Freesteel Blog » Your finance press hard at work

Your finance press hard at work

Sunday, October 7th, 2012 at 10:11 pm Written by:

We’ve seen this performance before from the finance press with the 2007 takeover of NC Graphics by PTC.

There it was, sandwiched between the acquisition of “certain assets” of Inforbix on 28 August 2012 and the acquisition of “certain assets” of Qontext on 4 October 2012: the acquisition of “certain assets” of HSMWorks on 1 October 2012:

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 1, 2012 — Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) has acquired certain assets of HSMWorks Aps, a developer of computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software. Through the acquisition of the HSMWorks technology, Autodesk will add software to control machine tools and related machinery to its portfolio of software for manufacturing. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The acquisition of the HSMWorks technology brings machining expertise and next-generation CAM technology to the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of manufacturing software,” said Buzz Kross, Autodesk senior vice president, design, simulation and lifecycle products. “Autodesk has a long history of making design and engineering technology more accessible, and we look forward to bringing HSMWorks’ CAM technology to a broader group of users.”

Autodesk intends to integrate the HSMWorks technology with its industry leading software and cloud services for manufacturing, and will make current HSMWorks products available for purchase and HSMXpress available as a free download. Existing SolidWorks customers using HSMWorks will continue to receive support and product updates. HSMWorks Aps is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Business Outlook
This transaction is expected to have no impact on guidance issued on August 23, 2012. [link]

Safe Harbor Statement
Blah blah blah.

About Autodesk
More blah.

It’s a strange turn of phrase. Yesterday I went down to the market and acquired certain vegetables for my dinner, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more, say no more.

Having read this press release a good number of times now, I can say that it is a faithful summary of everything I know so far. However, you would have hoped that the independent press would try and dig just a little bit deeper and put things into context, rather than simply regurgitating a rearrangement of same words in the release, not even bothering mix them with prior releases. The quality of the financial press has got to be a fair representation of the quality of the financial investment decision making that it is purported to inform.

Businesswire claimed a publication time of October 01, 2012 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time with an exact duplicate of the press release, right down to the side-box of sentence 2 of paragraph 2, as was done on the press release as it appeared on news.autodesk.com.

Benzinga also claimed an October 01, 2012 8:30 AM time in the byline of “Paul Quintaro, Benzinga Staff Writer” who reproduced paragraphs 1 and 2 exactly, and dropped paragraph 3.

RTT News came out ten minutes behind them at 8:40 AM ET and compressed the first paragraph down to:

(RTTNews) – Autodesk Inc. (ADSK:Quote) announced it has acquired certain assets of HSMWorks Aps, a developer of computer aided manufacturing software, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Autodesk said the transaction is expected to have no impact on guidance issued on August 23.

They deleted the “said Buzz Kross” from the middle of the text and inserted “Buzz Kross said” at the front of the second paragraph:

Buzz Kross, Autodesk senior vice president, design, simulation and lifecycle products, said, “The acquisition of the HSMWorks technology brings machining expertise and next-generation CAM technology to the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of manufacturing software. Autodesk has a long history of making design and engineering technology more accessible, and we look forward to bringing HSMWorks’ CAM technology to a broader group of users.”

They dropped sentences 2 and 3 from the final paragraph.

Yahoo finance, quoting Associated Press Mon, Oct 1, 2012 10:12 AM EDT, stripped it down and included a totally misleading sentence about the stock market reaction:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Autodesk Inc. said Monday that it has bought certain assets of HSMWorks so it can add software to control machinery to its portfolio of software used in computer-aided manufacturing.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Autodesk develops computer-aided manufacturing software used by designers, engineers in industries such as manufacturing, architecture, building and construction. It’s also used in in digital entertainment, such as visual effects in movies.

Shares added 25 cents to $33.60 in morning trading.

Not only is this just 0.7% of the marginal market value, it’s not even visible in the hourly stock market noise:

The correct response would be to report that “nothing happened” using an automatic in-line statistical analysis package scanning the data to be sure to a disclosed level of confidence, rather than just eyeballing the squiggly line. It should be predictable that nothing was likely to happen, because most of the stock market trades are done by computers that don’t know a jellyfish and a hole in the ground.

Same crappy AP output from Bloomberg Businessweek, msn money and CNBC.

An hour later, Seeking alpha disclosed on Monday, October 1, 11:58 AM:

Autodesk (ADSK) has bought “certain assets” belonging to HSMWorks Aps, a developer of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software, for an undisclosed sum. Autodesk claims HSMWorks’ solutions add machining expertise to the company’s arsenal of manufacturing software. (PR)
[links original, PR goes to their copy of the press release]

IT Times in Germany published on Montag, 01. Oktober 2012, 16.03 Uhr:

SAN FRANCISCO (IT-Times) – Der amerikanische CAD-Spezialist Autodesk hat sich durch eine weitere Übernahme verstärkt und den dänischen Entwickler HSMWorks Aps übernommen. Über finanzielle Details der Übernahme wurde zunächst nichts bekannt.

