Overstock Shares Are on Deep Discount as Bad News Piles Up

Sept. 23, 2019 4:15 pm ET

Shares of


OSTK -25.25%

continued their wild ride Monday, slumping to a three-month low, after the online surplus-goods retailer announced the departure of another key executive and cut its earnings guidance. The retailer, a well-known online seller of rugs, sofas and other goods, said its finance chief resigned and its retail results have been below the company’s own expectations so far this quarter.

Shares plunged 25% to $11.19, extending their losses since Sept. 12 to more than 50%. The stock, which peaked in early 2018 at about $86 a share, is now trading below its May 2002 IPO price of $13 and is at its lowest mark since late June, according to Factset data. The shares have been particularly volatile since the company announced the departure of Chief Executive

Patrick Byrne

late last month. Overstock said Monday that interim CEO

Jonathan Johnson

had been named chief executive, and

Robert Hughes

would become acting finance chief in place of

Greg Iverson

who resigned. Overstock also noted Mr. Byrne had divested all of his remaining shares in the company. Mr. Byrne, a provocative executive who crusaded against short sellers and ventured into cryptocurrency projects, had announced his departure in a letter alluding to “involvement in certain government matters” and saying that his continued presence could complicate business. Last week, D.A. Davidson senior research analyst

Tom Forte

wrote that Mr. Byrne’s sale of his shares was a “tremendous positive” for Overstock that would create further distance between the former CEO and the company. The retailer also warned increased costs from tariffs on goods made in China and “waning consumer confidence” that has affected high-priced purchases have dented its earnings in the current quarter. It expects earnings to grow in the final three months of the year.

Former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne.


Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

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