on their most recent investor webcast it seemed as though they were trying to talk future guidance and stock price down, which is an interesting move prior to a secondary public offering. I am sure the speculation will run wild on what they need an additional 4 billion dollars for.
The main advantages companies have over individual share holders are insider knowledge, the fact that companies lack the irrational emotion that individual traders do, and the ability to control the number of shares outstanding (known as the float). InTrim Tabs Investing Charles Bidderman's macroscopic liquidity theory states it is best to buy stocks when companies are buying and sell when they are selling, but if Google shares drop too far this secondary public offering might be a good opportunity to get cheap shares. They are already down $11 a share in pre market trading.
Having limited finacial assets, I have never shorted a stock, but the Chinese search engine Baidu (ticker: BIDU) seems a bit pricey at $120 a share, a 350% increase from the IPO price.
There are rumours of Google wanting to buy them, but I doubt they want to spend billions of dollars buying them and end up needing to worry about the issues of music sharing and the like, especially while Google wants to court some of those music labels to spend on search.
If I see internet stocks go up based on hits or pageviews I will make sure I am ready to sell what little stock I have. ;)
With surging investor demand for hedge funds, buyout funds and venture capital firms, some funds are slamming the door to new investors, industry experts said at a New York conference on Wednesday. Some complain the industry has gotten too crowded to generate the double-digit returns they seek.
Summer is Slow for Search:
Earnings season is coming. Search is normally a bit slower in the Summer since people spend more time outside enjoying fun weather.
"Options are already pricing in a plus or minus 14 percent move for Google's earnings, making outright option buying expensive," Goldman Sachs strategists Maria Grant and John Marshall wrote in their latest Weekly Options Watch commentary.
Goldman Sachs Internet analyst Anthony Noto believes investors should own Google and expects Google to post strong results on July 21. Noto said he prefers to wait until after the quarter to reassess attractive entry points, given the recent rally in the stock.
Yahoo! has gained nearly $3 a share in the last 5 days. Legg Mason (not exactly sure why but they one of my favorite analyst firms) initiated coverage on Yhoo at buy. Yahoo! recently started adding crawled web listings to their Hot Jobs job search.
Their stock price has been hovering in the $2 to $3 range recently. About a month ago they gained about $25 million in market capitalization which coincided with getting a $15 million loan. Since then the stock has dropped back to $2.05 a share, and currently their market capitalization sits at about 68 million dollars.
I believe WebSourced acquires many of their clients through leads from inqueries at search conferences, such as JupiterMedia's Search Engine Strategies conference (which is highly recommend and being held in San Jose from August 8TH to 11TH). KeywordRanking is sponsoring the San Jose event, but it will be interesting to see what happens with Andy. He is a popular speaker on the conference scene.
Recently WebSourced brought on Heather Lloyd-Martin and Mike Grehan (who is arguably one of the top trusted names in search), but in the last month they have lost Andy Beal and Jason Dowdell. Andy posted his reasons for leaving:
I wanted my readers to be the first to know that I have decided to resign my position at WebSourced, Inc. The five years that I have spent, helping the company grow from a start-up to the worldâ€™s largest search marketing company, have been some of the most rewarding, exciting and satisfying of my career.
In writing this letter, I hope to avoid any confusion as to why I decided to resign as VP of Marketing. This decision is not one that comes lightly. It is clear that my vision for the companyâ€™s future does not match-up with its current course. These philosophical differences have led me to conclude that WebSourcedâ€™s current path does not align with my own beliefs.
But you have to wonder the exact reason and how soon others may follow.
To run a successful search firm you only need one or two names and a small group of talented programmers and people who truely understand how the web works.
From my knowledge of the industry and how quickly stuff changes I can't fathom creating a business model that provided effective results and scaling it out to hundreds of employees and thousands of clients.
WebSourced's current business model has a ton of employees, and a small change in client acquisition could likely cost many jobs. It will be interesting to see how the stock market reacts to this news.
