Mario Rizzi - Tel. 1-514-967-9827|info@RizziCapital.com

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So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

I’ve been critical of leadership at LL for a long time. But today, I am the one wearing the clown costume (and elf pajamas)

Tom Sullivan got me good. I supported him and his team, and he certainly showed me how the game is played. Tom came in touting management change and strategic review, but in the end, he simply did a quick “dine and dash” leaving shareholders twisting in the wind. I lost money. I am certain many investors did too. Tom walked away with about $5.5 million in profit.

Once again, long time LL shareholders get fucked while people who don’t deserve anything, take all the reward. It was definitely not a classy move and I take responsibility for courting Tom and for voicing support. In the end, I was as much a victim of this con as other shareholders, but that’s no consolation. Sorry guys.

For the literary ones, this whole thing reminds me of Mark Twain’s “The Royal Nonesuch” https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/mark-twain/royal-nonesuch

For the ones who don’t read, this scene might make sense.

By |2019-09-13T18:37:59-04:00September 13th, 2019|Uncategorized|4 Comments

LLVC Supports Strategic Review and Management Reform At Lumber Liquidators

Well over 90% of LLVC members support a strategic review and management reform at Lumber Liquidators. In terms of LLVC voting shares, over 97% are supportive.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190906005218/en/Investor-Group-Supports-Strategic-Review-Management-Reform

 

Investor Group Supports Strategic Review and Management Reform At Lumber Liquidators

September 06, 2019 09:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Lumber Liquidators Value Committee, (“LLVC” or “the Investor Group”) led by activist investor Mario Rizzi, announces that it strongly supports company founder, Thomas D. Sullivan’s recent actions and his announced intentions to reform management and to explore strategic alternatives for Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LL) (“Lumber Liquidators,” or the “Company”). LLVC members are deemed to beneficially own, in the aggregate, 5.7% of Lumber Liquidators’ outstanding common stock.

Management Errors and Failures

Over the last three years, leadership at Lumber Liquidators has made countless errors in the company’s marketing and sourcing strategies and has failed at basic retail execution. Current management’s brand positioning and self-proclaimed high-low retail strategy was a deviation from the company’s core value proposition and has proven to be a complete failure. Board members lack retail, sourcing and turnaround experience and this has led to weak oversight and is a fundamental impediment to serving shareholder interests. Our group has tried tirelessly to engage with company leadership, however, every suggestion or proposed change we have put forward, including the appointment of an industry expert to the board, has been rejected. Meanwhile, the company persistently loses money, merchandise sales and customer traffic continue to fall and expenses have ballooned. Shareholders have suffered tremendously as shares have plunged, recently descending to an all time low.

The inaction by the board is troubling and the insistence of management to persist with strategies which are clearly not showing progress and are not even being properly executed is indefensible.

Time for Change

The Investor Group believes the magnitude of value destruction and the board’s failure to hold itself and management accountable necessitate dramatic change at the company. We believe that Mr. Sullivan and his team have the knowledge and experience to conduct a comprehensive reform of company operations, management and governance leading to the substantial, positive changes necessary to realign the company’s focus and strategy. We support the exploration of strategic options to ensure the future viability of the company and its return to a position of growth, profits and competitive leadership within the home improvement industry.

 

Contacts

Mario Rizzi
Mario@RizziCapital.com 
Tel: 514-967-9827

By |2019-09-06T09:50:05-04:00September 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

LL Network Outage Continues As Management Remains Silent

As LLVC members have heard, Lumber Liquidators has been experiencing a nationwide network outage since Wednesday, August 21, 8:30am. It has been 6 days now, and the company still has been unable to resolve the problem. The POS system is down. Inventory is offline. I am told that orders are being processed with pen and paper, and stores can only request inventory if they have a working fax machine (many do not).

All online ordering has been offline since the start of the outage (6 days and counting).

This system outage is devastating. The lost revenue from this kind of disruption will amount to millions. 

Management has released no press releases and has made no public comments. This is a material, adverse event, and in my opinion, the absence of a statement from the company is a clear opening for a shareholder lawsuit. This is certainly the last thing which the company needs right now.

Leadership Must Take Responsibility and Resign

As usual, shareholders will suffer losses due to the incompetence of company leadership, while executive management continues to make millions of dollars. We once again call for CEO Dennis Knowles and for Chairwoman Nancy M. Taylor to resign. They have proven time and again that they lack any ability to properly run and manage a public company. LL shares continue to trade near all time lows because these individuals are simply unable to generate the conditions necessary for any form of turnaround. They blame their failures on the economy, tariffs, legacy issues, weather events, etc, while never taking any responsibility for their consistent nonperformance.

