Gross incompetence at Overstock.com

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Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) and its “colorful” CEO Patrick Byrne have a history of something…. At worst, it’s a history of misleading investors with false information, incomplete and inaccurate disclosures, and phony accounting measures. At best, it’s a history of gross incompentence that will never be overcome.

Sam Antar points out an interesting inclusion in Overstock.com’s third quarter financials and earnings release.

The company reports:

We believe that, because our current capital expenditures are lower than our depreciation levels, discussing EBITDA at this stage of our business is useful to us and investors because it approximates cash used or cash generated by the operations of the business.

Yet the numbers were this:

Capital expenditures $8,809,000
Depreciation and amortization $5,580,000

As you can see, the capital expenditures are actually higher than depreciation, directly contradicting the verbiage in the 8-K. Did the auditors even bother to look at what was being reported to see if the discussion was in line with the reported numbers?

Who cares about issues like this? Certainly not the SEC. Probably not the investors who continue to hold long positions in Overstock.com stock. I’m just personally amused at the continued incompetence of the executives at Overstock.

Naked short selling of stock isn’t killing Overstock.com. Completely inept management is.

One thought on “Gross incompetence at Overstock.com

  1. john lichtenstein

    That’s wishful thinking at work. This has been a theme for a while that OSTK was built out to service a certain volume of business and can continue on with a lower volume than that without replacing a lot of equipment. So even when capex is greater than depreciation, they have been talking about it being lower for so long, they just can’t see it. It turns out that stuff really does need to get replaced about the time it’s depreciated. The IT industry especially has ways of making you buy new stuff as soon as the old stuff is written off.

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