Over on stocktwits where I post with the username "growacet" I made a comment about $VUZI and was asked by another participant: "Where's the pump"??
I should probably thank "wallstpirate" because he provided me with some fodder for something to write about. I've been posting less than usual here at ATB after all, and inspiration is always welcomed.
So...where's the pump with Vuzix? Where do I begin?
Let's start with smallcapnation.com which discloses an expectation of $15,000 from a third party for increasing awareness of VUZI. Here's the link disclaiming the compensation:
Then there's Tailwindsresearch.com which has published 20 bullish articles distributed both on their site and at SeekingAlpha.com If you're looking for several hours of bullish sounding material on Vuzix, fill your boots: http://tailwindsresearch.com/vuzix/
Their disclaiming statement says they "may have been compensated" with the usual boiler plate language about their write ups being for informational purposes only etc. You can read it all here:
I could go on and on of course, ceolive.com, integraconsulting.com and more but I think readers get the point. Bearish short side website thestreetsweeper.org asserts that at least 21 professional campaigns have been used to promote Vuzix.
All the promotion, pump and hype is fine of course, but the important question is....What does it all mean? What it means is that Vuzix is showing up on a lot of radar screens, investors who might otherwise have never heard about this company have been introduced to it.
Nowhere on any of these sites however do I see the writers advising potential investors to read over the company's SEC filings, except perhaps buried in the disclaiming statements, typically using a nice small font.
But then, do the fundamentals even matter when a company is relying on pump and promotion to attract investors? Promoters always talk about the future, that's what investing is ultimately all about of course. I have little doubt that the AR space is going to be big, just like there was little doubt that web based commerce was going to be big back in 2000.
There were some heavily pumped and promoted stocks back then too, Pets.Com springs to mind and others like Digiscents might ring a few bells for those who are older. For every amazon and netflix that made it big there were hundreds that simply rode the wave of excitement, their stocks were hyped up and the printing press churned out shares as buyers couldn't get enough tech.
Is Vuzix using a printing press? Are they constantly printing more and more shares? Judge for yourself. Back in February of 2013 the company did a 1 for 75 share consolidation. Simply put, shareholders got one share for every 75 they owned. Someone who owned 75,000 before the reverse took place had 1,000 afterwards.
You can read about it here: http://ir.vuzix.com/press-releases/detail/584/vuzix-announces-reverse-stock-split
Of course that was over 4 years ago now. What has happened since? If you check the 10Q filing for the period ending March 31st 2013 you'll see that the number of shares outstanding was 3,536,856 as of May 15 2013. If you don't want to be bothered looking up the filing yourself here's the link so you can verify the numbers:
Fast forward to the most recently available filing, the 10Q for the period ending March 31st 2017 and you'll see that the number of outstanding shares has ballooned to almost 20.5 million, 20,408,926 to be precise as of May 10th 2017.
Here's the link to that filing:
That's an increase of 16,872,070 shares in four years. That would have been over 1.2 billion more shares if not for the 1:75 reverse split and represents and increase of 477%. If Vuzix keeps it up, at this rate they'll be pushing 100 million shares within the next 4 years. 100 million is a bit problematic, because according to their filings that's the amount they're authorized to issue. But if they ring the bell again they could always do another big reverse split I assume.
But in the near to medium term it might not matter. There are lots of companies that get pumped and promoted. CYNK communications is one of my favorites, it went from a nickel to over $20 despite $0 revenues and having only one employee. CYNK billed themselves as a social media company, in spite of not even having a website. It didn't matter though, and it proves that no matter how bad a company is, if the promotion is good...there are always fools around willing to pay an inflated price.
That's it for now.....I might get a few comments, so I'll remind haters that profanity is verboten here. And I'll also disclose the fact that I have no position in VUZI long or short, so no skin in the game whatsoever. If I do take out a position however I can state with near 100% certainty that it will be on the short side.
The next quarterly filing should be out soon, and we'll know how much more money was lost and how much higher the accumulated deficit has climbed. And of course how many more shares were printed.