Short Sellers

Focus Media Management: Muddy Waters Has It All Wrong, Should Be Sued For Being a Rumor Monger

Focus Media Chief Financial Officer Kit Low disputed Muddy Waters’ claims on a conference call Tuesday with analysts, saying that the firm’s report misinterpreted LCD-display numbers and financial data. He said Muddy Waters concentrated largely on Focus Media’s mergers and acquisitions, but the company hasn’t made any “major acquisitions in the past three years” because it is putting more emphasis on its core business. Focus Media Chief Executive Jason Jiang criticized short-sellers in a message posted on his verified account on China’s Sina Weibo microblog service. “Why isn’t anyone suing these short sellers who are just spreading malicious rumors everywhere?” the message said. “These people should be punished according to the law!!!” [WSJ]

Silvercorp Metals CEO Reminds Everyone That They’re a ‘Real Company’

As we’ve discussed, Silvercorp Metals hasn’t appreciated the anonymous letters floating around the Series of Tubes accusing the Canadian miner of accounting fraud and has stated that, save their assets in China, “this wouldn’t be happening.” What the company would really like is for these jerks to show themselves and cooperate with investigators. But until that happens, Silvercorp hired KPMG to poke around to calm all the fears out there. According to reports, the House of Klynveld will have a report out soon but in the meantime, Silvercorp CEO Feng Rui will address everyone who thinks that his company is just a bunch of Tonka trucks in a sandbox:

“We’re a real company and will fight against shorters and distorters,” Feng Rui, Silvercorp chief executive officer, said today at a meeting in Beijing.

Furthermore, the auditors in this matter, Ernst & Young, have carried out their duties to a T and if you think some bullshit letters are going to cause them (or Feng & Co.) to do things differently, you’d be wrong:

“Our auditing doesn’t have anything wrong, the allegations are fabrication,” Feng said today in an interview on the sidelines of the meeting.[…] “The allegations won’t prompt us to make any changes in the process of financial reporting and auditing,” he said

Frankly, it’s embarrassing that they even have to address this but you’ve given them no choice.

Silvercorp Says KPMG to Issue Fraud Allegation Report ‘Soon’ [Bloomberg]

Silvercorp Metals Chairman Would Like These Gutless, Anonymous Letter-Writing Short-sellers to Man Up and Show Their Faces

A couple of weeks ago, Silvercorp Metals responded to an anonymous letter that alleged that the company was engaged in some dodgy accounting practices. Understandably, the company was irked by this little stunt, responding that it was complete BS and due to some short-sellers trying to take advantage of the rash of sketchy accounting scandals involving companies that have a connection to China.

Now, a second anonymous letter has appeared and the company is again going on a PR offensive to calm everyone down because, really you guys, nothing is fucked here and that these reptiles need to come out and start cooperating with investigators if they’re really concerned about things outside their wallets. And so everyone gets the message loud and clear, this was not delivered by some everyday flak but by the Chairman of the company, Dr. Rui Feng:

“I ask shareholders to exercise common sense in assessing whether these allegations of “fraud” against the Company have any merit whatsoever in the face of very significant revenues, tax payments and dividends, and particularly when the accusations are made anonymously by parties whose only interest is in depressing the Company’s share price. I invite the authors of the anonymous allegations to come out of the shadows and participate with the regulators in their investigations, if their concerns truly extend beyond the profitability of their short positions.”

Furthermore, the company’s independent committee has engaged a KPMG Forensic team to help get to the bottom of this. And they certainly know the traits of fraudsters when they see them. Everyone just chill out.

[via Silvercorp Metals]

Patrick Byrne May Say Something That Will Antagonize You

Thumbnail image for patsy_byrne.jpgThe Patrick Byrne Express (via Segway, natch) pulled over from its nationwide auditor search to pen the latest triumph in his quest to refute every Overstock/Patrick Byrne hater on the planet.
Patsy’s latest letter informs us of the settlement that Overstock has reached with Rocker Partners, one of those short-selling hedge fund haters, for $5 million.
His masterpiece opens with “The good guys won” and then rambles on to tell us how he feels about pretty much everyone in financial media. And that’s what this was really all about. It wasn’t about the money, you fools. This was about exposing the anti-Overstock/Patrick Byrne contingent:

What is of vastly greater significance than this $5 million payment, however, is an examination of the cover-up conducted by elements of the New York financial press. Taking the lead was CNBC, which spent a great deal of airtime downplaying the significance of this suit, vilifying me, and smearing Overstock.

Apparently, this is just the beginning. Prime brokers, sounds like you’re next.
And just so you know, PB and his company don’t give a damn if you, the SEC, or anyone else for that matter gets bent out of shape about them spreading the truth. As Floyd Norris rehashes some of the trubs going on in casa de Overstock, he notes this little treasure from the company’s unreviewed 10-Q:

Public statements we or our chief executive officer, Patrick M. Byrne, have made or may make in the future may antagonize regulatory officials or others.
We and our chief executive officer, Patrick M. Byrne, have from time to time made public statements regarding our or his beliefs about matters of public interest, including statements regarding naked short selling. Some of those public statements have been critical of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies. These public statements may have consequences for us, whether as a result of increased regulatory scrutiny or otherwise.

Sounds like fighting words to us. Go ahead and bring it, SEC. Patrick Byrne will be waiting.
Overstock Claims Victory [Floyd Norris/NYT]