Tag Archives: TheStreet.com

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TheStreet reports improvement in revenue and earnings

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Financial news site TheStreet.com reported second-quarter results that saw revenue increase 8 percent year over year, as its subscription business showed strong growth.

A story on its website states, “Revenue for the second quarter was $13.5 million, a rise of 8% annually, and 7.2% sequentially, as subscription revenue rose 23.4% year over year. The company noted it ended the quarter with 77,711 subscriptions, an increase of 2.5% from the prior year and 2.1% sequentially. Average monthly churn, the number of users leaving, improved from the prior year, falling to 3.1% from 3.9%.

“Media revenue for the period was $2.7 million, a decline of 27.5% from the year-ago quarter, but up 17.2% from the previous quarter.

“The company reported a net loss of $1.1 million, or 3 cents a share, better than the $1.9 million loss in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA was positive for the quarter, coming in at $0.3 million. Operating cash flow for the first six months of the year increased by $1.2 million.

“‘TheStreet’s second quarter revenue growth of 8% is our first year-over-year growth since 2011 and reflects the continued execution of our strategy. We are driving revenue growth by smart acquisitions, investing in our institutional and retail subscription platforms, focusing on operational excellence and modernizing our infrastructure,’ said Elisabeth DeMarse, Chairman, President and CEO in the press release.”

Read more here.

Elisabeth DeMarse

Fighting to turn around TheStreet.com

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Matthew Kassel of The New York Observer writes about Elisabeth DeMarse, the CEO brought in to revise TheStreet.com.

Kassell writes, “Ms. DeMarse came to TheStreet at the behest of Woody Marshall of Technology Crossover Ventures, a large shareholder in the company. After a little more than a year on the job, Ms. DeMarse has imbued TheStreet, which went public in the late ’90s but lost its way in the ensuing decade or so, with a fresh sense of direction.

“It wasn’t easy. When Ms. DeMarse stepped in, TheStreet was mired in stagnancy, according to Bill Martin, a former Bankrate board member who bought a 12.5 percent stake in TheStreet upon Ms. DeMarse’s arrival.

“Mr. Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money and Squawk on the Street, told the new CEO that it was going to be ‘a complete mess.’

“Ms. DeMarse was undeterred. ‘My biggest challenge at TheStreet is making sure that our work force is passionate about the markets,’ Ms. DeMarse told The Observer, adding that the site had become a ‘snoozy read.’ ‘We should be like ESPN. You shouldn’t work at TheStreet unless you love stocks, love the markets and know what a PEG ratio is.’

“‘I wanted a really big change,’ she continued, ‘and I wanted to be in a place where I could have a nice big canvas to paint on.’

“She got what she wanted. TheStreet is a diverse company with a relatively deep infrastructure. Along with its established subscription business—featuring the work of writers like Doug Kass and Mr. Cramer—TheStreet has ‘a big front porch,’ as Ms. DeMarse put it.”

Read more here.

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TheStreet.com shareholder: We will go to other investors

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Mark Waller of The Times-Picayune got in touch with the New Orleans-based investment company that wants to acquire TheStreet.com and found them settling in for a long fight.

Waller writes, “That might be what Perkin and Bienvenu will seek to do with at least some of the operations of TheStreet through their new partnership, which uses a strategy they call ‘transaction oriented activism,’ meaning they want to improve the financial success of companies not only by voicing their arguments as shareholders but by buying the companies, perhaps taking publicly traded companies private, or accommodating other sales.

“Perkin and Bienvenu said they hadn’t received a response from TheStreet’s board as of Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the TheStreet said the company did not have any comment. Cramer’s television show is a separate entity from TheStreet, which provides business and financial news and information through digital channels.

“Though it might seem unlikely that a New Orleans investment firm will acquire TheStreet, Bienvenu said they plan to be persistent.

“‘We’re not going away, so the company will respond eventually,’ he said.

