Overstock Pride Goes Before Fall

Hate to join the crowd kicking this sick horse, but for those who have followed the Overstock story over the last couple of years, the company’s pathetic Q3 results–and the sheer predictability of same–can only leave one shaking one’s head. For the last two years, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne has howled and ranted on television, …

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eBay Imports Kijiji: Good Idea, Tough Competition

First, the good news: eBay has finally decided to go into a business that makes strategic sense (instead of buying random phone companies and social-web-surfing companies).  Kijiji’s classified ads are highly complementary to the company’s core business, and they allow the eBay to use its core expertise of helping people buy and sell stuff.  Kijiji …

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eBay’s New Pony: Skype

Sub-Head: Wall Street Misses Forest for Trees A typical eBay quarter: solid numbers, sandbagged guidance, unavoidable deceleration leading to gradual multiple compression, marketplace and payment businesses that are changing the world.  And then there’s that new business, Skype, the acquisition that made everyone think Whitman & Co. had finally gone nuts. I still think the …

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Microsoft to Buy eBay? Bold… But Futile

he NY Post reports that Microsoft and eBay have been having merger discussions, and that, ironically, the talks have cooled of late because lawyers are concerned about anti-trust issues.  Suffice it to say that if such a deal were blocked because of monopoly concerns, regulators would merely be demonstrating an astounding inability to grasp current market dynamics. …

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eBay Gets The Lame Award for Google Checkout Ban

Hard to know where to start on all the eBay news today.  Paypal president out, possibly for performance.  Rookie Skype president Rajiv Dutta parachuting in to save day (and who will run Skype, another critical eBay division, albeit one that eBay shouldn’t have bought, now that Rajiv’s headed back to CA?).  A detailed analyst report …

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Analyzing Skype

eBay has now owned Skype for more than four full quarters.  How’s that little $4 billion flyer doing? Answer: Pretty well, actually.  Not amazing, not terrible.  Pretty well. eBay doesn’t release much Skype information, but we can still get a good snapshot: After decelerating through Q2 last year, both revenue and user-growth are now reaccelerating. …

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Huge Net Capex: One-Time or Permanent?

The WSJ describes a key issue facing the big net companies, especially Google: massive (and increasing) capital spending.  Last week, for example, Google stated that 2006 CAPEX would “significantly exceed” 2005’s mind-boggling $800 million, prompting analysts to toss out 2006 estimates in the $1.25 to $1.5 billion range.  Yahoo! spent $400 million last year, up from $250 …

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