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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gideon Yu - Master of the Job Transition

Anyone notice that Gideon Yu appears to have made one of the all-time great job transitions based upon Google's recent purchase of YouTube?!? The guy was working at the "stodgy old Internet firm" Yahoo! when he gets an offer to become YouTube's CFO. A couple of months later, YouTube gets bought out by Google. Talk about stealing home.
Gideon, you get our Real Men of Web 2.0 (SM) award!
Prediction: Gideon joins a VC firm that is looking to "understand" all of this Web 2.0 stuff by adding a partner with domain experience.
Gideon! Remember the little people!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Call Bullsh*t on MySpace.com (NWS)

They don't have over 70 million active users -- the people buying that are smoking crack. Somebody audit these crackheads.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Get out of the way of Google Insider's (GOOG)

Bubble's back. Oh wait, I've said that before. Check out the MASSIVE insider selling at Google. Could Page, Brin and Kordenstani possibly sell more stock??? It's being done in $20 - 60 million chunks!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

McKinsey Screws Up Ebay (EBAY)

"Few at eBay initially saw reason to fear Google, say people at the company, in part because of a 2003 study it commissioned from McKinsey & Co. McKinsey concluded that Google wouldn't use its search capabilities to break into e-commerce. That made Google a manageable threat, say people familiar with the study. EBay's dependence on Google increased as it shifted ad dollars to online ads from traditional media throughout 2004."

Oops. Great article at the WSJ (sub req) discussing how eBay is trying to stem its Google addiction. Another great quote illustrating the problem: "John Aiken, managing director at Majestic Research, an independent equity-research firm, estimates that eBay spends about twice as much on Google ads as other individual search engines, and that Google brings up to three times as much traffic to eBay as other search engines."

Twice as much for three times the traffic? Sounds like Google is still a damn good buy (advertising wise).

The consolidation is coming. I think an eBay + Yahoo! merger makes a lot of sense...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Google Finance Not Quite There (GOOG)

Google Finance is what happens when you get people who don't quite understand finance making financial applications. It's like Time Magazine does the stock quotes. It's interesting, but not what I would use to help me make investment decisions.
Now, I'm a fundamentalist, so it may not be targeted at me. Considering how gee-whiz cool the graphing application is, it's probably aimed at technical traders. And that's fine, I'm sure that's where Google will make a lot of ads selling ETrade, Ameritrade and Schwab ads.
For instance, their cash flow calculations -- something I love to look at -- are whacked. Google Finance has the same numbers for the quarter and the year-end. Clearly, they don't get that they could subtract the 9 month numbers from the 12 month results to get an approximation of the 3 month numbers.
Financial portals are outside Google's bailiwick anyways. It's not like the data is all standardized and you can just build your AJAXY app and toss it out there. There is a lot of tweaking and modifying to get the information right. In other words, it requires human intervention and I'm sure that's something the new millionaires at the 'plex are a bit concerned about.
They should fire whomever is the product manager for Google Finance. It underwhelms.

**Update: GigaOM gets it.***

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Knight-Ridder: Out with a Whimper

So, the strategic buyer eventually showed up for Knight-Ridder. McClatchy papers buys Knight -Ridder at a valuation that underwhelms the market. Why are people surprised about this?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Good, The Bad (GOOG v. SYMC)

So, the GOOG after-hours trade worked well. Unfortunately, Symantec is nothing but ugliness. Their report wasn't horrible. They missed guidance by a bit, but it's not like they have an extremely high valuation. No, I think they got hurt the most by YACD (Yet Another C-level Departure).
Their valuation remains compelling in my bloodshot, weary eyes. They estimate $5.5 billion in revenues in 2007 with a $1.14 in earnings, resulting in forward enterprise valuaton multiple of less than 3x revenues and 15x earnings (non-GAAP). It looks really cheap! Right?
Well, the big threat comes from Microsoft's impending free anti-virus offering. And buying Symantec now is a basically a bet that one or some combination of the following will occur:
  1. Microsoft will continue to delay their AV offering.
  2. Microsoft's AV solution will not be trusted by consumers and they will continue to consume Symantec's AV products.
  3. Symantec will accelerate its enterprise security offerings enough to counteract the drop in AV revenues because of Microsoft.
I make my money by betting against the popular wisdom. I believe that somehow, someway Symantec will navigate this transition and protect more revenues from Microsoft than the market believes.
But now there's another threat that has me worried: What the hell is up with all of the C-level departures at Symantec?!?
Tonight, it was announced that Symantec's CIO is going to be replaced; meaning that the existing CIO is gone. Last week, it was announced that Gary Bloom, the President installed during the Veritas merger, was leaving. This after the CFO Greg Myers departed in November of last year and John Schwarz, the COO a few months before that to be CEO of Business Objects. This many departures is usually a signal that all is not well. Either John Thompson is doing one hell of a house cleaning, or his team is running for the exits...
Unfortunately, I read the signs too late on this one. There are safer bets for my money in the market.
Like picking up Google in After-Hours and getting a nice 8% return in one day!

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