Enough is Enough. CEO Dennis Knowles and Chairwoman Nancy M. Taylor must resign immediately. They don’t deserve the money they are paid. Every day that they remain at the company is just one more day that the company continues to fail.

Let’s Kick These Failures Out of LL

Join Our Proxy Fight to ReBuild LL

By |2019-08-26T19:20:40-04:00August 26th, 2019|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Merrill Lynch and Interactive Brokers Halt Margin Trading for Lumber Liquidators

Today, both Merrill Lynch and Interactive Brokers have indefinitely halted margin trading on Lumber Liquidators shares. Investors who own shares on margin must either fund their accounts to eliminate the margin or sell off their positions in order to cover their current margin account balances. Going forward, at these brokers, it will no longer be possible to purchase LL shares on margin.

Greed & Power

This is simply one more example of how Wall Street has lost faith in the company. The “leadership” of Lumber Liquidators, led by CEO Dennis Knowles and by Chairwoman Nancy M. Taylor insist on remaining in power at the company, and in doing so, are harming all shareholders and employees of Lumber Liquidators. The stock continues to drop and Knowles and Taylor are more concerned about their own jobs (paychecks) than the financial futures of thousands of shareholders and employees.

This is the personification and embodiment of greed. And at this point, with the stock trading in the $7 range, having fallen precipitously over the last years, months, weeks and days, the fact that nobody on the board or in senior management has been fired is a likely breach of the fiduciary duty and responsibility that all of these “leaders” have towards shareholders.

  • Dennis Knowles missed guidance.
  • Dennis Knowles lowered already rock bottom growth estimates which he provided just a month earlier.
  • Nancy Taylor has taken absolutely no action to address the failings of the management team.
  • Nancy Taylor continues to receive compensation which is the highest among the company’s self selected peer group.
  • Dennis Knowles will receive a record amount of compensation this year, including a record bonus award and an all time high amount of stock based compensation.

Stock Holders have seen their portfolios destroyed. Millions of dollars in losses.

I call on Dennis Knowles and Nancy M. Taylor to RESIGN their positions, so that a more competent team can operate the company.

Let’s Change Management at LL and Finally Turn This Company Around

Join Our Proxy Fight to ReBuild LL

By |2019-08-10T00:23:23-04:00August 9th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Nancy, It’s Over.

Shares of Lumber Liquidators are in free fall. Sources within the company tell me that senior management is in disbelief.

CEO Dennis Knowles cannot comprehend why the stock price is falling.

Dennis Knowles

I don’t know Mr. Knowles. I have never met him or spoken to him, despite my best efforts to engage with him. But two things are clear from the stock drop today and over the course of the last weeks/months.

  1. Mr. Knowles does not possess the skills necessary to operate a public company like Lumber Liquidators.
  2. Mr. Knowles has lost the faith of shareholders and the investment community.

Mr. Knowles, you may be a great person. A great family man. And I am sure that you have many things to be grateful for in your life. But each day that you remain at this company, you do a disservice both to shareholders and to the whole team at LL.

Shareholders and LL employees have families and lives. You have been entrusted to steward investments, employments and reputations. For one reason or another, you have failed at this job. Now, you are injuring all of us financially each day that you remain with the company.

Mr. Knowles, it is time for you to resign your position as CEO of Lumber Liquidators.

Nancy M. Taylor

More than anybody at the company, Nancy M. Taylor must shoulder the blame both for the failings at the company and the collapsing stock price. As Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, you have been directly elected by the shareholders of this company to guide this company to profits and growth. It is your fiduciary duty to act only in the best interests of the corporation and its collective shareholders. You have failed in your duty.

A collapsing stock price in the face of abysmal company performance perfectly reflects the lack of faith that shareholders and investors have in your ability to guide this company.

Nancy M. Taylor, you recruited and employed Dennis Knowles. You watched over his actions and missteps over the years. You watched in silence as the stock price dropped. You have seemingly taken no direct actions to correct the course of this company or to address the failings of this management team.

It is very clear that as Chairwoman of Lumber Liquidators, you have been ineffective at your duties. Every day that you remain as Chairwoman of Lumber Liquidators, is one less day that we have to fix this company and one more day that we allow the competition to erode our market shares. You are causing irreparable damage to shareholders and the company.

Ms. Nancy M. Taylor, it is time for you to resign your position as Chairwoman of Lumber Liquidators.

