Winners and Losers from the Gumshoe

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, July 16, 2007

Well, I have consistently failed to keep up with my originally planned “monthly updates” on the teaser companies we sleuth out here, but better late than never — let’s take a look at how they’re doing.

I have a standing offer, by the way, for anyone who wants to get into the spreadsheet and do anything useful like adding comparative S&P numbers, or annualizing the data, or standardizing the newsletter names. Any volunteers? I can barely keep up with just adding the basic numbers every couple weeks, but at least we’ve got a baseline to work with.

For those who haven’t been with me long, what I do is essentially assume that I bought shares of each company that’s teased on the day that I first saw the ad email. I track it from that day’s closing price, and of course don’t really know if the newsletter went back and sold it later or anything — they almost never brag about selling, except to take credit for their biggest gainers.

So anyway — on to our teaser companies. How’s the performance?

Big winners — up nearly 100% (or more)

Lynas, from Ann Sosnowski’s MicroCap HotSheet, continues to be the best performer yet — up 294% since December. This was one of the first stocks I sleuthed out, so I’m happy to see it doing well.

Rusina Mining, another Aussie miner, continues to be one of the strong performers — still up 127% three months after the recommendation.

And yet a third resources company from down under, Range Resources took off with the Somali oil hype almost immediately back in May, and has settled down only a little bit since to remain an 83% gainer so far.

Force Protection, from Brian Hicks back in November is up 114%.

The Motley Fool hit one out of the park with their Rule Breakers push for aQuantive — thanks to a very rich buyout from Microsoft (maybe they were afraid the “next Google” would beat them as badly as the last one?) that put the shares up 127% from the teaser price.

And Bottarelli, which hasn’t made the “best” list before (far from it, actually), made it here with World Water and Solar, a little name that’s up 123% since their teaser email hit me.

Trina Solar has done very well — up 88% for RObert Hsu’s China Strategy.

Duluth Metals, one of the Lake Superior mining companies from Greg McCoach, is booming as well — up 183%. The other company he teased in that same ad, the much larger PolyMet, is up a more modest 24%.

And finally, Playfair — the Canadian Tungsten company that I did a hatchet job of a wrong writeup on — has made Andrew Mickey quite proud, up 79% in just about a month so far.

And the stinkers: Down near 50% or more, there have been actually a pretty small number of these so far, thankfully.

Ann Sosnowski must be pretty happy with Lynas, because it’s helping to offset the weak performance from SignaLife, the Cardiovest company. This one has moved steadily down, now a 52% drop.

Go Fish is the worst one we’ve gotten here at the Gumshoe yet — from Quantum Investor, it looks to be well on its way to 0 with an 84% decline.

Second worst is Atherogenix, which was a Volume Spike selection for a short term kick based on news expected from a medical conference. The news disappointed, to put it lightly, and it’s down 73% — almost all of that decline came within a week of the recommendation back in March, and no recovery has launched yet.

Also in biotech land, where quick winners and losers are certainly not unusual, we find Bottarelli recommending a stock that quickly fell nearly 50% in Dendreon.

Mike Shaeffer’s Coal Bed Methane company, Big Cat Energy, has also taken quite a haircut — down 52% since he emailed me an ad to push it, and Bottarelli, which recommended the same company a bit later at a lower price, is down 27% on that one, too. I believe this is the only company