Downside: cash is king.
I assume by now you've all seen f**kedcompany.com --
a spotlight on the predicted imminent demise of particular dot-coms
based on rumors and recent news, with a whole lot of attitude. Now
deathwatch. No attitude at all, just projections from recent SEC
10-K and 10-Q filings. Deathwatch is an automated screen for
money-losing companies running out of cash.
Downside's Deathwatch is a cash-flow analysis. The death date is
simply the day the company will run out of cash, based on their
reported liquid assets and loss rate. When the cash runs out,
something bad for stockholders has to happen.
Here is a sampling of companies whose death date has passed. I could
swear I have seen some of them in headlines involving acquisitions,
mergers, and cutbacks.
healtheon corp (HLTH) Feb 18, 2000
flashnet communications inc (PRGY) Apr 4
at home corp (ATHM) Jun 5
value america inc /va (VUSA) Jun 9
drkoop com inc (KOOP) Jun 25
e loan inc (EELN) Jul 2
fatbrain com inc (FATB) Jul 11
engage inc (ENGA) Jul 31
digital lava inc (DGV) Aug 6
internet america inc (GEEK) Aug 8
citysearch inc (TMCS) Aug 19
navisite inc (NAVI) Sep 1, 2000
And now a sampling from the future death dates.
digital river inc (DRIV) Nov 13, 2000
cybercash inc (CYCH) Nov 16
theglobe com inc (TGLO) Nov 20
vitaminshoppe com inc (VSHP) Dec 13
juno online services inc (JWEB) Dec 17
quokka sports inc (QKKA) Dec 18
beyond com corp (BYND) Jan 4, 2001
planetrx com (PLRX) Jan 24
drugstore com inc (DSCM) Jan 31
etoys inc (ETYS) Mar 13
amazon com inc (AMZN) Mar 19
salon com (SALN) Apr 2
ask jeeves inc (ASKJ) Apr 16
mp3 com inc (MPPP) May 6
ariba inc (ARBA) May 31
goto com inc (GOTO) Jun 12
log on america inc (LOAX) Sep 14
n2h2 inc (NTWO) Sep 16, 2001
Downside's perpetrator is not named on the site -- he refers to
himself simply as "a contrarian in Silicon Valley." According to
whois, that would be John Nagle of Menlo Park. He also holds two
on 3D animation techniques and sells a product called
Bodies, a dynamics plug-in for softimage|3D.
Many thanks to TBTF Irregular Monty Solomon for this valuable
"investor's reality check."
Stolen Enigma turns up.
The rare crypto device,
from Bletchley Park last April, was mailed to Jeremy Paxman,
anchor of a BBC nightly news program. The package had hung around
the mailroom for several days. This
does not say whether a ransom was
paid, but a reader can draw that inference. The
coverage adds the detail that three of the machine's four
encryption wheels were missing.
MS Linux -- get it quick.
These guys are skating on thin air. Catch this site quick before
Microsoft's lawyers notice. The bogus MS Linux
site -- "The premier Linux distro" -- not only uses Microsoft
trademarks and graphics, it uses Microsoft's own bandwidth to serve
them up. The first line in the HTML source is
The PR copy is just about pitch-perfect; you might be left wondering
whether MS Linux is real if it weren't for other headlines on the
page such as "Microsoft Invades Cuba." Oh, and the final paragraph in
the description of this new Linux distribution:
MS Linux is released under the provisions of the Gates Private
License, which means you can freely use this Software on a single
machine without warranty after having paid the purchase price and
annual renewal fees.
Thanks to Joe Sotham for the pointer.