“‘We believe there’s value here’” Bienvenu said. ‘We believe there’s money to be made.’

“If the company doesn’t respond, they said, they will consider making an unsolicited bid to buy it.”

Read more here.

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Investor pushes TheStreet.com to consider a sale

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Maureen Farrell of CNNMoney.com is reporting that one investor wants to put TheStreet.com in play and is setting itself up as one of the bidders.

Farrell writes, “Private equity firm Spear Point, which holds a 2% stake in the company, wants TheStreet to hire an outside financial adviser to weigh a number of options. Spear Point, based in New Orleans, also said it will make a bid for the company, though it declined to say how much it would be willing to pay.

“TheStreet declined to comment.

“Spear Point’s biggest gripe with the company is its ownership structure.

“Venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures owns 11.5% of TheStreet in the form of preferred shares. TCV received these shares when it invested $55 million in TheStreet in late 2007 as part of a deal to give the company a war chest for acquisitions.

“TheStreet’s shares currently trade at less than $2 but TCV has the right to sell its shares at $14.26. Spear Point argues that these shares effectively prevent the company from receiving buyout offers, because any buyer must first spend $55 million to make TCV whole.”

Read more here.

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TheStreet.com CEO received $1.3 million in 2012; Cramer received $1.47 million

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Elizabeth DeMarse, who became president and chief executive officer of TheStreet in 2012, received more than $1.3 million on total compensation during her first year on the job.

More than $830,000 of that compensation was in the form of stock options, according to the proxy statement filed Tuesday by the online financial news company.

DeMarse receives a base salary of $400,000. She also received a $200,000 bonus for joining the company. She also has the option to purchase up to 1.75 million shares of company stock at a price of $1.80 per share.

John Ferrara, the company’s new chief financial officer hired in February, is being paid a base salary of $220,000. He received a $10,000 signing bonus.

TheStreet co-founder Jim Cramer no longer receives a salary or bonus from the company. But he does receive a royalty based on the revenue derived from the company’s Action Alerts PLUS subscription service. In 2012, Cramer received $1.47 million in royalties pursuant to the agreement and was also awarded a discretionary bonus for 2012 of $11,992.

The proxy makes no mention of the compensation of editor in chief William Inman, who joined last year.

Read the SEC filing here.

THESTREET, INC. IPAD AND IPHONE APP

TheStreet redesigns iPhone and iPad apps

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TheStreet has redesigned its free Apple iPad and iPhone applications.

Key features include:

  • Actionable and insightful stock market news and commentary from TheStreet’s leading experts, including Jim Cramer, Stephanie Link and Doug Kass;
  • Expanded video reporting from TheStreet’s new studios located across the New York Stock Exchange;
  • Robust charting, market and fundamental data;
  • Rapid downloading to allow users to read stories even when offline.

“We’ve taken TheStreet’s deep editorial content, videos, data and tools and packaged them into two powerful iPad and iPhone apps. They are the perfect balance of substance and style, setting us apart from other financial news apps,” said Elisabeth DeMarse, CEO of TheStreet, in a statement.  “These apps are a terrific leap ahead, and users can expect a regular stream of updates going forward, including new apps for Android and BlackBerry, as well as fully integrated access to our leading paid subscription services, all in one intuitive platform.”

New versions for Android and Blackberry phones are coming as well.

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TheStreet acquires DealFlow Media

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Financial news company TheStreet Inc. announced Monday that it has acquired the financial newsletters and databases, The DealFlow Report, The Life Settlements Report and the PrivateRaise database from DealFlow Media Inc.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A story from TheStreet states, “TheStreet will integrate the acquired content into The Deal, which TheStreet acquired in September from Wasserstein & Co.

“The DealFlow report covers the microcap equity markets including initial public offerings and private placements, while The Life Settlements Report focuses on life insurance settlements. The content of both newsletters will be made available to The Deal Pipeline subscribers. The target has 10 employees, half based in Petaluma, Calif., and the others in Woodbury, N.Y.

