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Friday, September 11, 2009

Pump. Dump. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

No company is too small or too close to the end when it comes to investors taking one last kick at the can, trying to talk other suckers into betting on a rebound.

A couple of years ago, we commented here on LookSmart (LOOK)'s not-dead-yet act. A few would-be investment gurus chimed in with comments, asking us to "look again" at the company's bright future.

As expected, a dead company became even more dead in the ensuing years. The ugly results are plain to see. Since our little chat, investors would have lost 65% on the investment, had they bought that day. One of the company's bright spots, a minor partnership with IAC, is ending soon, as announced in May. Even optimists will have trouble disputing that this company is winding down.


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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Monday, July 30, 2007

LookSmart's "We're Not Dead Yet" Act Attracts Few Spectators

Somewhat submerged in the news about Wikia acquiring Grub to move forward with an open-source-flavored search project to rival Google is the news that Google lost the contextual ad contract with Wikipedia powered sites to non-rival LookSmart, who now offers a contextual ad product.

Household name, publicly traded, with at least a few million dollars left to burn, and now with a toe in the door of a multibillion dollar business long chased by the top players. You might think: if a startup wanted a quick fast track towards further development of its upstart ad network, why not engineer a reverse takeover of LookSmart, change the name of the company, restructure, and let the good times roll? If nothing else, LOOK still has a sizeable database of advertisers. It probably has some handy buildings and lease agreements that figure to be underutilized unless someone figures something out soon.

Evidently, this kind of deal isn't imminent, as no one is making any suggestions of anything of the sort. Even with bubbling news, LOOK strains to trade 100,000 shares in a day. The company releases Q2 earnings later this week.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




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