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Thread: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

  1. #1
    Senior Member RichA's Avatar
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    At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Not that I don't already, until they update their sensors, they are a second-choice IMO. But the latest revelations really are making it seem like Olympus, in its current incarnation, may not be around much longer.
    Used products, at a good price would be ok though, or new stock at fire-sale prices.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/bu...s.html?_r=4&hp

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    Member Agnius's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Matsushita (parent company of Panasonic) might pick them up. Or not.

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    jrob
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Saw about this on 4:3 rumours....pretty crazy TWENTY YEARS of scamming

  4. #4
    jrob
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Also Rich, maybe you can copy+paste as it seems to require a log on to view your link

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by jrob View Post
    Also Rich, maybe you can copy+paste as it seems to require a log on to view your link
    Here's another link:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15632320

    and the NYT text:

    Olympus Hid Investing Losses in Big Merger Payouts
    By HIROKO TABUCHI

    TOKYO — Olympus said Tuesday that more than $1 billion in merger payouts were used to hide years of losses on investments, an acknowledgment that is an abrupt about-face for the company, which had denied any wrongdoing in the wake of a widening scandal.

    That revelation alone could make this one of the biggest accounting fraud cases in corporate history. It is also a spectacular turn of events amid a boardroom battle that has pitted Olympus’s former British chief executive turned whistle-blower, Michael C. Woodford, against an otherwise all-Japanese company board.

    Mr. Woodford was fired in mid-October after trying to force an investigation into a series of acquisitions, made before his appointment as president in February. He has since released internal documents to the news media and called for the entire company board to resign. Since the accusations, Olympus has lost half its stock market value as many questioned the company’s governance.

    Olympus, which is based here in Tokyo, had categorically denied any wrongdoing over the deals, made from 2006 to 2008. Just last week, the company appointed a panel of outside experts to investigate, a measure Olympus said was aimed at assuaging investor fears.

    But in an extraordinary statement issued Tuesday, the company said the panel found that the money for mergers had in fact been used to mask heavy losses on investments racked up since about 1990.

    The panel found that Olympus channeled money through several investment funds to “eliminate latent losses,” the company said in the statement, without elaborating. The revelations came as a surprise because the panel had not been expected to reach any conclusions for at least several more weeks.

    The payouts in question involve $687 million in fees Olympus paid to an obscure financial adviser over its acquisition of the British medical equipment maker Gyrus in 2008. That fee amounted to roughly a third of the $2 billion acquisition price, a fee amount more than 30 times the norm.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States are also investigating the Gyrus deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Olympus also acquired three small companies in Japan for a total of $773 million, only to write down most of their value within the same fiscal year. Those companies — Altis, a medical waste recycling company, Humalabo, a facial cream maker, and News Chef, which makes plastic containers — had little in common with Olympus’s main line of business of producing cameras and other electronics. Those businesses had not made money before being acquired, according to the credit ratings agency Tokyo Shoko Research.

    At a news conference, the company’s new president, Shuichi Takayama, bowed deeply in apology. “It is true that there were inappropriate dealings,” he said. “Our previous statements were in error.” But he stopped short of acknowledging fraud at the company, and said that no money had flowed out of the company. He said Olympus was still investigating the case and was still unprepared to reveal the scale of past losses.

    Mr. Takayama also said that Hisashi Mori, an executive vice president, had been fired over his involvement in the cover-up. Hideo Yamada, who is also implicated, has offered his resignation, he said. He reiterated the company’s position that Mr. Woodford’s departure had to do with his aggressive Western-style management style rather than his inquiries into the acquisitions. Mr. Takayama said that despite the disclosure, he hoped to keep Olympus’s shares listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Its shares were down nearly 30 percent Tuesday afternoon.

    Mr. Woodford, who worked at Olympus for 30 years, had begun to look into those payouts after a Japanese financial magazine, Facta, published an exposé on the deals. In September, Mr. Woodford commissioned a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers into the Gyrus deal that raised concern over actions taken by Olympus management, including a lack of due diligence.

    Based on the report, Mr. Woodford called for a full investigation in a letter dated Oct. 11. He urged the company’s chairman at the time, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, and other members of the board to resign, accusing them of “calamitous errors and exceptionally poor judgment” and comparing them to rogue traders.

    But on Oct. 14, the Olympus board unanimously voted to oust Mr. Woodford. He said he was not permitted to speak at the board meeting, and was advised to leave the country immediately.

    Mr. Kikukawa resigned in late October. In a statement at the time, he denied wrongdoing.

    Questions remain over Olympus’s links to the obscure investment and advisory companies that facilitated those acquisitions, including an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, as well as Axes, a company that oversaw those funds from the United States and Japan.

    The Global Company, an investment advisory firm based in Tokyo, was closely involved in setting up the three companies as well as facilitating their sale to Olympus, according to a New York Times investigation. Executives at those companies have not been available for comment.

