Overstock Continues to Mislead Investors With Phony EBITDA Calculation

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Patrick Byrne Naked Short SellingIn the past, I’ve discussed the improper EBITDA numbers reported by Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK). It comes as no surprise that the con game continues with Overstock’s latest reported numbers.

The SEC rules are very simple. “EBITDA” refers to a specific calculation, which is “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.” Overstock.com and CEO Patrick Byrne have taken liberties with this number, in violation of guidance provided by the SEC on the issue. Continue reading

The SEC Investigation of Overstock Was Because Patrick Byrne is Trying to Expose Corruption on Wall Street?

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That appears to be what Patrick Byrne is suggesting in this interview. The story keeps changing. At one point, Patrick said he and Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) weren’t really the target of the SEC investigation. Rather, the investigation was focused on others (hence the “celebration” of subpoenas). When the SEC issued a no-action letter, suddenly the investigation really was about Overstock and Patrick, and they were vindicated (according to their supporters).

Byrne blathers and I paraphrase…. Continue reading

Short Selling, Miscreants Ball, and Conspiracies… OH MY!

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On August 12, 2005, Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) had a conference call he said was going to give information about the “August 11 lawsuit.”

The transcript is 17 glorious pages of Byrne rambling about his conspiracy theories. No questions. Just Byrne and conspiracy theories. I read it on Thursday. And I didn’t really know what to do with it. Do I try to summarize all the nonsense? Then what?

Fortunately, a poster on a stock message board has saved me the trouble. Here’s what he calls the Reader’s Digest version of the transcript. If you’re normal, you will get less than 1/4 through it and swear that this person is lying. The transcript of this public conference call sponsored by Overstock.com couldn’t possibly have happened this way. Oh yes, it could. Read the transcript for yourself! Continue reading

Patrick Byrne & Co. Up to Dirty Message Board Tricks Again

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I occasionally take a peek at stock message boards like the Investor Village Overstock.com board when I need a bit of entertainment. It’s especially interesting when the poster “Hannibal” makes statements about the financials and operations of Overstock.com and makes no disclosure that he is, in fact, Patrick Byrne the CEO of Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK).

Patrick and his little friends have a history of using dirty tricks to try to gather information on the people who dare to say anything negative about Overstock. Paid cyberstalker Judd Bagley is known for secretly embedding code into messages he posts on message boards, with the intent of harvesting information about the IP addresses of those who read and respond to his messages. Continue reading

A Little “Deep Capture” Cover-Up in the Works?

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Gary Weiss has a most excellent post on his blog about an apparent cover-up in progress by Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK).

Here’s the deal: For a couple of years now, Patrick has been ranting and raving about conspiracies and Sith Lords and secret fax machines and other oddities related to Naked Short Selling. (Just type “sith lord” into the search box to the right to get a flavor of what I mean.) He is going to be the savior of the investing world, and DeepCapture.com is his “journalistic” endeavor related to this. Continue reading

Preserving Some Overstock.com History Again

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Patrick Byrne, Sith LordFrom time-to-time, I like to cut and paste from the ever-entertaining stock message boards about Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK). I admit to being a casual observer. I don’t post on those message boards, but do read on occasion. And this exchange was too good to ignore. Plus I like to have the opportunity to read some of my favorite postings again without having to search the boards… they’re right here at my fingertips.

This message was posted last night on Investor Village. CEO Patrick Byrne likes to post on message boards as “Hannibal,” discussing Overstock issues while not disclosing his true identity. While regular readers of these boards likely know it’s Patrick, many others probably don’t. Do you think Patrick ought to provide full disclosure with each of his messages? I do.

Here’s what “Hannibal” had to say: Continue reading

Thousands of Victims of Naked Short Selling, But I’m Not Naming Names!

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I’m not an expert on Naked Short Selling. Frankly, I’ve just never really been interested in the topic. Does it appear to exist? Yes. Does it appear to be the reason Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) is doing so poorly and its stock is far below where it was a few years ago? No. I’ve seen no proof of that.

But so long as Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne dons his tinfoil hat and raves about the big conspiracy, there is hope for his company!

An interview with Byrne by The Wall Street Transcript was posted on Seeking Alpha, and it says in part: Continue reading

Securities & Exchange Commission Closes Inquiry Into Overstock.com

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Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) announced today that the Salt Lake City office of the SEC notified them that it is not recommending any enforcement action against the company.

The following was reported:

“I know that the SEC has an obligation to look into allegations it receives about any company — even when those allegations are false,” said Patrick Byrne, Overstock.com’s chairman and chief executive officer. “I believe that this inquiry was initiated, and persisted, because of false allegations made by a cohesive group of short sellers and a few financial journalists who dutifully serve them. In this case, I believe these folks fomented the SEC investigation against Overstock.com then tried to claim that the existence of an SEC investigation was evidence of wrong doing. We knew that was false.”

Continue reading

No Profitability to “Maintain” at Overstock.com

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Sam Antar pointed out this hilarious directive that Patrick Byrne and Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) received in 2002 from the SEC. (Note that the company has still never had a profitable year. Ever.)

From Overstock.com S-1 filed on 03/05/02:

“We have grown quickly and if we fail to manage our growth, our ability to generate new revenues and maintain profitability would be harmed.”

SEC to Overstock.com on 04/04/02:

Dear Mr. Byrne….

“We note that you incurred net losses of $13.8 million for your most recently completed fiscal year. In light of this fact, please revise the caption to this risk factor to eliminate the reference to ‘maintaining’ profitability.”

Yeah… Overstock and the auditors might want to be a little more accurate in their SEC filings. First a company must get to profitability. Then it can maintain it. Or in Overstock’s case, never get to it.

 

Overstock.com is Doing Better if EBITDA is Worse Than They Reported?

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This level of logic from the supporters of Patrick Byrne and his supporters is pathetic. Sam Antar has brought up the issue of Overstock.com’s (NASDAQ:OSTK) violation of SEC regulations in reporting EBITDA.

The result of that improper reporting? EBITDA is materially overstated by Overstock.com and the company’s financial results look better than they really are. (Stock price manipulation, anyone?) Continue reading