Mark Cuban—who became a billionaire by selling his Broadcast.com to Yahoo!—has now dedicated a new website, Sharesleuth.com, to “exposing securities fraud and corporate chicanery.” Cuban, also the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, partnered with a seasoned business reporter to “[dig] through the muck and rot in the lower trenches of the stock market.” Their stated goal: to root out the investment opportunities that are “not what they seem,” and reveal the companies that are the “creation of predators and pretenders.” In the post-Enron and -Worldcom era, perhaps the business world could use a new watchdog. But, “unlike some investment sites,” say the corporate sleuths, “we won’t base our reports on intensive financial and technical analysis,” such as trailing EBITDA and discounted cash flows. Instead, in a recent MSN.com article, Cuban actively encourages investors to ignore valuation analysis, saying that the process of trying to figure out what a company’s really worth is no more than “laughable filler.” (Click here for the full article.)
Cuban’s muckraking may also be mercenary, as he admittedly plans to short the stocks that Sharesleuth.com exposes. Does the end justify the means? Contrast Cuban’s latest venture to those of another billionaire business mogul, Warren Buffett, who—as the MSN.com piece points out, “looks at valuation exclusively and has done extraordinarily well.”
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