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posted in barron's - just emphasizes the point -from a credit analyst

Because of what I said about [the BBB ratings] being for the most part self-inflicted, investment-grade companies could just pull back on share buybacks, or on the acquisition front. In bond land, we’re not out here trying to tell companies that they have to have 10% growth every year. We’re just happy with them being stable and predictable, if at all possible.

But then, these days, if you decide to be conservative with your balance sheet, you get the shareholder activists going after you and encouraging you to come up with some kind of split up or buy back more stock or optimize your balance sheet. So I sympathize with management, because I imagine that chief financial officers, especially, would probably always prefer to be conservative and prudent. But they have pressures.

I mean, they went after Citi-trends with a load full of BS, Citi-trends which is as commodity as they come - these folks (activists) can do good but not with no-moat companies - they are like the coming of the plague when they get involved and think spare cash is a bad thing...
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