COMMENTARY--Just remember, MicroStrategy shareholders: It's all the shorts' fault.
Your MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) management team has conducted exhaustive research to find out why your shares have lost 99 percent of their value over the past 13 months. We're not making up that figure.
After poring over trading records, your executives have discovered that you can blame everything on short sellers. Those vile, heinous, contemptible people who borrow your stock--yes, yours!--to drive the stock price lower.
Did you know that according to MarketGuide, more than 20 percent of your company's outstanding shares are being shorted? Check out your fellow posters on those MSTR message boards; one out of every five is a short seller. Beware of them. Scorn them. Fight them.
With that laudable goal in mind, your CEO, Michael Saylor, has sent you a letter detailing careful instructions on how to prevent short sellers from using your very own shares to make you poorer. Simply by putting MSTR shares in your own name, you can make it harder for shorts to find ammunition for their guns.
And we know it's all their fault, because your executives have done everything possible to display MicroStrategy's excellence. Your managers have trimmed the company so it can concentrate on the core business. They have removed the potential danger of dilution from convertible securities. They have MicroStrategy poised on the edge of a bright and profitable future.
Never mind that restructuring was required in the first place because the company got caught up in the Internet hype of previous years.
Forget about last year's accounting disasters that resulted in three years of restated earnings.
Pay no mind to the fact that even before the restructuring announcement earlier this month, MicroStrategy expected to grow at a slower rate than its overall industry. It doesn't matter that at least one competitor, Business Objects (Nasdaq: BOBJ), seems to be trundling along without a peep of a problem.
There's nothing the company can do if short sellers insist on being drawn to MicroStrategy because of these factors. That so many traders view MicroStrategy as weak is something that is out of your executives' hands.
Your management team has done all that can be expected. Now it's up to you. Save MicroStrategy from the shorts who focus on our failings. Ignore their insistence on pointing to your company's performance. Know that MicroStrategy's Business Intelligence will rule the world someday.
To your credit, the message is getting through, judging by MicroStrategy's performance on the market today: up 73 percent by mid-afternoon! Who says the bubble has been burst?
That's the kind of performance we need to see. Not only does it please you, the shareholder, but it keeps the work force happy, and more important, the executives. Maybe Internet U can live again.
So let the shorts suffer with their petty concerns about fundamentals. We know that you will do your best to squeeze them until their eardrums burst and their eyeballs explode. We know that you will be happy with a stock price goes up for any reason. Any reason at all. 22GO>