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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.

Inuvo: Top Reasons This Stock Should Dive

by Sonya Colberg, Senior Editor, 4/16/2015 10:00:35 AM

Arkansas-based Inuvo (INUV) is working in a business that elicits the same level of enthusiasm as, say, receiving a dinnertime call from a telemarketer or getting a visit from a solicitor peddling a coat-full of fake Rolex watches.

INUV and its peers have seen some doors slammed on their businesses previously. And this Internet marketing and technology company could see many more slammed doors in the near future.

Let’s look at INUV’s background and then get right to the top reasons TheStreetSweeper is watching for a decline in INUV’s stock – likely below the $2 level.

Investors should also take a look at other viewpoints on INUV here.

*Background.

Recent hype that Google and Yahoo have renewed deals with INUV are actually quite routine. Virtually all companies in this space have a relationship with the two Internet search providers, though these relationships seem to change rather often.

A big change occurred a few years ago in the toolbar business that was making millions for INUV and others. The Internet version of the solicitor banging on the door at dinnertime, these toolbars automatically installed when you downloaded a video. A search in the toolbar would be an INUV search, powered by Yahoo or Google. And the revenues from ad clicks were shared by the toolbar vendor and the search company.

But Google made a small change that drastically dropped toolbar downloads. Bye-bye searches with random Kim Kardashian rear-end pix popping up. Bye-bye key market opportunity for INUV and peers.

So INUV transitioned out of toolbar downloads. The company now focuses on the digital publishing business and building ads for other web publishers.

CEO Richard Howe told TheStreetSweeper that INUV works at keeping fresh, interesting content in its properties focusing on health, finance, careers, travel and local interests.

“On the ad tech side, the key there is really to build new and better ad units,” he said. “These would be ads that you see on the website when you go visit the website. You may think they’re ads that just sit there and don’t do anything, but the ones that perform the best have some sort of intelligence behind them.”

A long-time analyst in this space scoffed, “At the end of the day, these are banner ads.”

It’s such a fast-moving space that it even sometimes gets ahead of INUV. In one slightly awkward moment during the interview, we wondered about the “TastyNewDishes.com” that INUV promoted in its February corporate presentation, on page 8, here. We couldn’t find it in our Internet search.

“Sometimes publishers leave, right? So we may … need to revise the presentation,” said Mr. Howe, noting someone else mentioned the same thing this week. “I’ve got to go look into why.”

*Stock offering? CEO says, “It’s certainly something that our board is now talking about.”

Mr. Howe told TheStreetSweeper that a stock offering has not been “something we have contemplated up until now.”

He said the board hadn’t considered a raise before because they didn’t want to cause dilution since it wasn’t necessary.

“It’s not like we need the money,” he added.

“Now that the stock price is rising, while we haven’t decided to do an equity raise, it’s certainly something that our board is now talking about,” said Mr. Howe.

He wouldn’t elaborate, of course, on exactly how soon a stock offering might happen.

“Whether that means we’ll do it or not, is a whole other story. And, like I said, we’re certainly not in any hurry to do it,” added Mr. Howe.

*Striking decline in INUV’s website traffic.

The number of unique visitors, so vital to growth for companies like INUV, has shown a stunning decline of about 50 percent for INUV over a year. See the chart below, measuring the traffic to INUV’s http://health.alot.com/website, according to the “Nielsen of website traffic,” Compete.com:



UniPixel: This Steamroller Is About To Squash Investors

by Sonya Colberg, Senior Editor, 4/10/2015 10:04:17 AM

Many of today’s investors, one sage noted, seem to be picking up pennies in front of a steamroller.

Specifically, UniPixel (UNXL) is gunning its engine and we think that big machine is just about to flatten unfortunate investors - again.

The Woodlands, Texas company makes touchscreen film for electronic devices and a hard coat protective film for various uses. The stock just recently emerged from a two-year-long drop from about $40 to the recent ~$6.70.

The initial run-up two years ago escalated on news of a UniPixel-Kodak partnership announcement that April, targeting year-end 2013 to begin reeling out rolls of film to make touchscreens respond to touch. This seemed to validate the technology. Never mind that Kodak and Kingsbury Corp. released a very similar announcement two months later about their partnership that, apparently unlike the UniPixel deal, has landed a sale. And no one knew then that the UniPixel-Kodak roll-out would hit multiple delays and not happen until … well, everyone’s still waiting two years later. Regardless, the stock lingered in the $30-$40 range.

Later in 2013, the stock began cratering amid a pile of reports suggesting problems including excessive promotions, misallocation of capital, repeated delays, heavy competition, disappointing technology, questionable insiders (see a bull’s interesting response here), along with class-action lawsuits, including one later dismissed and others settled.

And it was all capped off by the Securities and Exchange Commission issuing subpoenas on Nov. 19, 2013 in connection with some UniPixel sensor agreements, hurtling the stock down to around $12 and gradually trailing downward.

But recently, the market has forgotten about UniPixel’s problems and its zero revenue in each quarter of 2014 and its missed earnings. Indeed, investors sent the stock rocketing to about $6 on hopes the company may be able this quarter to begin commercial production of a hard-coat resin and a sensor product.

TheStreetSweeper has not yet received a response to requests to UniPixil for an interview.

Check out other viewpoints here and we’ll lay out the top reasons we think it’s time to drop the pennies and run like crazy.

 

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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Herb Greenberg's View (NOG):
"There are questions about related parties … Sometimes companies just don't pass that 'sniff test.'"

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Cramer's View (SWSH): "I wouldn't touch Swisher with a 10-foot PLUNGER!"
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Cramer's View (NOG): "I clearly have been jarred by the accounting issues and feel like, right now, the momentum has left this stock."
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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.

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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.
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