Overstock dot com ($OSTK) saw its stock hit a seven-year low this week, and while we hate to think of what that will do to the fine employees who work there, we do find fascination with major changes in alternative data.

The SEC is expanding its investigation into the stock-trading of Overstock executives and some dividend shenanigans, which is never a great sentence to say about your company. There was a lot of talk about blockchain, retail, and subpoenas at the earnings call this week, but you can look up more details about that anywhere. The data is the fountain of knowledge we drink from, and Overstock might be dead in the water, according to our data.

"Our retail business continues its path to sustained profitability, despite a few external headwinds, thanks to the focused leadership of an executive team with a proven track record of success," Jonathan Johnson, Overstock CEO, at the earnings call

At the end of 2018, Overstock hit an all-time high on its headcount, as seen via LinkedIn employee profile data. Since then, the number of employees has dropped 8% and is falling by the day. 

A similar story can be found with the job openings, where 2018 was a growth year, seeing listings in the hundreds. As of this week, Overstock is listing less than 50 openings on its recruiting sites. What's more peculiar is that they're hiring just 49 people now, most are engineers and software developers, but there is an HR hire that must handle “delicate associate matters” which could point to future layoffs. 

Twitter followers are down 4%, which doesn't seem like a lot, except it's very unusual for any official accounts to lose followers on the whole unless it's been discovered that you're buying followers via bot farms. When people unfollow you, they are just DONE seeing your tweets, no matter what you're selling or discounting. That is bad for an online retailer.

And what's bizarre is that the Talking About count on Facebook is quite active. But maybe that's because of all the cryptocurrency nonsense going on that might sink the company.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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