Timing is Everything

January 21, 2008 - 2 Responses

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Funny how this officially comes out after the MSFT bid. It’s not too late for the bid price to slip a bit – you heard it here first.

Fast Search & Transfer to restate 2006 accounts, possibly 2007

From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate. -Socrates

January 14, 2008 - One Response

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And probably more to come, once the pink slips start circulating.

Many Fast Search & Transfer developers hate Microsoft

It’s better to burn out than to fade away

January 8, 2008 - Leave a Response

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Slash and Lars Umlaut jamming on stage.

Shareholders Celebrate Orkla’s BoD Coup

January 2, 2008 - One Response

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Or maybe it was just New Year’s Eve

The Spectacular Fireworks Above Oslo

Fast Search & Transfer stock is going up

Just what I wanted for Xmas – a power struggle!

December 22, 2007 - One Response

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So it looks like the meeting that Orkla is calling is to replace the Chairman of the Board. The stock jumps 20% on the news.

And you naysayers almost had me convinced that I was the only one that cared.


Orkla hopes to replace Fast’s Chairman

Warmest Holiday Wishes from The Downward Spiral

December 21, 2007 - Leave a Response

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Norwegian Christmas cookie recipe

The Orkla River has the best salmon fishing

December 21, 2007 - Leave a Response

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Usually these kinds of meetings aren’t to pass out Christmas bonuses, but rather a display of who has got the biggest rod.

Fast Search & Transfer receives EGM request from 13.7 pct shareholder Orkla

Reader Mailbag

December 11, 2007 - Leave a Response

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I’m at a loss to explain it, but here it is in it’s full glory for your enjoyment. Personally, I think a little more work could have gone into the pseudonym.

 

From “Larsy Lars”:

FAST has just revealed that it will announce it’s 2007 annual results on February 29thAt first we were amazed at the staggering 2 months it would take FAST to fabricate, er rather, add up the revenue they intend to report for 2007. And then we heard a rumor that it would be on this leap year day, that FAST would unveil the point of confusion that has led to $160 Million in losses and accusations of accounting fraud by everyone from Goldman Sachs to employees to a Norwegian Elkhound in the North that has apparently learned to count. 2008. It turns out there is a rumor FAST is in the process of arguing with Deloitte & Touche over whether The Gregorian calendar’s traditional leap year insertion of one day every four years to synchronize recorded time with astronomical events is the right way to be doing things. (From an accounting perspective, that is) Rumors have FAST executives arguing: “The Gregorian calendar is designed to keep the vernal equinox on or close to March 21, so that the date of Easter (celebrated on the Sunday after the 14th day of the Moon that falls on or after 21 March) remains correct with respect to the vernal equinox. FAST customers reportedly don’t give a pickled herring about whether the vernal equinox falls correctly. So FAST has elected to bring forward 8,000 years of incremental adjustments and apply them to 2007 to try and collect bad debts, turn MOUs into actual contracts and/or generally fatigue anyone who is paying attention to the bookkeeping. By doing so, the company has innovated to create an additional 7.54717 years to close business already reported to auditors.”Of course this could all be rumor and they might have scheduled their earnings on February 29th in the hope that choosing an obscure day 2 months after 2007 is long gone will minimize the audience.

Prize Patrol is Knocking on the Door

December 11, 2007 - Leave a Response

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Fast looks under rocks for revenue opportunities (Ezmo, British football gambling, questionable JVs, etc) – so this isn’t really all that ludicrous by comparison.

Netflix is currently offering a $1 million dollar prize to whomever can increase the effectiveness of the current movie recommendation engine by 10%.

In the Intra-Quarter presentation, there is a nice slide showing how Fast can enable movie recommendations.

Is this really the revenue growth strategy? If not, perhaps it should be.

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Netflix Prize

Ye Olde Intra-Quarter Presentation

December 10, 2007 - One Response

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Hopefully Fast has taken the lesson from Q3 to heart – which is don’t announce X in the Intra-Quarter preso, and then 50% of X in the actual results, only 2 weeks later.

Really not much of interest here, at least not in the form of gussied up quotes from phantom Disney employees. But, what’s there, certainly isn’t heartwarming to investors.

Slide 23 (Q4 Directions) guides to a EBIT loss of up to $20 millon … over 2x as big as average analyst expectations. EBITDA any better? Fast is guiding to up to 6x larger a loss than analyst expectations.

Slide 22 (the nicely termed “Other Items”) paints a pretty bad picture with respect to Ezmo. Fast’s $5.8 million investment is going to impact Q4, and they’re “actively looking for partners/co-investors” to bail them out.

