Commentary - 01/20/2008

Why I Can't Have A Hydrox Cookie!

I had always wondered why I couldn't find Hydrox cookies anymore. My grocer said that the store had discontinued selling them, but until today's Wall Street Journal[1/19], I did not know that the manufacturer had quit making them a few years back. The article was The Hydrox Cookie Is Dead, and Fans Won't Get Over It. It even made their Page One. (There's also a Hydrox page on Wikipedia.)

Due to the obvious nature of this site, I just had to investigate the powers-that-be. Sure enough, the same high-and-mighty now even determine what cookies I can buy. The same TOP 10 Major Holders have achieved control of just about every public corporation these day. Guess it matches their motto of "".

The TOP 10 Major Holders of Kellogg [ex-Hydrox] consists of less than two percent of the shareholders, but they control 58.18% of the shares. At least the insiders have a stake, which is 9% of the shares. The Kellogg Foundation controls most of that 9%.

The TOP 10 Major Holders of Kraft Foods [Oreos, yeck] consists of barely over 1% of the shareholders, but they control almost 32% of the shares. Kraft Foods is what I call a plantation, because there are no significant insiders holding shares. Notice that they tell the SEC that it is zero. So the CEO is simply a plantation manager, to be replaced whenever the Major Holders feel like it. Gotta be a tough spot to be in. But it does pay well, over $8.49 million in 2006. WOW! That's a lotta cookies.

The concern I have with the Major Holders of both Kellogg and Kraft Foods is that a significant portion is controlled by foreign entities, especially Barclays and AXA. Now we have to make an international phone call to beg for our cookies.

You would think with all this wealth between both firms that they could easily negotiate a deal with some 3rd party, who would gladly manufacture the Hydrox cookies for a unique market. They could even pay some royalties for the recipe. But of course, that would take away a few nickels from the international Major Holders. Sigh!!!

Sometimes The Dragon Wins

Symbol Name Of Corporation

Kellogg Co. (As of 30-Sep-2007)
Top 10 Institutional HoldersShares2007Value2006
Bank of New York Mellon Corporation94,241,71323.92%$5,277,535,928-.--%
KeyBank National Association30,996,3157.87%$1,735,793,640-.--%
Capital Research And Management Company23,943,3036.08%$1,340,824,968-.--%
Renaissance Technologies Corp10,418,2002.64%$583,419,200-.--%
Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings Ltd10,416,5662.64%$583,327,696-.--%
Morgan Stanley8,066,5612.05%$451,727,416-.--%
State Street Corporation7,956,9422.02%$445,588,752-.--%
Vanguard Group, Inc. (The)7,563,4331.92%$423,552,248-.--%
AXA (Paris, France)7,292,8431.85%$408,399,208-.--%
FMR Corporation (Fidelity Management & Research Corp)5,997,7341.52%$335,873,104-.--%
% of Shares Held by All Insider and 5% Owners:9%-.--%
Top 10 [1.9%] of 510 Institutional Holders Control52.51%-.--%
Percentage of Barclays and "Associates" Control38.50%-.--%
NOTE: Capital Group manages two funds that control 2.74%.
Vanguard manages three funds that control 1.66%.
Washington Mutual manages a fund that controls 1.27%.
Therefore, the TOP 10 control 58.18%, and
Barclays/Associates control 39.77% of Kellogg.

Symbol Name Of Corporation

Kraft Foods Inc. (As of 30-Sep-2007)
Top 10 Institutional HoldersShares2007Value2006
State Street Corporation60,213,4023.89%$2,077,964,503-.--%
Morgan Stanley58,221,4193.76%$2,009,221,169-.--%
AXA (Paris, France)48,202,4843.12%$1,663,467,722-.--%
Capital Research And Management Company47,558,7363.07%$1,641,251,979-.--%
Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings Ltd46,922,5033.03%$1,619,295,578-.--%
Vanguard Group, Inc. (The)46,184,4602.99%$1,593,825,714-.--%
Lord Abbett & Co33,245,3692.15%$1,147,297,684-.--%
Barrow, Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss, Inc. (Old Mutual)31,660,0732.05%$1,092,589,119-.--%
Bank Of America Corporation21,579,4381.39%$744,706,405-.--%
Northern Trust Corporation18,768,9211.21%$647,715,463-.--%
% of Shares Held by All Insider and 5% Owners:0%-.--%
Top 10 [1.1%] of 892 Institutional Holders Control26.66%-.--%
Percentage of Barclays and "Associates" Control13.28%-.--%
NOTE: Vanguard manages four funds that control 3.66%.
Capital Group manages two funds that control 1.66%.
Therefore, the TOP 10 control 31.98% of Kraft.

2008 by Edward Ulysses Cate
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