“DealFlow will continue to operate its DealFlow and Life Settlement conferences under a licensing agreement with The Deal. DealFlow founder and chief executive Steven Dresner will stay on during the transition period through a consulting arrangement. ‘The combination of our leading small cap finance content with The Deal’s M&A reporting is a natural fit,’ he said in a statement. TheStreet has used The Deal’s content as a growth platform to help increase revenue from subscription and licensing services.”

Read more here.

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TheStreet.com to sponsor Nightly Business Report

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TheStreet.com has agreed to sponsor “Nightly Business Report,” becoming the first sponsor of the public television show since it was acquired earlier this year by CNBC.

“TheStreet is all about helping our users and subscribers become better investors,” TheStreet’s chairman and CEO, Elisabeth DeMarse stated in a prepared statement. “Our audience is naturally aligned with that of NBR, the longest-running business television program.”

“Nightly Business Report” reaches 96 percent of U.S. households.

“We are proud to have this award-winning, public television program as part of CNBC’s portfolio of multi-media offerings and are very pleased to welcome TheStreet as the inaugural sponsor,” said Robert Foothorap, senior vice president, CNBC Global TV Network Sales, in a statement.

TheStreet’s sponsorship includes two 30-second funding credits, featured at the beginning and end of “Nightly Business Report,” running April 1 to June 28.

Ruben Ramirez

TheStreet names new assignment editor and head of video

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The Street.com has named business television journalist Ruben Ramirez as its assignment editor and head of video content.

Ramirez will be based at The Street’s New York City headquarters.

“The Street is thrilled to have somebody of Ruben’s experience and talent helping guide our state-of-the-art video operations,” said William Inman, editor-in-chief, in a statement.

Ramirez will be responsible for developing, executing and overseeing video content for TheStreet.com, MainStreet.com and TheDeal.com. He will report to Inman.

Ramirez was most recently the national assignment editor and a correspondent for PBS’ “Nightly Business Report” based in New York. He has also held positions at Reuters Television, CNNfn, the financial network of CNN, and CNBC.  Ramirez began his career at ABC News in New York.

Ramirez holds a B.S. in business administration with a focus in finance and broadcast journalism from Boston University.

In addition to his commitment to broadcast journalism, Ramirez also devotes his time as a national board member to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth across the United States.

Debra Borchardt

At the intersection of Wall and Broad

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Debra Borchardt of TheStreet.com worked in the securities business for almost 20 years, spending 15 of those years at Bear Stearns. Borchardt’s work experience covered such diverse areas as equities, fixed income and mutual funds with her last position in the clearing side of the business vetting money managers.

During her Wall Street years, she also worked as an actress appearing regularly in the soap opera “As The World Turns” and working as an extra on “Saturday Night Live.” She left the securities business to get her master’s degree in economic reporting at New York University.

Borchardt is now senior producer and a markets analyst at TheStreet.com. As senior producer, Borchardt is responsible for the quality and content of the videos at TheStreet, which produces 500 video reports a month. She is a frequent guest on CNBC, “Nightly Business Report” and ABC News Now.

Her twitter handle is @wallandbroad. For the uninitiated, the New York Stock Exchange is located at the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street.

Borchardt spoke earlier this week by email with Talking Biz News. What follows is an edited transcript. (And for the record, we are big fans of Borchardt’s business journalism.)

After more than a decade on Wall Street, why did you decide to switch careers?

One job I had during my financial career was summarizing the equity analyst presentations to the sales force. Eliot Spitzer changed all that and brokerages were petrified for anyone but an analyst to talk about stocks. I moved on to vetting money managers, but that wasn’t nearly as fun and I missed talking about the market. Wall Street ceased to be fun after Spitzer and I was ready to get out, but still make use of all my years of experience. I used to act in my off hours, so being an on camera financial journalist combined my years of wall street experience with my acting background.

How does being on Wall Street help you cover the markets?

