TORONTO - Trading was briefly halted for shares of North Pole Industries (NPI: TSX) on the TSX Friday after a disasterous bankruptcy filing sparked a run on selling. When the dust settled, NPI shares were down nearly 90% since their highs in the early 2000's.
Citing recent massive losses, NPI CEO Mr. S. Claus announced Friday morning that NPI would seek bankruptcy protection from creditors. "It's been clear for a awhile now our business model was flawed," Claus admitted in the press conference after the filing.
Even for a company that routinely files 3 quarters of returns with high expenditures and practically no revenues, recent changes to the commercial landscape have made recent filings absolutely dismal. Claus admits NPI was caught flat-footed by the internet revolution in online sales.
"There's just no way my list can keep up with Amazon's automated ordering system," Claus said at a recent trade conference, in a rare moment of awareness. But analysts say the problems go much deeper than out-dated data handling models.
"Who uses actual people to build things anymore?" asked Martin Stales, head of a amrket analysis company. "Even Elves??? I mean, its all done by machines these days." "And production is the least of their problems," Stales continued. "Paying for a year's worth of reindeer feed for one night of deliveries is horribly inefficient. Surely FedEx would do a far more cost-effective job."
Most analysts concede the bankrauptcy isn't much of a surprise from a company who's last major innovation was a lighting system for his delivery vehicle. Still, analysts point out that even with Friday's news, NPI is still in many ways better off than another major Canadian firm. "At least Claus can usually put out product that people want to see under their tree," Stales concluded. "That's more than we can say for the Blackberry boys over at RIM."