Monday, November 03, 2008

Comedy Corner: Towering Incompetence at Overstock.com

The economy is collapsing, the nation is at a crossroads, and at the corporate fraud poster child Overstock.com: well it's mismanagement as usual. Herewith is today's installment of the always comical tale of the third-rate Internet retailer:

Sam Antar and Tracy Coenen report... well, let's go to the videotape:

. . . 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.
The snoring you hear in the background is the SEC's Salt Lake City office, locally known as "Ambien Central." Let's hope whoever is elected president tomorrow actually lives up to his promises (fat chance there) and starts to crack down on corporate malfeasance. A good first start is to light a fire under regulators, beginning with the SEC.

UPDATE: Valleywag weighs in: "Wacky Overstock.com chief presides over massive financial deception." and Overstock.com chief lying about company's finances since 2001.

Hey, you can't buy that kind of publicity.

© 2008 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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