There is nothing that can substitute for going to the stock exchange every day. Talking to the guys, getting a feel for the mood and tone. You can see at the opening what is happening at a post if a crowd gathers. It’s a fast way to get lots of sources and connections.

What is your typical day like?

I have a long commute, which I use to check what stocks are moving, answer emails, send tweets and do any social media. When I get to the office, I book my first interview on the floor and prep for that. Some mornings I tape with Jim Cramer, so I pitch him ideas. We normally tape three topics, so I have to be well versed in all three. Again – prep work. I have to write up titles and callouts for these videos right away which means I don’t come up for air until 11 or so. Next, I move on to booking interviews and preparing for interviews. Ordering graphics and finding broll for videos I am producing and some writing if I have time. I will tape as many as four to seven interviews a day.

What are your goals every day in covering the market?

I try to make sure I cover the items that will be the most important topic for the day. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to prioritize what needs to be highlighted. I try to find a nugget of information that maybe other reporters haven’t hit upon on the main stories.

How is TheStreet.com’s audience different than other business media?

We have a very specific demographic. 85 percent male and mostly independent traders. They are affluent and knowledgeable about the market. So we can write and do video without having to always explain things. They mostly want stock advice, not piano-playing kittens. Our coverage is very stock focused, not so much the macro picture.

What do you think you do differently than other market reporters?

I feel like I bring an insider’s view to my reports. I tend to give color to my pieces, as opposed to straight news. I think my viewers can get market levels and headlines from most outlets, but I try to make sure I let them know what it means. Like, a stock is behaving contrary to its news. I’ll explain why as opposed to just reporting that a stock is moving in a certain direction.

How do you come up with something new every day to report?

That’s easy. There’s always news in a stock somewhere. Just look to see what stock is having lots of volume or trending on stock sites if the headlines are slow. I read a lot of SEC filings. There are a lot of hidden gems in S-1 filings for public offerings , which is an area I focus on.

Is there any difficulty in getting sources to talk when you’re reporting on investments?

Hedge funds are the worst to talk to. They never want to be interviewed. Mutual fund managers always want to talk because they want to push their fund. CEOs will talk if things are going well, but if they suddenly decline, then that means red flag and a story. Economists are terrible for video, they hedge every answer and go on and on, but they are good for print. Eventually you build up a nice network of sources, which is helpful because sometimes you end up smiling and dialing for hours to get the “right” source.

You also appear on other media. How does that help TheStreet.com?

Any time I can appear in other media, it promotes our web site. We don’t advertise and are dependent on portals and organic search. So, my appearances elsewhere gets our name in front of potential readers.

If you have some news that is breaking, how fast can you get it on the site?

We just renovated our studio, so I can tape and upload a video within minutes. We have the latest Tricaster switcher, virtual sets, LED lighting, new servers, fiber lines – you name it, we’ve got it. With our previous system, it would’ve taken 45 minutes. Our written articles can be published as soon as they are written.

Can you explain the “Test Kitchen” for people who have not seen it?

That video segment was born from reporters in the newsroom just talking about stuff we eat. Since we also cover companies, it was always a lively conversation. We’re all opinionated, so there is frequently a friendly disagreement over who has the best cupcakes or whether Chipotle is better than Cosi. We decided to put that conversation on tape and compare product as well as company. The better product isn’t always the better stock.

What is Jim Cramer really like?

I’ve worked with Jim for five years and continue to be impressed. He has a brilliant mind for stocks and a passion for the market. He is quite thoughtful in the office and has a laser-like focus for what he is trying to do each day. He is not like the “Mad Money” show; that’s TV, that’s different. No one wants to see calm and thoughtful on TV – that doesn’t sell. It’s Jim, but Jim in a ramped up way. But walking down the hallway at work, Jim’s calm and focused, which is amazing if you ever took a look at his schedule. I have learned a great deal from working with Jim. It’s been a true pleasure.