Miracle Gro for Mitt: Scotts Throws its Weakened Financial Might Behind Romney
To All Democrats and Independents Who Garden . . . LISTEN UP: If Miracle Gro Votes with its Wallet, So Should The Rest of Us
Long miffed by what he considers to be the nuisance of environmental safety regulation, Scotts Miracle Gro Czar Jim Hagedorn is voting with his brand’s wallet in 2012.
Concluding that his fertilizer and pesticide company will have an easier time of getting its products past regulators under a Republican administration, Hagedorn recently authorized a $200,000 donation to a superfund that supports Mitt Romney for president.
The very public move concerns many within the Ohio company, who fear a Chick-fil-A style backlash from customers who support Democrats. Company spokesperson Jim King, however, said Hagedorn, as usual, couldn’t be muzzled.
“His point of view was, ‘If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it in the light of day,’ ” King told the Washington Post.
Hagedorn’s frustrations have reportedly been boiling over in the past year as the company’s stock has plummeted and sales have failed to reach expectations for the third consecutive year. Scotts Miracle-Gro’s fiscal third-quarter earnings declined 16 percent, according to a recent announcement. Shares of the lawn-and-garden products company were down 6.9% to $38.55 after hours as results missed analyst expectations, although the past week has seen the stock rebound slightly.
The man who infamously declared “business is war” and hung the “Don’t Treat on Me” flag outside the corportate office, was unabashedly candid in his letter to shareholders earlier this year:
“I have always written this letter with a straightforward approach and with transparency about our performance. So it would be insincere to adopt a new style simply because I didn’t like the outcome. So here are the facts: our financial performance in fiscal 2011 was disappointing as sales, gross margin, operating profit, earnings per share and cash flow all were lower than we expected.”
This followed massive dips in sales since 2009 when the company’s revenues peaked at above $3 billion.
So frustrated by his inability to right his company himself, yet again, the Miracle Gro boss hopes Romney can come to the rescue.
The question must be asked of all who vote Democrat or Independent, however. If it’s OK for Miracle Gro to vote with its wallet, shouldn’t we vote with ours, too?