Great Panther Silver (GPL): Perfectly Priced To Cave In?
by Sonya Colberg, Senior Editor, 5/2/2016 11:03:54 AM
Great Panther Silver (NYSE: GPL) stands at the brink of a teeth-chattering stock decline.
Over the course of the past year and a half, stock in the Canadian silver mining company settled in below $1 per share, sometimes falling to 30 cents.
Then shares suddenly blew up. Did this happen because the company hit a rich vein of silver?
Not at all. Rather than Panther suddenly hitting on fortune and reversing shareholders' negative return on equity, the stock has been shored up by ambitious stock promoters. Now Great Panther appears perfectly priced to drop.
Here are the top six reasons TheStreetSweeper is shouting, "Look out below!"
*1. Why Great Panther's Stock Is Up: Jonathan Lebed Special
After seven months of trading between ~40 cents and ~$1 per share, Panther stock suddenly blew up in late April:
What happened? Well, Panther can primarily thank a well-known stock promoter.
Indeed, last Thursday, on April 28, 2016, National Inflation Association sent out a stock promotion to thousands of email recipients. The hype began like this:
(Source: National Inflation Association)
Despite the name of the sender, this email and others like it have nothing to do with the organization's purported mission of fighting inflation. NIA is not some quasi-governmental agency sworn to help people but instead is all about enriching the NIA.
Jonathan Lebed is the main man standing behind the NIA's flimsy curtain of respectability. Mr. Lebed attracted national attention in 2001 when the Securities and Exchange Commission accused the then-teenager of manipulating stock in a pump-and-dump scheme. Without admitting any wrongdoing, he settled for $285,000.
Mr. Lebed commented:
(Source: New York Times )
Mr. Lebed has been a key figure in stories by TheStreetSweeper and publications such as The New York Times, which wrote of Mr. Lebed's stock trading activities:
"This type of stock fraud is hardly victimless. When a stock price rose from $1.38 to $4.69 on the strength of his false recommendations, then fell to $1.88 after his manipulation stopped, there were winners and losers."
The recent NIA/Johnathan Lebed promotion on Panther is merely the latest in a long string of hype that has inflated the stock.
Mr. Lebed has been cheerleading Panther periodically since 2014. Back in August 2014, Lebed.biz emailed a promotion to thousands mentioning Panther under its Toronto Stock Exchange trading symbol of GPR. The hype said in part:
There's a huge fundamental problem with promoted stocks, arguably most especially those promoted by Mr. Lebed.
Such stock promotions themselves push up the share price. So the stock price increase typically is not a reflection of any good business practices or even good luck experienced by the company.
That means the share price will virtually always drop. Because there's nothing but fluff supporting the price.
*2. Kiss Of Death: Rodman & Renshaw
Panther investors need to understand two unfortunate, crucial actions by investor Rodman & Renshaw.
First, Rodman & Renshaw - which was a key institution investigated during the Chinese stock fraud issues of 2010 to 2013 - raised its target price for Panther from $1.10 per share to $1.50 on April 14.
Panther stock rose.
Next, on April 20 - six days later - the firm inked a deal with Panther for a $10 million at-the-market (ATM) facility.
By that time, the stock had jumped 33 percent from the day of the price target upgrade to $1.48 on the day Panther and Rodman & Renshaw signed the deal.
BioPath Holdings Inc. (BPTH): Why A Bad Golf Company Won't Make A Good Gene Therapy Company
by Sonya Colberg, Senior Editor, 4/26/2016 12:35:32 PM
BioPath Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: BPTH) has swung and sliced to the right. Now it hopes investors will run after the ball.
The company spent six years fruitlessly trying to make a buck selling ugly pants, clashing shirts and other golf paraphernalia. It eventually made the unlikely transformation into ... gene therapy.
But BioPath is still missing the ball and almost certainly will continue to do so as this company attempts to produce a drug delivery platform.
Indeed, the new company presents these massive risks for investment portfolios:
* Reverse Merger; Inexperienced Management: The CEO/CFO/Treasurer/Chairman/President reverse merged a golf company to create a biotech. He is among the company's four leaders with virtually no experience in biotech.
* Unfortunate Supporter: Recent support from Rodman & Renshaw is good reason for investors to avoid BioPath.
* Uncertain Revenue Generation: Any possible product sales are distant dreams. The top drug candidate is only in Phase II study. The second candidate is approaching Phase II. So the prospects must get through one to two more phases of study before even going after FDA approval to market the drug.
