Tuesday, May 6, 2008

SIRF Meeting --Canceled

When I went to the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose to attend the SIRF shareholder meeting, three people informed me that the meeting had been re-scheduled to August 19, 2008. Apparently, because SIRF is a Delaware corporation, the meeting has to be done within a strict time period after providing notice to shareholders of record, and SIRF had the record date a few days too early. They wouldn't tell me what law firm failed to do the research and due diligence, but at least I learned some new tidbits on incorporating in Delaware.

I won't be able to attend the upcoming Google shareholder meeting, but I did read the annual report and letter from Larry Page. It's not a Warren Buffet letter, i.e., a comprehensive letter that touches on national and international issues as well as investing, but it's pretty darn good. I wouldn't mind hanging out with Mr. Page, based on the tone and enthusiasm he seems to have.

What is really interesting about Google's annual report are the risk factors, which all annual reports have. But Google's risks seem more detailed and realistic than other reports. Google talks about more than just the IP and legal risks commonly found in other company reports. Google talks about how anti-spamming filters, ad blocking software, and copyright protections may affect its ability to find data. Google struck me as moving towards the direction of "free information" in an era where everyone is trying to protect information and make it more onerous to copy anything online. Google also listed a risk factor of not being able to control bandwidth providers and data centers, meaning that Google's growth is ultimately reliant, like most online companies, on the Baby Bells and other internet service companies to ensure that consumers get internet access at a reasonable cost. This reliance struck me as somewhat odd, because I thought I heard a while back that Google had purchased some wireless spectrum in an government auction, but perhaps I am confusing two different issues. Google also reiterated its anti-dividend philosophy.

I will be going to Wesco's shareholder meeting tomorrow in Pasadena to see Buffett's right-hand man, Charlie Munger. The Berkshire Hathaway meeting is over in Omaha, and Mr. Munger is back in California.

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