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Pulse Biosciences (PLSE): Furiously Peddling Toward More Risk

by Sonya Colberg, Senior Editor, 3/21/2017 8:27:13 AM

TheStreetSweeper releases an investor alert regarding Pulse Biosciences (PLSE).

The company is working on a device that uses pulsed electric to possibly treat tumors and skin problems such as warts. Stock in the zero-revenue company began trading on the Nasdaq last spring.
 
Investors may find the company website here. Meanwhile, TheStreetSweeper presents Pulse's rickety basket of risks:
 
*1. Best Estimate of Pulse's Value: IPO Value
The Burlingame, California company conducted its initial public offering or IPO less than a year ago ... at a price per share of $4.
We were not thrilled to see that MDB Capital Group acted as co-underwriter. The riskiest of companies have to sign up with an investor like MDB because most other banks shy away from such teeth-chattering risk.
 
All too often, struggling companies are underwritten by MDB, enjoy a fleeting stock rise, then suffer a big drop back.

Second Sight Medical Product (EYES) is one example. The firm managed their initial public offering three years ago at $17 per share. Shares jumped out at $21 but have declined more than 90% to ~$1.20:

- mmmm(Source: Yahoo)

So Pulse is the same company it was on that warm, sunny day last May 18 when the stock first began trading on the Nasdaq.

Pulse has no source of revenue, no commercial product and has not made a dime.
 
(Sources: Company SEC filings, TheStreetSweeper)
 
And though Pulse touts its 510(k) submission, the submission is insignificant; the FDA has decided nothing and a study shows that candidates that make it to phase II rarely advance to phase III - only 31% move forward. Indeed, the company has shown no meaningful progress since the initial public offering.
 
So at this stage, TheStreetSweeper can't imagine the stock being worth even 20% higher than IPO price.
 
But the market has been running headlong, pushing Pulse over 500% since then ... to a price that we believe remains unjustifiable.

*2. Ripping Through Cash

Pulse has been digging the hole deeper and deeper because new medical device companies simply get doggone expensive just swaying in place. Much less stepping ahead.

Pulse is already over $12.6 million in the hole.
 
The company is ripping through cash at a rate of about $970 each hour... approximately $2 million in a quarter...

(Source: Company SEC filing, TheStreetSweeper)

So, thanks primarily to its IPO, the company had around $16 million in cash in December. If you add the $5 million made from the February private stock sale and subtract current cash burn, there's enough for a while.

But the real money-gobbling begins if the company ever progresses. Then it would have to add massive costs for everything from clinical trials, to making the device to marketing and distribution.

To get an idea of the money Pulse would need to approach the human trial stage, let's consider some  rivals...

*3. Competition: Clobbering Pulse

Competitors in the cancer market include Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) and Kite Pharma (KITE).

Research and development is the lifeblood of all the biotechs. But Juno spent 18 times more than Pulse on research and development. And Kite spent over 118 times more on R&D.

(Sources: SEC filings, Marketwatch, TheStreetSweeper)

Clearly Pulse will have to spend much more to catch up with Juno and Kite. And those two have barely stepped on the gas toward the accelerated spending required to fuel a biotech.

But even spending hundreds-of-millions on research and development can't assure success or profit.

These companies are doing much better than Pulse as far as revenue and cash. But despite their experience, Juno and Kite are still very risky and sickly, too.

(Sources: Company SEC filings, year's end cash, TheStreetSweeper)

Similarly, Pulse revenue, cash, earnings and R&D budget fall far short of a competitor in the targeted wart and dermatology field, Syneron:

(Sources: Marketwatch, Yahoo, TheStreetSweeper; ELOS last available 2015 numbers)

Biotech carries no guarantees, other than you can bet on burning plenty of cash chasing a product that may or may not ever become reality.

Case in point: Juno shares recently declined again when the company announced it would not progress its cancer treatment due to "unfortunate and unexpected toxicity." The stock reeled late last year after several patients died during clinical trials.



Care.com (CRCM): Jaw-Dropping Insider Selling, Obscene P/E

by Sonya Colberg, Senior Editor, 3/16/2017 7:48:56 AM

TheStreetSweeper issues an alert for any investor considering stock in Care.com (CRCM).

The stock has recently ripped to an unsustainable level and is now dropping back a bit. We believe the current decline may be the beginning of a larger, well-deserved unraveling.

The Waltham, Massachusetts company connects caregivers, such as babysitters or tutors, and families through a website.

The stock ran way ahead of the company's true value, in our view, after Care.com announced it had beaten guidance expectations.

Though Care.com's operating losses were reduced, traders may have missed that the company lost $0.7 million in 2016 ... not exactly a hallmark of a booming business.

Here's the executive summary:

 

*Extreme Insider Selling: In a year, insiders have dumped 4.3 million shares! Officers sold > 53,000 shares last week, alone.
*Outrageously Expensive: The stock's P/E is 114!
*Outclassed By Competition: The chief rival makes 10 times more revenue and 2 ½ times more earnings. But Care.com is 2 ½ times pricier than the rival’s stock.
*Tripping Hazard: Care.com is a roll-up. Just one of its eight business acquisitions has resulted in ~$36 million in impairments.
*Risky Business: An attorney general is looking into complaints surrounding Care.com. Consumers have lodged more than 600 complaints against the company.

Investors may find the company website here. Meanwhile, TheStreetSweeper presents the top reasons we think Care.com might be ready to be renamed Care.bomb:

 

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.

more...

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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.