Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

After Stock Got Whacked Last Week, Demand Media Readies Its Q4 Story for Wall Street

A little more than a week ago, Morgan Stanley kneecapped Demand Media’s stock by downgrading the Santa Monica, Calif., online content company’s prospects.

Some worries: Pressure from algorithm-tweaking Google, upon which Demand relies heavily for traffic; worrisome drops in said traffic due to said tweaking; and not enough uptake on higher-quality, premium stories the company had promised in the fall.

Demand shares fell 6.5 percent that day, to close at $5.93.

It has recovered a bit to $6.13 today, but is still off almost 8 percent since the beginning of the year, and 71 percent from a year ago.

One irony to the tough call by Scott Devitt, of course, was that Morgan Stanley was the investment bank that had taken Demand public in January of 2011, at $17 a share.

In addition, the recent departure of three of the company’s six founders has also worried investors.

All this will presumably be on display today when Demand reports its fourth-quarter earnings. Wall Street analysts are expecting Demand to earn seven cents a share on an adjusted basis on an expected $81.95 million in revenue.

We’ll see after the market closes, as well as what its execs have to say about the key metrics of costs and traffic.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work