Beware the Delicate Ears of the Industrials Analyst

Some things piss Emerson Electric CEO David Farr off. Some things make him want to kick some goddamned ass. Unfortunately, when he curses up a blue streak like that, it offends the church groups that moonlight as industrials analysts.
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Some things piss Emerson Electric CEO David Farr off. Some things make him want to kick some goddamned ass. Unfortunately, when he curses up a blue streak like that, it offends the church groups that moonlight as industrials analysts.

In an unusually frank analyst note issued after the meeting, Scott Davis of Barclays Capital said Mr. Farr "is well-liked and proven, yet his questionable outbursts at analyst events and conference calls do not inspire confidence."

In an interview, Jeffrey Sprague of Vertical Research Partners voiced similar reservations. "I always take such comments from David with a grain of salt, because he is very aggressive, passionate and competitive. I don't think he means any harm, but I do think he at times goes too far, which needlessly raises investor questions and concerns," Mr. Sprague said.

In the interests of full disclosure, we offer some of Mr. Farr's extremely offensive statements, cleaned up for the highly proper readership of The Wall Street Journal.

"We are not a one-trick pony," Mr. Farr snapped at the Feb. 11 meeting. "If I see that in writing, one more g— d— time, I'm going to tear them apart."

Mr. Farr, 58 years old, who also is a director of International Business Machines Corp., added: "We do well in China, g— d— it, and I'm not embarrassed by it, but we're not a g— d— one-trick pony."

Then came an abortive attempt to make nice: "I apologize for swearing. You guys p— me off when you write that. You haven't figured that out. And I've been training real hard the last couple of years to kick your a—."

Emerson CEO's Salty Talk Raises Eyebrows [WSJ]

Related

Delaware Judge Driven To Possibly Obscene Energy Industry Euphemism By Kinder-El Paso Merger

Delaware Chancellor Leo Strine has a bright future in blogging if chancelling doesn't work out for him. Here's how he describes Kinder Morgan's negotiations to buy El Paso, specifically KMI CEO Rich Kinder's price retrade with EP CEO Doug Foshee: Kinder said “oops, we made a mistake. We relied on a bullish set of analyst projections in order to make our bid. Our bad. Although we were tough enough to threaten going hostile, we just can’t stand by our bid.” Instead of telling Kinder where to put his drilling equipment, Foshee backed down. I umm ... I'm pretty sure that that quote from Kinder is approximate. Anyway, this is from Strine's opinion refusing to block the KMI-EP merger from proceeding even though he is pretty pissed about some of the apparent conflicts of interest in the deal, including that Goldman Sachs owns almost 20% of KMI while also advising EP, that the lead GS banker owned some KMI stock that he didn't disclose, and that Foshee negotiated the merger single-handed while also maybe thinking about possibly LBOing EP's E&P business for his own self. Lucrative though my current pseudoprofession is, I suspect that if Strine ever leaves the chancelling racket he'd probably prefer to try his hand at merging and/or acquiring. Certainly he is fond of dispensing tactical advice:

Getty Images

Opening Bell: 5.8.17

Warren Buffett said some things; Goldman kicks the Volcker can a bit farther; Ukraine deems Steven Seagal a national security threat; and more.