Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Etsy Drops 7.77% On News It's Still Etsy (ETSY)

Matt Levine had a comment on the corporate structure in today's link-wrap that may prove important:
...Etsy activism.
...Being a B corporation has no real legal effect and doesn't change the board's fiduciary duties, and Etsy's certificate of incorporation and bylaws are standard public-company stuff. The really interesting fight will come when an activist takes on a "public benefit corporation," a specific legal status meant to let directors consider obligations to the community rather than just obligations to shareholders. (The B corporation rules actually require public B corporations to eventually become benefit corporations, though Etsy seems to have until August 2017 to do it under those rules.)...

And from Barron's Tech Trader Daily,May 3, 2017 12:05 p.m. ET:

Six-year CEO Chad Dickerson is out at the online marketplace as the company struggles with disappointing financial results and an assault by activist investors. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson takes over as chairman. Monness Crespi asks whether anything has yet changed with the strategy and reiterates a view the company maybe needs to get bought.
Shares of online marketplace Etsy (ETSY) are down 98 cents, or 9%, at $10.41, after the company yesterday afternoon reported Q1 revenue and profit that missed analysts’ expectations, and said its chief executive, Chad Dickerson, is stepping down, to be replaced by director Josh Silverman.
Venture capitalist Fred Wilson, with Union Square Ventures, is taking over from Dickerson as chairman.

All this comes as the company has been under assault by hedge fund Black and White Capital, which owns 2% of the stock, which yesterday issued a public recommendation that the company put itself up for sale, after criticizing what it called a "pattern of ill-advised spending” that it charges "completely obfuscated the extremely attractive underlying marketplace business."
Wilson thanked Dickerson, who had formerly been CTO, for “transforming a chaotic startup into a world-class company." (For more about Dickerson's contributions, see my interview with him back in February.)

James Cakmak with Monness Crespi Hardt reiterates a Neutral rating, writing that he wasn’t expecting this, and that while he “welcomes the changes, several things give us pause."
It’s not clear much is actually changing here, he writes:...MORE