Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Overstock's Overheated Conference Call

What a conference call Friday by Overstock.com! Never have I heard a more contentious call. Pissy management. Outraged short sellers. Media conspiracy theories. And Jim Cramer drawn into the fray! Replays of this call is making the rounds on Wall Street, and it's as entertaining as these calls get.

Here's the story: Following the release of Overstock's earnings for the third-quarter, the companies CEO Patrick Bryne launched into a tirade about the misinformation coming from short sellers. Overstock.com isn't the most heavily shorted stock out there, but still, with a 7.75 days to cover, a lot of people -- and increasing number of people -- are betting against the stock.

Byrne cited some examples that sounded pretty scummy. And then he singled out David Rocker of Rocker Capital as typical of these short sellers. (An aside: I know and like David Rocker and NO ONE does more homework on a stock than David Rocker. Not that it's helped him. Seems to me he gets religious about some stocks and consequently gets killed i.e. Amazon.com throughout the bubble. But he's a good man and works hard to get it right and has historically made a lot of money for his investors. He's also an unsung hero for helping to expose loads of scams on Wall Street.) Byrne dared Rocker to call the conference call.

Rocker did. Byrne then accused Rocker -- wrongly -- of being in cahoots with Jim Cramer, host of Kudlow and Cramer. Then Cramer called! Fireworks ensued. Check it out. Posted by Hello


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