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Odyssey Marine Exploration (OMEX): A Shipwreck of Titanic Proportions

by Sonya Colberg, Senior Editor, 7/18/2016 11:17:41 AM

Odyssey Marine Exploration (OMEX) dives to recover treasures from shipwrecks.

But its current project may be the most challenging yet ... a desperate dive to recover its own shipwrecked company.

While investors may find other viewpoints here, TheStreetSweeper sees one titanic disaster in the making. Here's why:

*1. Poof: Cash, Assets, Don Diego Hope

The company reported, as of March 31, operating cash had fallen to $2.8 million ... At the same time the company is burning through $2.7 million in just one quarter.

So OMEX appears to be operating on fumes.

At the same time, OMEX is struggling with debt deals and owns virtually no assets.

Filings state: "we have pledged the majority of our remaining assets to MINOSA, and its affiliates, and to Monaco, leaving us with few opportunities to raise additional funds from our balance sheet.”

OMEX's financial lifeboats recently have been anchored on expectations that Mexico approve the Don Diego permit. But Mexican authorities denied this critical application.

The Don Diego represents a Hail Mary business restructuring for OMEX and, in our view, another reason for investors to brace for failure. Read on….  

*2. Mexico: Application Denied

Way back in 1994, the company began navigating the thrilling but choppy waters of undersea excavation and recovery.

OMEX found five major shipwrecks over those 22 years but lost $123 million in the process, Bloomberg reports.

In 2007, the company began a very public 5-year battle with Spain over gold and silver recovered from the "Black Swan" warship. OMEX lost the loot and a federal judge ordered the company to pay $1 million for "bad faith and abusive litigation."

In the midst of that public drama, the company restructured operations in 2010 to focus on deep water seabed exploration of minerals.

Much hope went into the Don Diego seabed deposit off the Mexico coast - considered the restructuring centerpiece -  and shares ran up around $9 in early April.

Then on April 11, Mexico denied the company's environmental permit application amid concerns about the environmental impact on sea turtles. OMEX plans to dredge Don Diego's phosphate rock lurched to a halt and the stock took a 55% dive.



Digital Ally (DGLY): Why This Stock Will Get Chopped

by Sonya Colberg, Senior Editor, 7/15/2016 11:04:37 AM

TheStreetSweeper issues an investor alert on Digital Ally (DGLY).

Shares in consistently unprofitable Digital Ally have rocketed following last week's shooting rampage that left five police officers dead and more fighting for their lives.

As the gunman blasted away and the crowd panicked, police body cameras supplied by Taser International (TASR) captured video of the scene. With the nation focused on Dallas and other shootings, it's not too surprising that Taser shares soared 5.9% to $27.30.

Flying in under Taser's wings, DGLY surged from ~$4 to $7, bumped along and then topped out July 13 at $6.23 per share. This morning, the stock opened at $5.49 as people begin to realize DGLY is a poor copycat focused on an antiquated product.

TheStreetSweeper's executive bullet points below summarize why we expect the stock to plummet back to earth:

1.    DGLY stock is up after the market has mistakenly aligned the stock with body camera market leader Taser International.
2.    The vast majority of DGLY's revenue - 43% - comes from DGLY's in-car videos, not from body cameras, as the market wrongly assumes.
3.    Compared with Taser, DGLY's product costs nearly two times more and offers inferior resolution, battery life and field of view.
4.    DGLY's revenue has been dropping over the last 4 quarters; earnings remain negative. In contrast, Taser offers positive earnings and revenue is nearly 10 times greater than DGLY.
5.    DGLY has attracted very, very little institutional ownership, only ~5%.

 

TheStreetSweeper's full details follow:

 

*1. No Comparison: Taser Owns The Market

The company's nemesis Taser International initially gained attention with its stun guns. But now the company has catapulted into the market-leading position for body cameras, controlling three-fourths of the body camera business in the United States.

Cops in cities from Dallas to Los Angeles to Washington wear Taser's state-of-the-art Axon body cameras. A key component is Taser's "Evidence.com" site ...

(Source: Taser Evidence.com)

Taser's Evidence.com allows police to log on and manage their body camera video.

