What happened

Shares of Overstock.com Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK) fell 9.4% today after the e-commerce and blockchain technology specialist canceled a proposed public stock offering.

For perspective, Overstock had only just announced its intention last Monday to offer 4 million shares of common stock, as well as a 30-day option for the underwriters to buy up to another 600,000 shares in the offering. There would have been no selling stakeholders in the deal; all of the shares would have been offered and sold by Overstock.
Stock market prices and charts overlaying a colorful LED display

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

In a press release this morning, however, Overstock President Saum Noursalehi stated:

While we were pleased with the high level of interest shown in our offering, it was intended to be an opportunistic financing. Given the market volatility and price, we are terminating the offering. We continue to pursue other strategic options.

To be sure, shares of Overstock had already declined more than 20% in the four trading days following its initial proposal, making the offering a much less enticing way to raise cash.

Now what

The offering was also a curious move at first glance considering Overstock shares were still reeling after the company not only posted disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter results a few weeks ago, but also warned of a new SEC investigation into its planned tZERO security token offering.

Overstock noted at the time that it continues to seek strategic alternatives for its e-commerce business, including a potential sale of the segment. But in the meantime -- and this helps explain why it may have been seeking new capital -- CEO Patrick Byrne stated that Overstock would finally adopt "the classic internet 'growth strategy'" used by many of its margin-pressing competitors to increase e-commerce revenue and take market share while forsaking bottom-line profits.

In any case, with Overstock's attempt to secure "opportunistic financing" effectively failing, it's no surprise to see investors taking another step back from the company today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.