jiggy, let's take a look at the industrial suppliers weekly chart (click to enhance):

As you can see, this group has exceeded its pre-crash high. I am not providing separate charts for FAST or GWW as their charts are identical to this one.  As you are looking at performance information, viewing this industry chart will help you see what others are concluding and how they are voting with their dollars.

This is Rusty.  His only care about transparency is that you can see when his bottle is empty and fill it back up.  He's about two weeks old now.