Yeah, you make false statements, I know, but… oh, come here and give Uncle Sam a hug

The followingentry appeared as part of GovernanceMetrics International’s GMI Blog. GMI is the leading independent provider of global corporate governance and ESG ratings and research. Corporate stakeholders – including leading investors, insurers, auditors, regulators and others – use GovernanceMetrics services to identify and monitor risks related to non-financial measures covering key environmental, social, governance and accounting risk factors.

By Paul Hodgson – CCO and Senior Research Associate, September 23, 2011

Thanks to Events Analyst Dovid Muyderman for both finding this September 20th 8-K from MTS Systems, and for that great headline.

On September 19, 2011, MTS Systems Corporation (the “Company”) issued a press release announcing that it had received notification by the U. S. Department of the Air Force (the “Air Force”) that it has lifted its suspension of the Company, effective immediately.

As previously disclosed by the Company, the suspension, imposed by the Air Force on March 11, 2011, had restricted the Company from federal government contracting and from receiving the benefits of federal assistance programs. The basis for suspension was the Company’s failure since 2008 to disclose in its Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) that it had previously been convicted in 2008 of two misdemeanor counts of making false statements. The Company also failed to timely notify the Air Force and other agencies of its inaccurate ORCA submissions and of an on-going investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U. S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Inspector General.

So what did the company do to get the suspension lifted? Finally disclose the convictions? That’s it? And nothing else? It’s that easy? Something’s knocking my confidence in this process….

We'll be in the casino if you need us…

Thanks to Dovid again for this September 19th 8-K from Home Properties.

On September 19, 2011, the Company (Home Properties, Inc.) announced that it is commencing an underwritten public offering of 5,250,000 shares of common stock. The offering price and other terms are to be determined by negotiations between the Company and the underwriters. The Company expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 787,500 additional shares to cover over-allotments, if any. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of its common stock in the offering to fund acquisitions, new development and redevelopment of apartment communities and for general corporate purposes, which may include paying down outstanding amounts on its line of credit used to fund recent acquisitions, capital expenditures and other working capital requirements. Pending use for these purposes, the Company may invest such net proceeds in short-term marketable securities.

OK. So they’re raising public money to fund acquisitions, or pay off acquisitions they’ve already made without having the cash to do it, but if they don’t do it straight away they’re going to play the stock market with it? At this time of economic stability? Smart move. And if they lose the proceeds? Oops. Hey, chaps, I think we need to do one of those public offering thingies again….

The Clear Winner in our No comment Comment of the Week Competition

Dovid, who is clearly having a good week after being all over the media a couple of weeks ago, also found this beauty in a September 16th 8-K. It’s the first in a new competition: How to say something without actually saying something, or “No comment” Comment of the Week. This is Vista Gold’s second win in a competition in as many weeks!

On September 12, 2011, the Registrant issued a press release, at the request of the NYSE Amex and in accordance with the NYSE Amex’s usual practice, announcing that as a result of unusual market activity in the Company’s common shares on September 12, 2011, the Company states that its policy is not to comment on unusual market activity.

George Orwell couldn’t have come up with anything as good as this. I can’t even begin to deconstruct that sentence.

Another new competition: Entertaining Industry Jargon of the Week

OK, this blog is going to have to be renamed, “Dovid Print”. This is getting ridiculous. Was everyone else on holiday? Another 8-K from September 21st, from Hercules Offshore whose Say on Pay defeat has not removed its indefatigable use of completely incomprehensible jargon. Inspired by Vista Gold's mining gobbledegook from a couple of weeks ago, this is looking to be a category of its own – Entertaining Industry Jargon of the Week Competition winner this week:

On September 18, 2011, Hercules Offshore, Inc. (the “Company”) was conducting an ABS required annual spud can inspection on the Hercules 185 (the “Rig”) in protected waters offshore Angola. While conducting the inspection, it was determined that the spud can on the starboard leg had detached from the leg. The Company is preparing to mobilize the rig to Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, where the Company will conduct an initial survey of the Rig in order to attempt to assess the extent of the damage.

Paul Hodgson

The Board Director Training Institute (BDTI) is a "public interest" nonprofit in Japan dedicated to training about directorship, corporate governance, and related management techniques. It is certified by the Japanese government to conduct these activities as a regulated nonprofit. Read a summary about BDTI here, and see a menu of its services for both corporations and investors here.

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