I think it might be time for an intervention before we hit rock bottom.

Fast Q4 Intra-Quarter Presentation

Winners Partner with Winners

December 10, 2007 - Leave a Response

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Or so goes the old business adage. But it looks like the opposite is true.

UBS just announced at $716 million Q3 loss. What better way to stop the bleeding than by buying from FAST?

Fast Search & Transfer signs search platform deal with UBS

Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.

November 28, 2007 - 9 Responses

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Fast is taking a lease in NYC with space for 40. What’s wrong with this picture? The fact that they’re paying for 9x more space than they need, or the desire to massively overhire a field sales office?

Computer Search Firm Finds New Space

The Jig is Up on Lars

November 15, 2007 - Leave a Response

A friendly reader sent along an email with a picture of the Ezmo HQ.

Look closely and you’ll see some Guitar Hero gear…

Could it be?

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Can Somone Please Buy FAST a Calculator?

November 15, 2007 - One Response

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Fast plans to double the number of employees in China, and open two new offices in Shanghai and Beijing.

All of this for the stated goal of increasing revenue contributions from Asia from the current level of 19% to 20%.

PS: This article states Fast is considering a dual listing in Asia or the Nasdaq. I don’t know what kind of tomfoolery goes on in the Asian exchanges, but the Nasdaq requires an audit for the previous 4 years. Good luck getting that pushed through.

Fast Search to Quicken China Expansion

Ez Mo’ Than One Way to Burn Cash

November 15, 2007 - 2 Responses

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Congratulations to Fast, on launching their newest money losing subsidiary. Ezmo is the social networking way to steal share music.

Is it legal? Of course it’s legal. Quoth the Ezmo FAQ:

“Is it legal?

Yes.”

You can’t make it any clearer than that. And this is from the country that ruled iTunes illegal, so clearly they know what they’re talking about.

Apparently, Fast didn’t learn from the first time they were sued over mp3 copyright violations.

I think there may be more coming

November 14, 2007 - One Response

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Two members of the Board of Directors (including the Vice Chairman) resign in the past 2 weeks.

Johan Frederik Odfjell resigns

Øystein Tvenge resigns

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

November 8, 2007 - 12 Responses

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We’ll never believe that the Fast Board of Directors is anything other than refined gentlemen and consummate professionals. Which is why the only explanation for this news is that the BoD member was somehow channeling Martin Lawrence. Not kid-friendly Open Season Martin Lawrence, but high as a kite, gun waving in traffic, jogging on the hottest day in LA with a wool hat on Martin Lawrence.

Be sure to check out the Wikipedia section “Changes in Board of Directors” which gives a quick English translation. Also, let it be noted for the record, that we at the Downward Spiral never have and never will edit Wikipedia – we leave that to our devoted cult-like followers.

I should have shot Spetalen (Norwegian)

Happy Talk

November 8, 2007 - 17 Responses

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Once again, Dave Kellog has not nice things to say about our friends at Fast, but takes some digs at a Fast SI for good measure as well.

Fast Forgets Headline and Body Copy Need Linkage

59% of 196 Norwegians Can’t be Wrong

November 3, 2007 - Leave a Response

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FAST Scare: Colossal Blunder (Norwegian)

Colossal Blunder

November 3, 2007 - Leave a Response

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FAST Scare: Colossal Blunder (Norwegian)

I am two fools, I know, for loving, and for saying so in whining poetry.

November 3, 2007 - Leave a Response

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Researchers investigating if Norwegians are big whiners.

Most aches in the world

It’s not how you pick your nose, it’s where you put that booger that counts.

November 3, 2007 - Leave a Response

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Fast Search Announces $100M Net Loss in Q3 07

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

November 1, 2007 - Leave a Response

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I’ve done better in Vegas.

Incredible Growth

November 1, 2007 - Leave a Response

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In perusing the Q3 financial release, you’ll notice that overall revenue increased 4% between Q2 and Q3 2007. But in this same time period, professional services revenue increased by 80%.

Since clearly the overall business growth can’t support this increase in consulting, perhaps someone with some more accounting expertise can explain this.

Our speculation – professional services likely decreased in Q3 due to the RIF. The “growth” represents services revenue which in the past had been fraudently recognized as license revenues.

Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea? Svampebob Firkant!

October 30, 2007 - 3 Responses

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Our dear friend Dave Kellog from Mark Logic partly attributes Autonomy’s increase in market share to FAST (no longer?) reporting inflated numbers.

Autonomy Posts a Good Third Quarter