Some fella named Jamie Dlugosch is helming the latest new offering from InvestorPlace Media, home to a few of the more hyped names in the financial newsletter world (Navellier, Hsu, Zambell, Tobin Smith, et al) — and this time, it’s a penny stock newsletter.
There seems to be a lot of that going around these days — we’ve always had penny stock letters, of course, but when an economic recovery seems to be in the wind they come pouring out of the woodwork … the conventional wisdom (with some data to back it up) is that tiny stocks do best in the first stages of a growth rally. So if you think that’s where we are, perhaps you’re looking for a microcap gem to throw some money at?
Well, I don’t know whether it will worth this time around or not — but I can tell you the name of the company Duglosh was teasing over the weekend.
Here’s the pitch:
“On July 4, a new financial advisory goes public. It will have 20 new recommendations—all of them penny stocks.
“But one of these stocks is so good, so blistering hot, I am going to GIVE IT AWAY to you today, a full month before the premier issue hits the Internet.
“Let me give you the down and dirty right here.
“This WAS going to be the Next Red Bull, the Next Snapple, the Next Monster. But it missed the boat.
“Bid up to $30, it met the credit hurricane and was shredded to 26 CENTS.
“Can you believe it?
“Look, this soda stock was NEVER actually worth $30 but come on, 26 pennies?
“This is a feisty turnaround, back-from-the-dead story with a surprising twist.
“Now, normally, I’d have to wait, we’d ALL have to wait, until the Premier Issue of Penny Stock Winners to get in on this.
“But I don’t see why we should do that and risk losing out on our first 100%, 500%, maybe 1,000% winner.”
So … is it going to be a winner? That I don’t know, but I can tell you that this stock has to be …
Jones Soda (JSDA)
Remember them? I used to see them everywhere, at every ambitious deli that wanted to be cool, and even at Target and Starbucks. Now? not so much — they seem to have been replaced in the consumer consciousness, at least here in Washington, DC, by Izze.
But the stock was in the firmament of pop culture stars for a while there — it did get close to $30 back in 2007, and it went down in almost a straight line to the low of 26 cents that it hit about six months ago … and it is indeed priced at almost exactly one dollar today.
So what happened? Well, it seems that they lost a bunch of major retailers, or at least lost good positions and glass bottle distribution at those retailers (those glass bottles were part of what made them stand out, as well as the wacky flavors, real sugar, and artsy labels).
The CEO of Jones Soda may have been a bit too prescient when he was quoted in Fast Company a couple years ago:
“But the world doesn’t need any more of this stuff. Because nobody cares when this stuff goes off the market. If Jones Soda fell off the face of the earth today — or if I got hit by a bus and the company got closed down, nobody would lose any sleep over it.”
Of course, that might be a good attitude for company management to have if it imparts a drive for innovation and great product development, but it also might hit a little close to home these days. [That Fast Company article is here, FYI — the guy is at least outspoken and fun to read.]
I don’t think I’ve ever actually tried the Jones Soda products, but I do appreciate the sense of humor and the “differentness” of the brand — they even have an energy drink called Whoop Ass that they describe as being “like a scissor kick to the uvula.” So no one can say they’ve sold out … but you also can’t say that they’re selling well.
Jones Soda ran up crazily in price for lots of reasons — it was touted as the “next Hansen,” there were rumors of buyouts, people thought the “cane sugar” natural soda would be slurped up by conscious consumers, and they had at least exploratory deals with folks like Starbucks, Target and Wal Mart, and concentrate and distribution deals that looked promising.
It obviously got way, way out of hand during the run up to $30 a share, when it traded at stratospheric PE ratios — and there was a big short position, as is typical of super-high-valuation fad stocks, so there was a lot of chatter about the “bear attack” bringing down the shares unfairly, but obviously there were very good reasons for the shares to do gown. Looking back at it as a snapshot, the price it hit in those days seems ridiculous — after all, right now we’re looking at a company that sells an expensive niche product, with limited distribution, and that doesn’t make a profit. And the old “making it up with volume” joke? Well, they’re not buying growth right now — their sales have been going down, too (down 25% in the latest quarter).
Then again, maybe this is that value point where there’s little to lose, and they have enough brand identity that perhaps the stock could be a coiled spring if anything great happens for the company. Now, with the shares fully collapsed and a negative PE (they lost 10 cents a share in the first quarter — admittedly, less than they lost a year ago), is it worth a tumble? When the stock hit 26 cents it meant they were trading at just about the value of their cash on the books (there’s no debt to speak of), and even at a dollar a share they still trade at less than 1X sales — so it will cost you more to buy a bottle of the soda (if you can find it) than to pick up a share of the stock.
Oh, and the “surprising twist?” For that, I guess you’ll have to subscribe to Dlugosch’s letter — this has been a surprising story all along, both up and down the charts, but I have no idea what the Jones Soda “twist” that he’s touting might be. At this point, any press commentary about the company that doesn’t use the words “plummet,” “collapse,” “failure,” or “loss” might be a nice twist, indeed.
A buy now? That’s what Dlugosch is telling us … me, I’m less confident, but it is, of course, your money — what do you think?