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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Adobe Drops 9%: Sets Restructuring, Laying Off 750
    http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderd...log_techtrader

    Shares of Adobe (ADBE) are down $2.81, or 9%, at $27.61 after the company this evening said it will restructure its business, including cutting 750 full-time jobs, mostly in North America and Europe.

    Adobe plans to focus on and invest “aggressively” in “digital media” and “digital marketing,” it said. It will invest less in development of products for enterprise customers, the company said. That will reduce 2012 revenue growth by 4 to 5 percentage points, the company said, for total revenue growth of 4% to 6%.

    Adobe expects revenue growth to return to double digits after 2012, it said. Further details on the restructuring can be found in the company’s separate press release.

    Adobe also reaffirmed a Q4 outlook for $1.075 billion to $1.125 billion in revenue, but cut its EPS estimate to a range of 30 cents to 38 cents per share, down from a prior range of 41 cents to50 cents per share.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RichA's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by jrob View Post
    Also Rich, maybe you can copy+paste as it seems to require a log on to view your link
    Sorry, New York Times likes to do it, get you into one article then demand you join them!

  8. #8
    Senior Member RichA's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by clark666 View Post
    Adobe Drops 9%: Sets Restructuring, Laying Off 750
    http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderd...log_techtrader

    Shares of Adobe (ADBE) are down $2.81, or 9%, at $27.61 after the company this evening said it will restructure its business, including cutting 750 full-time jobs, mostly in North America and Europe.

    Adobe plans to focus on and invest “aggressively” in “digital media” and “digital marketing,” it said. It will invest less in development of products for enterprise customers, the company said. That will reduce 2012 revenue growth by 4 to 5 percentage points, the company said, for total revenue growth of 4% to 6%.

    Adobe expects revenue growth to return to double digits after 2012, it said. Further details on the restructuring can be found in the company’s separate press release.

    Adobe also reaffirmed a Q4 outlook for $1.075 billion to $1.125 billion in revenue, but cut its EPS estimate to a range of 30 cents to 38 cents per share, down from a prior range of 41 cents to50 cents per share.
    And this from the company that requires you to buy the new version of the program, just to get a raw update or support for newer cameras...

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    I wonder how hard Adobe has been hit by Apple's aggressive software pricing.

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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by clark666 View Post
    Adobe Drops 9%: Sets Restructuring, Laying Off 750
    http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderd...log_techtrader

    Shares of Adobe (ADBE) are down $2.81, or 9%, at $27.61 after the company this evening said it will restructure its business, including cutting 750 full-time jobs, mostly in North America and Europe.
    Not sure what Adobe has to do with Olympus...

    - Raist

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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    Not sure what Adobe has to do with Olympus...

    - Raist
    Agreed.
    Bob Rosinsky
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    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    Not sure what Adobe has to do with Olympus...

    - Raist
    Maybe the poster is advising (without saying so) that Adobe has no future, just as the OP said similar things about Olympus. I think this is all bunk.

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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Meh - I wouldn't go out of my way to avoid Olympus at the moment. I think I'd be insane to pay full price for any new Olympus gear right now, but if I see a bargain I want, I'll go for it. I do buy the sensor argument though. Panasonic pumped the pixels and ended up with better noise/DR characteristics. Olympus didn't!

    These are sad time for Olympus and I hope they recover as a maker of fine cameras.

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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    Maybe the poster is advising (without saying so) that Adobe has no future, just as the OP said similar things about Olympus. I think this is all bunk.
    Maybe that's the problem- to try to make an analogy between Olympus and what happened at Adobe is so light years apart in similarity that it's hard to see where the analogy is.

    - Raist

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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Still the only manual focus friendly camera, using the IBIS on these lenses makes me their friend!

    I hope to swoop on product as Olympus follows the Titanic ... keep up the Olympus unfriendly posts so I have to pay even less?

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    Senior Member RichA's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Donnelly View Post
    Still the only manual focus friendly camera, using the IBIS on these lenses makes me their friend!

    I hope to swoop on product as Olympus follows the Titanic ... keep up the Olympus unfriendly posts so I have to pay even less?
    Seems Olympus has been losing money (somewhere) since 1990. They used various methods of subterfuge to cover it up. Now, the medical division dominates their field and it's unlikely it was that division losing money. That leaves the camera division. It will be interesting to see what happens to a division that has lost money for 20 years.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by RichA View Post
    It will be interesting to see what happens to a division that has lost money for 20 years.
    Of course, you could have asked the same question of Leica not so long ago ... ... and that Titanic didn't hit the iceberg. Olympus does at least have decent product so that's to their benefit I would think, regardless of their stock price and accounting woes.

