I offer the piece below not with any knowledge of WeWork outside of knowing that it is a serviced office group that is trying to pass itself off as a technology company but rather as an example of how brokers, analysts and commentators can become wedded to a narrative and that this marriage can be so toxic and blinding that it obscures all logical thought.
3. WeWork post full year invoices for the year ahead this year to inflate their revenues. They then heavily discount those invoices they’ve already raised and treat them as expenses. They then pay whichever broker secured that lead 100%, yes 100% of the contract value. Note the industry standard commission is 10%. Neither the discounts nor the 100% in commission payments appear in their Financials as they are ‘community adjusted’. They also do the opposite, they turn expenses into revenues so imagine a landlord agrees to discount their rent by £250k to offset a portion of their build costs, standard practice, WeWork treats that £250k as revenue. They also charge members even after they’ve vacated, then credit them later. It’s not difficult to boost revenues on a blank cheque. Revenues are not what you’ve actually cleared through your bank, it’s the total tally of invoices raised in a given period, a big difference.
More here – Medium
PS:If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it is probably a duck. It is just a pity Wall Street dont seem to have ever seen a duck before…..