Tough to miss the form 4 out of Kohl's today noting that Peter Boneparth picked up 2,500 shares at $48 this week. My initial sense was that this was the token stock purchase to show support as a new Board member. After all, the net cost was $113k. That's a lot of dough to most of us little guys -- but keep in mind that Mr Boneparth was paid $16.7 million (per JNY's proxy) upon his termination from Jones Apparel Group in July 2007. By my math, we've seen a $1.9bn hit to shareholder value as the organization tried to patch itself up post his departure. That's $114 taken from shareholders' wallets for every dollar he made upon exit. I don't get it. Really, I don't.
What I do get is that Mr Boneparth is quite savvy. First a lawyer, then Private Equity investor, then apparel industry magnate. He's bought and sold stock well in the past.
Kohl's is two quarters from lapping tough sales compares and product misses, gross margin squeeze, and SG&A deleverage. Anyone reading my postings knows that I am an uber-bear on the supply chain squeeze coming down the pike. This should absolutely hurt KSS, but perhaps not til '09. Does he see something in the back half that we don't?