    Basically Olympus got caught with their shorts down trying to roll forward loses to more favorable times where they could quietly hide them. That sounds like the US Government to me too btw ... just keep on kicking that can down the road ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Of course, you could have asked the same question of Leica not so long ago ... ... and that Titanic didn't hit the iceberg. Olympus does at least have decent product so that's to their benefit I would think, regardless of their stock price and accounting woes.

    Basically Olympus got caught with their shorts down trying to roll forward loses to more favorable times where they could quietly hide them. That sounds like the US Government to me too btw ... just keep on kicking that can down the road ...
    With all due respect, but what happened at Olympus is simply UNACCEPTABLE - period.

    Good products - well maybe - but everyone has to decide individually if they want give this company further trust!

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    I'm certainly not saying that it's acceptable but why punish a company that's shot itself in the foot already? The reality of boycotting their products, in the short term at least, actually doesn't hurt them but instead hits every other part of the consumer chain from the dealer through to the distributor before the manufacturer gets hurt.

    I'm not saying that bad corporate behaviour should be rewarded but I fail to see how boycotting their products helps anyone, least of all the thousands of innocent employees without golden executive parachutes. The best way to handle this is to ensure that those responsible at the highest level get healthy prison terms and not simply retire to the golf course. For a Japanese company you'd hope that there'd be some honour amongst those thieves but I'm not hopeful these days.

    Btw, if anyone disturbed enough by all of this has an E-P3 body in silver, preferably with a VF-2 viewfinder, that they want to sell off cheaply then I'll be happy to take the distasteful item off their hands right now. (Yes, I'm serious ...)
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    I'm certainly not saying that it's acceptable but why punish a company that's shot itself in the foot already? The reality of boycotting their products, in the short term at least, actually doesn't hurt them but instead hits every other part of the consumer chain from the dealer through to the distributor before the manufacturer gets hurt.

    I'm not saying that bad corporate behaviour should be rewarded but I fail to see how boycotting their products helps anyone, least of all the thousands of innocent employees without golden executive parachutes. The best way to handle this is to ensure that those responsible at the highest level get healthy prison terms and not simply retire to the golf course. For a Japanese company you'd hope that there'd be some honour amongst those thieves but I'm not hopeful these days.
    For some it is maybe not boycotting Olympus products but simply that they lost trust and sympathy for such a company and therefore will by rather other vendors products. I would have full understanding for that!

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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    For some it is maybe not boycotting Olympus products but simply that they lost trust and sympathy for such a company and therefore will by rather other vendors products. I would have full understanding for that!
    Trust and sympathy? Sony lost nearly as much money in a single year and they can't seem to keep customer data safe after being hacked numerous times on the PlayStation network this year. Their are getting eaten by Apple in the mobile gaming market. The CEO admits he's not in control of the electronics side of the company. Where are all the consumers avoiding Sony products?

    I'm with Graham on this. The executives need to be thrown in prison. Investors need to be confident the numbers they are releasing are correct. For consumers nothing has really changed. The only worrisome point is the short term, but luckily the stock price seems to be recovering and that's a helpful sign.
    Charles - flickr

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    Well some good news: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-1...-woodford.html

    Assuming that they avoid delisting they seem like a great investment to me because that stock has doubled since Nov 11th. (I work for a company with similar woes btw and have seen it peak and plummet in a similar manner but the swings have been similar in scale too - there's money to be made on inherently successful companies if you can see through the c$$p).

    I do think though that there needs to more drastic action for those involved - losing a pinky finger isn't going to cut it either btw! Killing 80% of the value in a (now) successful company through fraudulent business practices to hide the ill advised investment strategies of the past should be something that needs punishment beyond retirement. Let's hope we see something happen. It might also be good to see corporate Japan wake up to more open business disclosure (unlikely but we can hope I guess!).

    Full disclosure: I bought an E-P3 outfit this weekend to replace the G3 that I have no love for. Love the Olympus 12/2 & 45/1.8 lenses too but my Panasonic G3 has been one small step away from being hit with a large hammer! Great that it does just about everything but confusing as hell to use at times because it does EVERYTHING and has a touch screen LCD that seems to have a mind of its own! Also it seems more "digital" in it's image rendering too IMHO. (Maybe I'm just missing my M9 and have gotten used to even the confusion of the workings of my X100 - which has great image quality too btw!). Time to try the Olympus instead.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

  23. #23
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    It is rather getting confusing when some mix the their preferences for certain brands which are of course valid for everyone, with economical issues and problems like Olympus has them currently.

    Further I could not care less about the stock market but I care about a sane company and sane company structures, which currently is not the case with Olympus. And what makes it even worse was not there the past years and was artificially hidden. Such practices inside a company reflect to other groups in the company and this was definitely not stopping at the camera division.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: At this point, I'd avoid Olympus products

    I really doubt that this has anything to do with the camera division or endoscope group - it was a corporate bad decision to play in markets they had no business being in and losing their shorts while they were at it.

    You know, we're just not going to agree are we? Let's just leave it at that.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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