Meanwhile, Digital Ally is focusing on a different product. Though the company began in 2003 as a bow-hunting product company, in 2006, it began shipping what is still its primary product - the old-time, in-car video camera. These DVMs or digital video mirrors make up the vast majority of company sales at 43%.

*2. Digital Ally: Product Miss

Yet investor and consumer interest is clearly focused on high-tech body cameras.

Somehow Digital Ally has gotten swept up in the excitement even though its body worn camera called "FirstVu HD" and "FirstVu" is a tiny portion of its business.

Digital Ally has found that its body camera sales are seriously lagging behind its old in-car products. Worse yet, last quarter, the body cameras lost even more ground:

 

(Source: Company SEC filing)

Though Digital Ally is a minor player in the body camera business, its cameras cost surprisingly more than Taser's:

(Source: bodycamerareviews)

(Source: bodycamerareviews)

According to company filings, Digital Ally's body cam costs nearly two times more at $795.

Digital Ally's specs fall short, too. These cameras depend on an external battery which provides less than half the battery life of Taser's camera.

Taser's video resolution and field of view also dwarf its small competitor's specs.

So it's no surprise that police departments don't want to pay nearly twice as much for a Digital Ally product that offers features about half as effective as Taser...

 

JAMN Finally Spills the Beans -- And It's an Ugly Mess

by Janice Shell, 6/2/2011 10:32:51 AM

* Editor's Note: Readers can access links to additional backup documents for this story by clicking here for TheStreetSweeper's original investigative report on this company.

Late Tuesday afternoon, after missing earlier deadlines, Jammin Java (OTC: JAMN.OB) filed a long-awaited annual report packed with enough eye-opening news to keep investors up all night. That mandatory filing, unaccompanied with a cheerful press release heralding its arrival, served as a painful wake-up call to shareholders already burned by a rapid plunge in the company’s stock price.

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.) 

JAMN stands out for its powerful connections, the first loudly celebrated by the company and the second – involving a notorious stock promoter – carefully hidden from view.


 

CCME: Few Signs of Life at 'Healthy' Chinese Firm

by Roddy Boyd, 3/23/2011 9:30:34 AM

* Editor's Note: This story has been republished with permission from The Financial Investigator. To access the original article, complete with links to back-up documents, click here.

In the maze of thronged and narrow streets that makes up Fujian province’s capital city of Fuzhou, a deft driver, if he’s willing–as all Chinese drivers apparently are–to nearly kill or injure vast numbers of his countrymen can take you to the foot of Dongjie street. There was little reason to be there save for its having the headquarters of a company called China MediaExpress Holdings (Nasdaq: CCME), an enterprise that seems to be able to weather allegations about its business that would have forced the share price collapse of a company five times its size. The attention of bulls and bears is not misplaced: In a mere four years as a public company, it has apparently come to dominate the ad placement market for leading multinational consumer products companies on a network of what it claims is more than 27,000 buses on Chinese airport and intercity routes.

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.

It did.

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.

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Investors must be properly armed in order to protect themselves against the dangers of Wall Street. To help out, The Street Sweeper has mined the Internet for the most powerful weapons available to investors researching publicly traded companies. In our “Loaded Weapons” section, you’ll find direct links to corporate documents filed with the SEC, conference call transcripts published by Seeking Alpha, insider stock sales tracked by Insider-Monitor.com and popular investment tools offered by Yahoo! Finance. You can also identify the promoters behind current penny stock campaigns – and the compensation they are receiving – by connecting to StockPromoters.com. You can link to other websites that are conducting topnotch stock investigations as well. Click here now.

When investors begin their homework on small-cap companies - particularly on penny stocks - they should probably start with an important history lesson. Specifically, they should conduct background checks on their stockbrokers and the companies those brokers are touting.
 
The Street Sweeper has designed a cheat sheet of sorts to help out with this research. Our “Rap Sheet” section links to a free tool (sponsored by FINRA) that allows ordinary investors to review the backgrounds of individual stockbrokers and their brokerage firms. The section also links to whistleblower cases and class-action lawsuits targeting publicly traded companies. It provides access to recent news of SEC enforcement actions and FBI white-collar crime investigations as well.
click here now.