Hottest links for Friday, February 14th, the late edition. Get our free daily newsletter and never miss a single linkfest. Also, now if you sign up you will get our new e-book on value investing.

Top stories for today are included below.  Some great stories here to finish off your work week, including a dropoff in European earnings estimates, the business of herding, and more on the Comcast/Time Warner deal.

Hottest Links: Stories

Value Investing

Stock-based Employee Compensation: Value and Pricing Effects

In my last post on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), I argued that the firm’s claim that it actually made money in the last quarter of 2013 was fiction. That may sound like an exaggeration, since the company is transparent about the adjustments that it made to get to its adjusted numbers and the practice it uses is widespread not just among companies, trying to better a better face on their operating results but also among analysts who track these companies. [Aswath Damodaran , Musings on Markets]

Hottest links

Securidev – cheap French lockmaker. $SCDV €SCDV

I’ve been a bit lazy with the posting lately, but here is an interesting one. Securidev SA (EPA:SCDV) is a French lockmaker with a strong prescence throughout western Europe. And yes, I didn’t find this one myself either – blatant steal of someone else’s idea (again). [Otakuinvest]

A business of herding

Last week, Noah Smith prompted a lot of discussion in the blogosphere with his posting, “Does trend-chasing explain financial markets?”  It was complete with a photo of bison charging at the viewer, visually emphasizing the instinctual reaction to join the crowd rather than to stand against it. [Tom Brakke, The Research Puzzle]

Short cuts: G. Perrier, Tonnellerie Francois Freres SA (EPA:TFF), Thermador Groupe SA (EPA:THEP), VERBUND AG (VIE:VER) (OTCMKTS:OEZVY)

Already a few days ago, G. Perrier issued 2013 sales figures which were better than expected. Especially interesting was the accelerating growth from quarter to quarter, with 17% qoq growth in the last quarter and over 30% growth in the final quarter in the energy segment. [Memyselfandi007, Value And Opportunity]

Graham Holdings Split-Off

Graham Holdings Co (NYSE:GHC) is aware of the 13D/A filing made today by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) regarding a potential split-off transaction with the Company. [KK, The Brooklyn Investor]

China Building a ‘Coal Base’ the Size of Los Angeles

China, faced with ever-worsening pollution in its major cities—a recent report deemed Beijing “barely suitable for living”—is doing what so many industrializing nations have done before it: banishing its titanic smog spewers to poor or rural areas so everyone else can breathe easier. [Climateer Investing]

Investing Successfully is Really Hard

Investing successfully is really hard. Investors are necessarily exposed to so much uncertainty, so much randomness and so many variables that it simply isn’t reasonable to expect to succeed routinely. [Robert Seawright, Pragmatic Capitalism]

Everyone Thinks They’re a Contrarian

Robert Shiller won the Nobel Prize in economics last year for his research on spotting market bubbles. He’s also a pioneer of behavioral finance, developing brilliant explanations for how psychology causes us to do dumb things with our money. [Morgan Housel, The Motley Fool]

Funds

European Revenue Expectations Have Been Tanking

Europe’s economic indicators have been improving over the past year, especially in the UK, where the economic rebound has been surprisingly strong. The Eurozone indicators have been signaling a recovery since last summer, but a very weak one. [Ed Yardeni, Business Insider]

Hottest Links

Greenlight Capital pursues “Valuable Insights” poster

The court document states that Greenlight Capital began investing in Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) back in July but did not disclose that stake on its third quarter13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. [Michelle Jones, ValueWalk]

VC Horowitz Implicates Auditor PwC In Story

Imagine my surprise when Ben Horowitz, one half of the venture capital team of Andreessen Horowitz, wrote a blog post about dodging a jail term for stock option backdating that also implicated PwC. [Francine McKenna , re: The Auditors]

Paulson on Comcast/TWC, Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S)/T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS) and Consolidation

The Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)-Time Warner Cable deal could pave the way for another big year for Paulson & Co.’s merger funds, as the fund is one of the top 10 shareholders in Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) with roughly 6 million shares. [Maureen Farrell, MoneyBeat]

Prediction: The Word ‘Alternatives’ Will Go Out of Use

A new report from PwC predicts a burst of growth in AuM in the global – and most specifically in the North American – asset management industry in coming years. It also predicts that we won’t be calling any part of this industry the “alternatives” segment by 2020. [Christopher Faille, AllAboutAlpha.com]

Hottest Links: Not The Onion

FBI Entraps Navy Veteran for Espionage Using Sexy Female Agents

Such was the case of former U.S. Navy sailer Robert Hoffman, who unfortunately through his own greed, and probably a little bit of lust, fell for the FBI’s espionage sting operation, which included tempting Hoffman with a well-endowed, half-dressed fake Russian “spy” presenting herself to Hoffman and convincing him to spy for Mother Russia. [Ryan Dube, Top Secret Writers]