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On counting and the learning curve…

images10.jpegUsually, there’s a learning curve, a transition of sorts when a private company, particularly one in a fast-growing space, goes public. But a quick glance at the amended S-1 filed by comSCORE on Friday afternoon shows that the company may still be private, but it’s clearly learned how to time its public filings. The amended S-1 was filed at 5:30 on the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day, a time when most people who cared were already Hamptons-bound.

The amended filing included several new pieces of information, including the company’s willingness to submit to an independent audit that the Internet Advertising Bureau requested last month. The request gets to one of the major frustrations of anyone who runs a site (myself included): how can traffic numbers vary so dramatically depending on which company is doing the counting? The IAB letter noted the differences between comSCORE and Nielsen/Net Rankings. As more advertising moves online and away from traditional media, there’s going to be a need for some uniform way to track it. For example, right now, I either get 350,000 page views a month or just under 200,000. Which one is right? Who knows?

That wasn’t the only interesting thing in comSCORE’s revised filing — otherwise, while file so late on a Friday before a holiday weekend? There were new details about restricted stock, compensation and bonuses and sharply higher rent for the company’s NYC offices. For example, the compensation cost of unvested stock options climbed from $1.3 million from the May 8 filing to $6.6 million in Friday’s filing.

When will companies start to realize that filing late on a Friday doesn’t make the filing go away? Indeed, some people — and not just me — pay much closer attention to anything filed late on a Friday before a holiday weekend.