Die im dänischen Kopenhagen ansässige HSMWorks entwickelt Computer Aided Manufactoring (CAM) Software. Diese wird in der Computer unterstützenden Fertigung eingesetzt. Dabei werden Zeichenmodelle auf Basis von CAD-Daten auf dem Computer erstellt. Mit der Übernahme will Autodesk sein bestehendes Produktportfolio weiter ergänzen. Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK, WKN: 869964) will die übernommenen HSMWorks-Techniken in seine Software und Cloud Services für herstellende Unternehmen integrieren.

Aktuelle HSMWorks-Produkte sollen weiter zum Kauf angeboten werden, HSMXpress soll zum kostenlosen Download bereitstehen, heißt es bei Autodesk. Bestehende SolidWorks-Kunden, die HSMWorks einsetzen, sollen weiterhin Produkt-Updates und Support erhalten. Die Akquisition wird zunächst keine finanziellen Auswirkungen auf den Finanzausblick haben, den das Unternehmen Ende August veröffentlich hat. (ami)

It’s probably not a machine translation, or it would have left in the Buzz Kross quotes.

Eureka magazine also came out on October 1, stripping the stock identifiers that are of no use to them, and writing: “…of Danish firm HSMWorks Aps” in the first sentence. The second paragraph of the press release lost its first sentence and a mistake was made with a quote mark when pasting across the ‘said Buzz Kross’ part:

“Autodesk has a long history of making design and engineering technology more accessible, and we look forward to bringing HSMWorks’ CAM technology to a broader group of users,” said Buzz Kross, Autodesk senior vice president, design, simulation and lifecycle products. “

As any fool knows, fictitious quotes are standard press release protocol; Buzz Kross never said any such thing — unless he spoke it to his office wall. It is a literary a device to make it appear as though the journalist actually had a verbal conversation with the businessman when they did not.

Sentences 2 and 3 were removed from paragraph 3, and Laura Hopperton claimed authorship of this piece.

Desktop Engineering published their thing on October 3 claiming the sources for their article as:

Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

The only change to the press release I could find was the deletion of the words “industry leading” from paragraph 3. Presumably this means that after inspecting the Autodesk’s website they determined that software and cloud services for manufacturing presented there were not in fact industry leading.

And finally, PACE today published on 3 October under the name “Kevin Gomez”, and left paragraph 1 intact, chose also to edit out the words “industry leading” from paragraph 3, and butchered paragraph 2 by throwing away the quotation marks and everything beyond the “said Buzz Kross”, before substituting:

…to the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of manufacturing software…

with

…to the Autodesk’s manufacturing software.

In my opinion, what these folks are doing in the journalism industry today is so shockingly worthless it’s hard to imagine how businesses such as journatic and narrative science are going to make it any different. However, as these technologies go mainstream, we may witness something as bad as the development of spam was for email. Hopefully, the counter-measure, when it gets developed, with sweep away this useless crud along with it.

Of course, for anything remotely enlightening, you need to go to the blogs, such as Solid Smack, Worldcadaccess, Desktop Engineering, develop3d, Cad professor, Engineering.com, solidedging, and mcadcafe.

5 Comments

  • 1. Francis Irving replies at 7th October 2012, 11:01 pm :

    The other day, I found a note and beginnings of a Python script that I had started to write years ago.

    The idea was to find news stories that were actually different. Like a brutal version of http://churnalism.com/ that throws away everything with anything copy/pasted in it.

    I think my pain was similar fruitless searches for extra news. On quite a few occasions I’ve searched Google News fruitlessly for ages to try and find even a glimmer of new information. Usually I then end up on Blog search, and find little more.

    To be honest, the only way I know of getting any more reliable information is to wait until the Economist covers it :0

    Either I’m doing something wrong, or the Internet sucks. (I’m finding it OK the other way, i.e. following good writers, and you get interesting things – I was hoping there would be the reverse too)

  • 2. Hugh replies at 10th October 2012, 3:27 pm :

    Love what you put into HSMWorks, but it appears that AutoDesk now owns all the HSMWorks’ trademarks including “Adaptive Clearing”.

    Is the adaptive clearing source code part of this “technology” purchase, and if so, does this mean you will no longer license your algorithms to other CAM vendors directly or through CIMCO.

    Thanks

  • 3. Julian replies at 13th October 2012, 4:58 pm :

    Yep, it’s all out of my hands now. I think I get to keep my cave drawing software (tunnelx), but I cannot be sure.

    If it was up to me, I’d like to see it licensed and available everywhere for everyone. But this undermines what the company might see as its competitive advantage (salesmen like to know they have something nobody else has).

    It would be wrong to say it wasn’t on my conscience, but maybe I should console myself that seven years on the market is long enough for anyone who really wanted it to have licensed it.

  • 4. My time at the Autocloud &hellip replies at 21st January 2013, 9:20 am :

    [...] When you think about it, the press release stream is actually just a very poor quality blog specifically designed to be plagiarized by over-worked journalists. I did a detailed analysis of one single press release here. [...]

  • 5. Freesteel&hellip replies at 20th March 2013, 12:36 pm :

    [...] trading on the stock market. But when the story actually gets disclosed, the stock market price doesn’t respond. The stock market analysts don’t care. So it’s a lie. The story is just plausible [...]

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