* Fierce Competition: No one knows whether the drug candidates will succeed and some experts are skeptical. Meanwhile, many established companies are developing strong therapies for the same patients.
* Low Institutional Interest: Five institutions have sold out, including a particularly noteworthy investor.
* Stock Dilution Looms: BioPath's cash has fallen to an estimated $7.65 million. At a $1.25 million quarterly burn rate, it will take a significant cash transfusion to proceed with trials and business operations. A big ATM brimming with share dilution potential is poised.
Investors may find other viewpoints here. Meanwhile, here are details on the top six reasons TheStreetSweeper is convinced BioPath's drug game will be no better than its golf game.
*1. Odd Beginning
So it all began in 2000 when Ogden Golf Corp. opened and began selling golf items in Ogden, Utah.
After six straight years of losses and nothing to show for it but over-tapped friends and family, the board apparently realized the golf course would not drive the company straight to wealth and happiness. So managers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, began selling shares for 50 cents apiece and looked around for business ideas.
They found that idea in the most unlikely of places ...
*2. Reverse Merger; Inexperienced Management.
Two years after Ogden Golf closed, the CEO/CFO/Treasurer/Chairman/President decided to reverse merge his golf company to create BioPath Holdings in 2008.
But, while Peter Nielsen may know golfing, he lacks biotech or healthcare leadership experience. Yet here he is - the CEO, CFO, treasurer, chairman and president of a Bellaire, Texas biotech - albeit a biotech that has failed to advance a product as far as Phase III in eight years.
Peter H. Nielsen. Mr. Nielsen is a co-founder of Bio-Path, serving as its Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer and Chairman of the Board since 2008. Mr. Nielsen has developed a close working relationship over the last six years with key individuals at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and its suppliers. Mr. Nielsen has a broad management background in senior management, leading turnarounds of several large companies. He also has experience in finance, product development, cost and investment analysis, manufacturing and planning. He has also worked with several other biotech companies developing and executing on strategies for growth and previously served as a director of Synthecon, Inc., a manufacturer of 3D bioreactors. Prior to joining Bio-Path, Mr. Nielsen served as Chief Financial Officer of Omni Energy Services Corp., a NASDAQ traded energy services company. Mr. Nielsen was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power program where he was Director of the Physics Department and was employed at Ford Motor Company in product development. He holds engineering and M.B.A. finance degrees from the University of California-Berkeley.
But Mr. Nielsen's biotech experience is so light that the second line of his biography highlights his friendship with folks at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
While the bio states he led "turnarounds of several large companies," it mentions Synthecon, a company that seems to be a Houston Technology Center incubator product with little public presence since 2010. And it mentions an oil services company, Omni Energy Services Corp., where he became CFO in September 1999.
But the oilfield service company priced at $11 per share in its initial public offering in 1997 soon fell into financial disarray.
Mr. Nielsen's presence there could hardly be related to any "turnaround." According to this release on a lawsuit, his predecessor claims to have been hired as part of a turn-around team because "its stock price was depressed and the company had narrowly avoided delisting."
BioPath co-founder Douglas P. Morris also lacks prior biotech experience. The company director left his BioPath executive position in 2014.
Douglas P. Morris. Mr. Morris is a co-founder of Bio-Path and has served as a director of Bio-Path since 2007 and served as an officer from 2007 to June 2014. Mr. Morris currently serves as a co-founder, Managing Member, and Secretary of nCAP Holdings, LLC (nCAP), a privately held technology based company. Between 1993 and 2010, Mr. Morris was an officer and director of Celtic Investment, Inc., a financial services company. Since 1990, Mr. Morris owns and operates Hyacinth Resources, LLC (“Hyacinth”), a business-consulting firm and is also a Managing Member of Sycamore Ventures, LLC, a privately held consulting firm. Mr. Morris has a B.A. from Brigham Young University, and attended the University of Southern California Masters program in public administration.
Chief operating officer Ulrich W. Mueller (page 51) and director Dr. Amy P. Sing (page 52) both have some biotech experience. But out of six BioPath leaders, four have no significant biotech experience.
And, considering how little the 11-person company has advanced in nearly a decade, executives are generously rewarded. The two top executives haul in around $1 million yearly.
(Source: Company SEC filing)
Now, let's look at an investor that was, in our opinion, unfortunately attracted to BioPath.
*3. Unfortunate Support: Rodman & Renshaw
One reason for investors to be cautious is the April 18, 2016 $5 buy rating from Rodman & Renshaw. The note apparently helped push up the stock but a price increase is temporary ... and could suddenly reverse course.
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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