San Francisco 49ers Vs Oakland Raiders NFL Pick

The San Francisco 49ers (0-5) are off to their worst start in 31 years and will desperately try to earn their first victory of the season when they host the Oakland Raiders (2-3).  The 49ers (-7 @ Diamond Sportsbook) have met their Bay Area rivals just once during the regular season since 2002 even though they have played each other in the preseason on an annual basis.  The Raiders lost this year’s preseason meeting with San Francisco at home 28-24 and will be looking for their first road win of the season following a 35-27 victory against San Diego last week.

Oakland had lost 13 straight meetings with the Chargers before putting together one of their best all-around efforts in years and hope to build off that big win here against the 49ers.  The Raiders got outstanding special-teams play with two blocked punts in the first five minutes of the game against San Diego – resulting in an early 12-0 lead – and finished off the Chargers with a 64-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the final minute of the game to seal the victory.

However, the team’s starting quarterback remains in question after Bruce Gradkowski exited with a shoulder injury at halftime.  Gradkowski will keep his job if healthy but was replaced by Jason Campbell, who completed 13 of 18 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers in the second half.   Oakland also has a question mark at running back with starter Darren McFadden still dealing with a hamstring injury.  McFadden was among the league leaders in rushing before suffering the injury, but backup Michael Bush did a nice job filling in for him last week.  Bush carried the ball 26 times for 104 yards against the Chargers with a touchdown.

San Francisco has not made any key personnel changes on offense as of yet but might consider replacing quarterback Alex Smith if he continues to struggle.  Smith has thrown an NFL-high nine interceptions and also lost a fumble early in the fourth quarter of a 27-24 home loss to Philadelphia last Sunday night.  That turnover led to a shouting match with head coach Mike Singletary and ignited another late rally that again came up short in the end.

The 49ers have lost their last two games by a combined five points, and three of their last four have been decided by three points or less.  Team owner Jed York came out earlier in the week and proclaimed they would still win the NFC West despite the terrible start.  No team has ever made the playoffs following an 0-5 start, but the division is especially weak this year with a lot of young teams that were supposed to be looking up at San Francisco in the standings at this point.

Overstock to restate earnings.

The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT) March 1, 2006 Byline: Bob Mims Mar. 1–Overstock.com does not sell fireworks, but CEO Patrick Byrne and his critics are generating plenty of their own verbal pyrotechnics.

The latest headline-grabbing air burst came Tuesday from the Salt Lake City-based e-commerce company: Citing past errors in accounting for freight costs, Overstock informed the Securities and Exchange Commission it will restate earnings going back to fiscal 2002.

Restatement is the dreaded “R” word of corporate accounting, often foreshadowing deep trouble for a struggling company. However, Overstock’s refiguring of costs related to its inbound freight actually lowered net losses, while boosting inventory by $3.5 million.

“When you look at what this restatement is really, it is positive,” said Jonathan Johnson, Overstock’s vice president for corporate affairs. “Perhaps the timing is not that auspicious, but we believe the best practice is to let people know as soon as we do.” The news came as controversy continued to cloud what is generally accepted to be a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into Overstock’s claims that Gradient Analytics was paid by the Rocker Partners hedge fund to publish negative reviews. web site overstock coupon code

The online closeout retailer blames that purported conspiracy for triggering a slide in its stock price from almost $55 to under $22 per share in the past year.

Overstock has sued Gradient and Rocker Partners in a Marin County, Calif., court. A hearing on Gradient’s motion for dismissal is scheduled for today.

Three weeks ago, the SEC subpoenaed columnists Herb Greenberg of MarketWatch and Carol Remond of Dow Jones Newswires, seeking documents related to their negative reports on Overstock. On Monday, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox suspended the subpoenas until all five commissioners can review the matter.

Also Monday, a combative Byrne told the “Kudlow & Co.” broadcast on CNBC that he thinks Greenberg timed release of his Overstock articles to help short-sellers cash in. (Short-sellers take a “bearish” or negative view on a particular stock, borrowing it long enough at a higher price to gamble that the stock’s price will fall; they then cash in on the difference).

“A crooked research firm conspiring with a crooked reporter,” is how Byrne described the alleged scenario.

Greenberg, who has denied such allegations, on Tuesday seemed to take particular pleasure in Overstock’s earnings restatement.

Writing for MarketWatch, he remarked: “No wonder Overstock’s president, Patrick Byrne, is working overtime alleging a conspiracy. . . . His company is in turmoil, but that’s something short-sellers had figured out long before it became evident to the public.” Analysts were not so much taken aback by the restatement as they were by Overstock’s admission that its past freight cost accounting practices were in error.

“We were aware that Overstock planned to restate its prior financials to change the accounting treatment of its inbound freight expenses,” said Rebecca Kujawa, senior vice president of the Stanford Group. “We were not expecting Overstock to characterize this as an error and acknowledge that this represents material weakness in controls. see here overstock coupon code

“Overstock is fighting battles on several fronts, and we believe investors would be best advised to wait until [it] shows improving fundamentals before they [buy] shares,” she added.

The restatement appeared to have only a modest impact on trading of Overstock shares. The stock closed Tuesday at $22.50, down 57 cents.

“I wouldn’t think there would be too negative of a response,” Overstock’s Johnson said.

The freight accounting change slashes $1.8 million from net losses for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2005, and by $592,000 for the previous quarter, but will increase the net loss for the quarter ended March 31 of last year by $107,000.

The restatement will lower losses for fiscal 2004 by $461,000. Similar improvements were reported for 2002 and 2003; Overstock said it expects to file amended quarterly reports for each of the first three quarters of 2005 as soon as possible.

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

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