Board of Directors

To members of the Board of Directors, your must perform your legal, fiduciary duty to shareholders and the company. Hard decisions must be made. But action must be taken before it is too late. Shareholders have suffered enough. It is time to remove both Dennis Knowles and Nancy M. Taylor from their positions, so that more competent individuals can be charged to turn this company around.

Mario Rizzi

514 967 9827

Let’s Change Management at LL and Finally Turn This Company Around

Join Our Proxy Fight to ReBuild LL

By |2019-08-07T18:48:16-04:00August 7th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

You Are Being Lied To

Last week, Floor and Decor announced their earnings. It was an across the board beat. Revenue, same store sales, profits and margins, all came in strong. Stronger than almost any body expected. The stock soared 20% higher.

Today, Lumber Liquidators reported “earnings.” It was an across the board failure. Revenue, same store sales, profits (losses) and margins, all came in weak. The stock slumped, 20%.

Floor and Decor, said that there were almost no macroeconomic headwinds. The mentioned how they were cautiously optimistic about lower interest rates fueling a housing rebound. As for tariffs, FND said “by the end of 2019, we expect the percentage of our merchandise sourced from China to decline to the mid-30% range from 50% in 2018. We believe it will continue to decline in 2020 and beyond.”

By contrast, Lumber Liquidators blamed all of their poor performance on macroeconomic events. They said slow sales were due to uncertainty about interest rates and they cut revenue guidance for the back half of the year, due to the economy. As I have mentioned many times, LL has been very slow to migrate imports away from China. Historically, LL has imported about 47% of their product from China. Today, the company forecast that by the end of 2019, it would reduce Chinese imports to the mid 40% range. So, basically, they will maybe reduce Chinese imports by 2 or 3%. That is pathetic execution, compared to FND which will reduce Chinese imports by 15%.

Both FND and LL operate in the same industry and both are subject to the exact same macroeconomic risks. LL is doing a terrible job of navigating those risks. FND is executing flawlessly. LL stock is plunging, now trading at $7 per share. FND stock is soaring, now trading at over $43.

Make no mistake, Dennis Knowles, Charles E. Tyson and Nancy M. Taylor are the root cause of LL’s problems. It’s not the economy or tariffs. It’s terrible management. LL management is lying to investors by blaming the poor economy. And as the stock price plunges, investors are suffering massive losses. 

Enough is Enough

Let’s Change Management at LL and Finally Turn This Company Around

Join Our Proxy Fight to ReBuild LL

By |2019-08-07T11:23:51-04:00August 7th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Look Back at Past “Earnings Report” Dates

How Did LL Stock Perform on The Days of The Last 14 Earnings Reports?

Feb 29, 2016 – Up 2%

May 10, 2016 – Down 8%. Down an additional 7% the next day.

Jul 27, 2016 – Down 4%. Rebounded back over the next week.

Oct 31, 2016 – Down 15%

Feb 21, 2017 – Up 19%

May 2, 2017 – Down 14%

Aug 1, 2017 – Up 36%

Oct 31, 2017 – Down 11.5%

Feb 27, 2018 – Down 9%

May 1, 2018 – Down 17.5%

Jul 31, 2018 – Down 21%

Oct 30, 2018 – Down 7%

Mar 18, 2019 – Down 3.5%

Apr 30, 2019 – Up 1%

August 7, 2019 – ???????

Let’s Change Management at LL and Finally Turn This Company Around

Join Our Proxy Fight to ReBuild LL

By |2019-08-06T19:32:49-04:00August 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Memory Lane and Some Simple Math.

On April 1, 2014, Nancy M. Taylor joined the Board of Lumber Liquidators. The stock was at $94.53. Today, the stock is at $8. It has lost 91.5%.

On November 4, 2014, Nancy M. Taylor became Chairwoman of Lumber Liquidators. The stock was at $15.31. Today, the stock is at $8. It has lost 47%.

On March 1, 2016, Dennis R. Knowles joined Lumber Liquidators as Chief Operating Officer. The stock was at $11.99. Today, the stock is at $8. It has lost 33%.

On November 9, 2016, Dennis Knowles was appointed CEO of Lumber Liquidators. Ms. Nancy M. Taylor said, “We are thrilled to have someone with Dennis’ deep and extensive retail experience to lead the Company.” The stock was at $15.10. Today, the stock is at $8. It has lost 46%.

Any questions?

Let’s Change Management at LL and Finally Turn This Company Around

Join Our Proxy Fight to ReBuild LL

By |2019-08-06T13:36:27-04:00August 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments