Melissa Davis, senior editor of The Street Sweeper, poses with celebrity stock picker Jim Cramer after a recent taping of his "Mad Money" television show. Davis worked as an investigative reporter for TheStreet.com, where Cramer serves as chairman, before assuming her current role at The Street Sweeper.
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals: Spinning Its Next “Big Story"
by Sonya Colberg, Senior Investigative Reporter, 1/22/2015 9:52:25 AM
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR) may not have found its next big biotech thing, after all.
After a crazy-good run riding the Ebola scare from obscurity to prominence in just a few months, the company found itself searching for something new to keep investors interested. Tekmira’s betting that hepatitis B will be it.
Now, on Tekmira’s recent tepid announcement of dosing one person in its tiny 20-patient clinical trial, shares jumped 2.7% - far short of the long-gone Ebola gains of 280%-plus.
Indeed, Tekmira reminds us of another Ebola treatment-next-big-biotech-thing wannabe that TheStreetSweeper warned investors about, iBio (then $1.88, now ~$0.52).
While other viewpoints about Tekmira are available here, let’s look at some issues surrounding Tekmira’s latest, greatest target.
*TKMR STOCK PROMOTORS GONE WILD.
Tekmira has become a heavy favorite among stock promotors. Between March 1, 2012 and Sept. 3, 2014, sites ranging from “Penny OTC Stocks” to “Wall Street Resources” issued reports on TKMR a total of 21 times.
On March 1, 2012, for example, with the stock drooping at $2.56 per share, five – yes, five – stock promotors sent out positive reports about TMKR to potential investors.
It worked. TKMR fetched as much as $2.91 by the end of the day – a striking 8 percent gain.
Two years later, on March 6, 2014, a total of 10 stock promoters reported on Tekmira. Yes, 10 separate promotions on the same day. Coincidence? We don’t think so.
With news reports on Ebola rampant and Tekmira promoters out in force, Tekmira shares rocketed from about $19 on March 4 to about $28 on March 6.
Ziopharm Oncology: 5 Potential Downsides To Its New Deal
by Sonya Colberg, Senior Investigative Reporter, 1/16/2015 10:11:16 AM
Though the share price has fallen, the excitement handed a roughly $900 million valuation to a company with a $362 million deficit and no product.
The deal trades licensing rights for MD Anderson’s non-approved cancer technology for $100 million worth of shares from both ZIOP and XON. ZIOP has also committed to paying $15 million to $20 million yearly to the cancer center for research and development for three years, though the press release is fuzzy. ZIOP must pay the first $3.75 million within two months.
Ominous details surround ZIOP’s dollar-and-dilution deal, as well as ZIOP itself. Here are the top five reasons why TheStreetSweeper dislikes this deal and sees loads of downside ahead:
- ZIOP doesn’t have the money to pull off this deal. So we believe ZIOP will have to sell stock, posing imminent dilution.
ZIOP has just $46 million in cash. Its own quarterly report says that’s “sufficient to fund operations into the fourth quarter of 2015.”
But that was before the new agreement. ZIOP is burning over $7 million per quarter. And it is now committed to pay about half that much - $3.75 million to $4 million quarterly - to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for three years.
- Shares worth $15 million offered as incentive to speed contract signing.
The day ZIOP was scheduled to present to JP Morgan, Jan. 14, turns out to be the very day ZIOP pulled this licensing announcement out of its ear. JP Morgan acted as underwriter during ZIOP’s roughly $54 million public offering in October 2013 at $3.50 per share. But that timing may not have been mere coincidence.
The kicker: This “highly sensitive and confidential” letter to a University of Texas vice president of strategic industry ventures describes $15 million worth of incentive shares – 1.6 million ZIOP shares and 278,218 XON shares – not included in the licensing agreement, to hand to MD Anderson to speed up the expected 120-day contract approval process. That way, the chief executives of ZIOP and XON who signed the letter could issue the public announcement during the JP Morgan conference. The letter added:
JAMN Finally Spills the Beans -- And It's an Ugly Mess
by Janice Shell, 6/2/2011 10:32:51 AM
To be sure, the 10-K offered investors little reason to sing. For starters, the filing reveals, this once-hot “coffee company” sells no coffee of its own at all. JAMN relies on a supplier based in frigid Canada – far away from the tropical Jamaican home of its co-founder Rohan Marley – to provide the company with an actual product to sell to its customers instead.
Back in April of 2010, JAMN inked a “supply and toll agreement” with Canterbury Coffee of British Columbia that gave it access to some brew. According to that agreement, JAMN relies on Canterbury to fulfill every role – save a minor one – normally satisfied by a firm that classifies itself as a coffee company. Canterbury purchases the coffee beans. It roasts them. And it then packages them in bags supplied by JAMN – the company’s only real product – for sale to the public.
JAMN signed this deal more than a year ago, right before Shane Whittle – a notorious Vancouver stock promoter – officially resigned as CEO of the company. But the company never mentioned that agreement, seemingly material enough to warrant at least a quiet 8-K report, in a single regulatory filing until now.
Jammin Java (JAMN): Hot Stock ... Bitter Aftertaste?
by Janice Shell, 6/2/2011 10:30:25 AM
It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee! That’s exactly what Jammin Java (OTC: JAMN.OB), a heavily promotedcoffee company, and – for very different reasons – TheStreetSweeper would like investors to do.
Since the beginning of the year, JAMN has miraculously risen from the ashes of the “Grey Market” graveyard to become one of the liveliest – and richest – stocks in the entire microcap arena. JAMN has seen its stock shoot straight toward heaven, soaring from 55 cents to peak above $6 a share on massive daily volume, with its market value nowtopping $355 million despite the company’s limited resources and operating history. (As covered in more detail below, two of the Internet tout sheets pushing JAMN the hardest effectively vanished -- disabled by their Internet servers -- on the day the stock’s trading volume exploded past 20 million shares.)
CCME: Few Signs of Life at 'Healthy' Chinese Firm
by Roddy Boyd, 3/23/2011 9:30:34 AM
Also, and this cannot be understated, hanging out on a sidewalk in Fujian–the sidewalks double as parking spots when the streets, which appeared to have been designed in the Han Dynasty, fill up–was not a viable option. There was also the matter of the world-class headache the Financial Investigator was developing from Fuzhou’s diabolical smell, an epic conflation of poor sewage treatment, air pollution and the smell of cabbage that made getting the hell off Dongjie street a matter of vital importance.
The Financial Investigator and his traveling companion for the trip, an American investor with extensive experience in China, decided to head upstairs despite our interview with the CFO having been cancelled at the last minute (with no explanation given.) We thought a quick tour of the offices and meeting a few other executives might open our eyes to a few things.
Though the language barrier was a little steep with the young receptionist–when we asked for writing paper, she provided Kleenex–we were in short order shown to their conference room and told to wait. It did not escape notice that pride of place in the conference room belonged to a framed certificate of participation from the Fall 2010 Rodman & Renshaw conference, the World Cup for reverse merger companies and the pumpers and touts who peddle them.
Eventually chief operating officer James Yu came down and after spending 30 minutes trying to understand who we were, concluded that giving us a tour wouldn’t hurt. Soon enough, his colleague, Vinne Ye–the chairman’s assistant–came out and took us around.
It was most eye-opening.more...
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