Carbonite, the Internet backup-security company, may be a good place to securely store irreplaceable computer data, but it’s not proving to be a good place to invest irreplaceable dollars.
The company, which went public last August, has seen its stock dive 20 percent since Carbonite CEO David Friend criticized Rush Limbaugh in the wake of the Sandra Fluke flap. Limbaugh’s dismissal of Fluke as a “slut,” after she demanded the federal government pay for her contraceptives, prompted Carbonite to withdraw its advertising from Limbaugh’s highly successful show.
The plunge caused MarketWatch’s Chuck Jaffe to call Carbonite “the Stupid Investment of the Week.”
Whether due to a backlash or boycott by Limbaugh’s supporters or loss of access to Limbaugh’s large national audience, Carbonite has paid a price in the marketplace.
The company’s initial IPO price of $10 per share soared to $21.10 before beginning its steady decline. Before the Fluke flap, it had pulled back to less than it’s initial IPO price, but post-Fluke, it took a rapid 20-percent drop, settling this week at nearly 60 percent off its 2011 peak.
Friend’s venture into the political arena cost his shareholders dearly.
The Washington Times noted Friend has a long history of contributing to left-leaning candidates and causes. Citing Accuracy in Media, the Times reports Friend donated generously to the Howard Dean, John Kerry and Barack Obama presidential campaigns, as well as several 527 groups such as America Coming Together, Moveon.org,and Texans for Truth.
The latter organization, funded by George Soros through Moveon.org, released an ad accusing former President George W. Bush of evading his National Guard Service. A day later, “Dan Rather and CBS’ 60 Minutes did their program based on the bogus National Guard documents.”