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Do Investors Care About Anything Other Than Money?

By       Message Roger Shuler     Permalink
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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H2 8/24/11

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Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

I read an article yesterday that was written by a financial reporter and intended for investors. When I finished reading, my immediate thought was, "Do these people think only about ways to make money--and nothing else?"

The answer seems to be yes, that's exactly how they think. That's certainly the impression a reasonable person could take from the article, a report at The Wall Street Transcript (TWST) about Campus Crest Communities and its CEO, Ted W. Rollins (with Michele Rollins, in photo above).

Rollins is a hot topic on Wall Street because his company completed a $380-million IPO last year. Those kinds of numbers will get investors' attention. Tampa-based Raymond James Financial put together the deal.

We have written a number of posts about Campus Crest and its leader--and we have presented substantial evidence to indicate that Rollins operates on a shaky set of ethics. Was there a hint of that in the TWST article? Not a peep.

Do the investors who read TWST care about such things? Apparently not. Maybe that's why investors seem to get taken in so many scams these days.

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The Wall Street Transcript is a subscriber site, but you can read an excerpt from the article here. What appears to be the full version of the interview  is available at Yahoo! Finance.

I've tried to interview Ted Rollins twice, about matters connected to his company and about the peculiar divorce case  he somehow had moved from South Carolina to Alabama--even though jurisdiction already had been established when Sherry Carroll Rollins filed for divorce in Greenville, South Carolina, where the couple lived. So far, Ted Rollins has refused to answer my questions, claiming that he would be glad to respond if I sent him questions in writing, through his PR firm. That, of course, would not be an interview; it probably would be an exercise in corporate damage control, with responses filtered through lawyers and such. When I pointed out that his ex wife had granted multiple interviews, with no strings attached, Ted Rollins was not swayed. He still wanted to be protected by his PR/legal team.

Since Ted Rollins seems afraid to answer questions directly from Legal Schnauzer, I found it curious that he apparently was more than willing to sit down with The Wall Street Transcript.  What kind of probing questions were put to Ted Rollins? Here is a sampling:

TWST: Please give us a brief history of Campus Crest Communities and an overview of the company and its operations today.

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Mr. Rollins: We started about seven years ago. We basically looked at the student housing market, and it was apparent that there was a real need for our product - not only in primary markets, but even more so in secondary markets, which is our main focus. If you think about it in terms of any given state, you'll have a flagship campus--for example, in North Carolina, where we're based, UNC Chapel Hill is the flagship--but you'll also have a lot of great schools like UNC Wilmington, UNC Charlotte, UNC Asheville, these are all schools that need additional beds to continue to grow or to replace some obsolescent beds on campus. That really has been our primary target. We've spent seven years working on these markets, such as UNC secondary schools, or in states such as Texas, where we have a large number of properties. If you look at the industry as a whole, there are two general comments that you can make.

One is that there is a limited supply. It's constrained because of the lack of capital available, and it's constrained with state budgetary cuts over the last few years. But at the same time, there is a growing demand. There are more kids going to college. They're staying longer. And although the Baby Boom's children, the Echo Boom, growth is dipping slightly over the next few years, this attendance is still at record levels. In addition to that, if you look at total enrollment, growth is continuing because the graduation rate at high schools is up. And of these graduates, a higher percentage are electing to attend college full time. In addition, foreign enrollment is on the rise. So those components are pretty compelling.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)

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