FINANCE

Higher expenses cut into Overstock.com Q2 net income

BY Dan Berthiaume

Salt Lake City – A 23% increase in Overstock.com’s sales and marketing expense helped reduce its second quarter fiscal 2014 net income to $1.9 million, down 48% from $3.7 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue grew 13% to $332.5 million, from $293.2 million.

Patrick M. Byrne, CEO and chairman of Overstock.com, cited increases in technology spending as helping the company to quickly conceive and execute new ideas such as a recently launched consumer credit facility.

“Our increases in technology spending have supported an innovation cycle that has spun up to the point that we can conceive and execute on ideas much faster than at any previous time in our existence,” said Byrne. “Barring exogenous events, I anticipate that our innovative efforts will continue gathering momentum.”

In addition, Overstock announced that a California appeals court has set an Aug. 15, 2014 date to hear oral arguments in its previously dismissed stock manipulation lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. The court will also hear a motion to unseal the evidence that has been jointly filed by The Economist, Rolling Stone, Bloomberg, and The New York Times.

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FINANCE

Priceline purchases OpenTable for $2.6 billion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Norwalk, Conn. – The Priceline Group Inc. has successfully completed its previously announced tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of common stock of OpenTable Inc. for $103 per share in cash. The all-cash transaction is valued at $2.6 billion.

The Priceline Group expects to complete the acquisition of OpenTable on July 24 through a merger. As a result of the merger, all remaining eligible OpenTable shares will be converted into the right to receive $103 per share in cash. OpenTable shares will cease to be traded on the Nasdaq Global Market. OpenTable will continue to be headquartered in San Francisco and will operate as an independent business led by its current management team within The Priceline Group.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Overstock.com provides special occasion online registries

BY Dan Berthiaume

Salt Lake City – Overstock.com Inc. has augmented its wish list feature with wedding, baby and special occasion registries. When creating a registry, customers are offered recommendations of top sellers within the Overstock GiftFinder for wedding, baby, housewarming, graduation, birthday or other special occasion categories.

Overstock registries are updated in real-time, allowing gift givers to see exactly what is available for purchase and what was already purchased, as to avoid duplicate gifts. Registry creators have the ability to add or remove items from their registry at any time; ensuring gift givers have products to purchase that are in stock and available.

Overstock registries offer tracking and matching of gifts purchased from the registry with specific gift givers’ names, making sending thank-you cards easy. Registries are shareable, allowing for cross posting to wedding websites or sharing via email or social channels. In addition, registrants can print out an insert to include with a wedding or baby shower invitation to inform guests where they are registered.

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