Google owns 4% and may want the rest of the company, although the WebmasterWorld thread points to Baidu in a rather negative light. Interesting to get a glimpse of how search users around the globe think of different competing services. At the end of the day it is all about money though. Does Baidu have technology and marketshare worth far more than their price?
The WebmasterWorld thread also points at this article, which states:
According to sources, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google who just concluded his visit to China, said recently Google would enter China's market this year, and how it enters the market would depend on its talks with Baidu.
There are two options for Google, said Schmidt. One is that Google holds shares of Baidu and the other is that both sides deepen cooperation, and Google would hold more Baidu's stakes or even set up a joint venture. This may lead to Google's takeover of Baidu, turning Baidu into its subsidiary in China.
PayPal China will offer payments in the local currency through 15 Chinese banks and more than 20 different debit cards. The company also will offer buyer protection on EachNet, an e-commerce firm acquired by eBay in 2002.
Barry Dillar's IAC Sells Stake in Vivendi Universal for 3.4 Billion. TheStreet reports:
"The transaction results in after tax proceeds to IAC that, by any measure, exceed the company's publicly stated valuation of the VUE securities," Diller said in a statement. "After paying applicable taxes on the transaction, IAC will have netted approximately $1 billion in cash, repurchased 56.6 million IAC shares, and obtained approximately $100 million in advertising across NBC-Universal's various networks over the next three years."
Well that ought to pay for Ask. IACI is up over 5% on the day so far.
I think I link to every article he writes. his latest: Hiring is Obsolete, which says if you are the young & motivated type you can let the market determine your value by starting a startup instead of going to work for mega corp for lower than market value wages.
InfoSearch recently introduced a content licensing model that allows its clients to license the content, generally for a one year period, with renewal rights at the conclusion of the license term. Further, InfoSearch is gradually transitioning the current traffic model through its www.articleinsider.com network from a fixed CPC (cost per click) rate to a bidded CPC rate. After these new initiatives are integrated into the existing business model, the Company expects that they will provide continued revenue growth over the longer term.
I think it will be fun to watch to see what they can make of it.
They have over $4 million in the bank and are cashflow positive, but:
making their ArticleInsider network an open auction goes against their primary selling point of a low fixed cost. I can't imagine current customers will be pleased with the transition.
After they do make the transition they become a second (or third) tier PPC service. Looking at how some of those search stocks are doing in the market with lowering bid prices and marketshare makes you wonder how this helps them.
after you reach a point in market saturation there are some topics which are not as profitable to create content for. what then?
I think creating services or multiple compelling channels that keep consumers wanting to come back is a far better longterm model than profiting from static content.
the direct channels get direct traffic and search traffic
the direct channels are more likely to build natural linkage data
the direct channels, which frequently update, give people an excuse to come back and view more content & ads
Huge news for the beaten down FWHT stock, which was recently down to 4.07 from it's 52 week high of 23.94, gained about 10% on the day.
A judge declared a mistrial in a patent infringement lawsuit between Yahoo Inc. and FindWhat.com Inc. after a jury failed to reach a decision on all of the issues in the case, FindWhat.com said on Thursday.
In a note to clients on Wednesday, RBC Capital Markets analyst Jordan Rohan said the most likely outcome of the case would be a modest out-of-court settlement. He estimated that FindWhat could settle the case for around $7 million to $8 million.
Rohan said some investors had worried that a ruling against FindWhat in the case could wipe out the majority of the company's $50 million cash balance.
Most of the second tier search stocks are fading into irrelevance. Maybe this will help FWHT hang on a little longer. Also noted eariler today:
FindWhat.com noted the judge has yet to rule on the issue of whether the patent is unenforceable because of inequitable conduct committed by Overture. A hearing on the inequitable conduct issue and other motions that could impact the ultimate outcome of the case is currently scheduled for June 24, 2005.