Restoring "value and credibility" to American Realty Capital Properties Inc., landlord to a big slice of corporate America, "will require the company to separate completely from founder, former CEO, and executive chair Nick Schorsch," analyst Chris Lucas told clients of CapitalOne Securities Inc. in a report Monday.
Manhattan-based American Realty Capital, whose back offices are in the Schorsch family's native Jenkintown area, has lost a third of its stock-market value since the company retracted its 2014 financial reports last month.
Lucas says investors overreacted to the company's admission that its accountants misstated cash flow and failed to fix the error.
He says the difference should not affect the company's reported earnings, or the value of its real
estate or of other Schorsch-backed firms.
But Lucas also says Schorsch's having multiple roles, as chair of American Realty and of other companies it does business with from Schorsch's New York offices, has hurt sales of Schorsch-backed investments and created "complexity and conflicts" that investors don't need.
Spokesmen for Schorsch had no comment on whether the boss will step aside.
Use of force
Paul de Sa, telecom analyst at Bernstein Research, of New York, expects that big Internet providers such as AT&T and Comcast and their Republican sympathizers in Congress and industry "will launch all-out war" against President Obama's new attempt to prod the Federal Communications Commission into regulating Internet services as if they were phone companies - under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.
De Sa notes that Obama is not asking the FCC to limit the prices customers pay for Internet service. The president is urging "net neutrality," a ban on charging extra to some programmers in exchange for super-speedy service.
Comcast said in a blog post Tuesday afternoon that it actually agrees with the president's goals - but not with his proposal to regulate broadband Internet, which the company says will discourage the industry from investing in better products and services. Comcast wants to be trusted, not forced.
A University of Delaware poll of 802 Americans found that 81 percent endorsed Obama's position against "allowing Internet service providers to charge some websites or streaming video services extra for faster speeds."
The survey by UD's Center for Political Communication also found the people most strongly supportive of "net neutrality" were the ones who have heard the most about it - on comedy/satire programs.
For example, a big 29 percent of viewers of HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which last summer posted a corporate-bashing net neutrality video that logged seven million views, said they've "heard a lot about net neutrality." Just 7 percent of Fox News viewers polled said the same.