Our reporting on Campus Crest Communities and CEO Ted Rollins was picked up today by one of the nation's leading Web sites for business news.
Seeking Alpha included one of our Rollins articles on its list of top articles for today, October 23, 2012. The article is titled "Wall Street Analyst Provides An Insider's View On A Student-Housing REIT."
Based on my interview with Robert W. Baird and Company's Paula Poskon, the article focuses on challenges Campus Crest Communities has faced since completing a $380-million Wall Street IPO in October 2010. Poskon also discusses changes the company has made to address problems that led to a disappointing first quarter as a public company.
The Poskon interview touches on the significant personal baggage Ted Rollins carries, and how that is viewed in the investment community. From the Seeking Alpha article:
Paula Poskon, of Robert W. Baird and Company, expressed confidence that new blood on the management team will help Campus Crest right the ship. But she said the company's emergence as one of the country's three publicly traded student-housing REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust) has not been without growing pains.
I have reported extensively on Campus Crest Communities, partly because of CEO Ted Rollins' central role in an Alabama divorce case that was handled in an irregular fashion. Poskon said the investment community generally is aware of, and somewhat concerned about, the nasty nature of Rollins' divorce. But that has not kept Wall Street from supporting his company to the tune of more than $400 million, including a $380-million IPO that was completed in late 2010.
I'm a new contributor at Seeking Alpha, so my audience there is in the development stage. I've written several posts at what the site calls an Instablog, and you can check out the Roger Shuler Instablog here. Today's piece was the first full article I've had at Seeking Alpha.
In a way, Seeking Alpha and I are a strange fit. The site focuses heavily on stock-market news and financial analysis; investors are the prime target audience. My forte, of course, is reporting on legal issues, with a strong dose of politics and higher education on the side.
I've come to realize, however, that my reporting is focusing more and more on the business world. That certainly is the case with the Campus Crest Communities and Ted Rollins storyline. It also is the case with our reports on W & H Investments, a Birmingham firm that specializes in oil and gas investments and was embroiled in a lawsuit with the Estate of Sloan Y. Bashinsky Sr. That lawsuit, of course, involved the late CEO of one of Alabama's best-known businesses, Golden Enterprises, the maker of Golden Flake Snack Foods.
While I don't touch much on stock and investment news, I do increasingly report on general business news--and there definitely is a place for that at Seeking Alpha. What kind of presence does the site have in the business world? Nielsen Analytics found that Seeking Alpha has the leading audience of any financial news site--including Bloomberg, CNN Money, and The Wall Street Journal. From the Nielsen findings:
Seeking Alpha has the highest percentage of financial professionals (13.9%) of any major finance website. A significantly higher percentage of SA readers are decision makers or "influencers" for the purchase of financial services (13.8%) than for any other major finance website.(The closest second is WSJ.com with 9.8%.) And SA has the highest proportion of readers who are purchasers of online financial services for their own business, at 9.2%. (The closest second is Barron's with 3.6%.) We think our non-professional readers also influence financial decisions: Nielsen found that over 50% of SA's readers provide frequent advice about financial information. (The closest second is Barron's, with 28.3%.)
An expanded version of the article featuring my interview with Paula Poskon will appear soon at Legal Schnauzer.