Stockhouse Ticker Trax
is published to subscribers every Monday (annual cost only $195
). We focus on best-in-class high growth
small companies trading on the TSX and TSX.V between 5 cents and $3 with a market cap below $300 million.
Equity Analyst Danny Deadlock has 30 years of experience speculating on Canadian penny stocks and targets capital gain opportunities and diversification in metals and minerals exploration, energy, and technology.
For the experienced investor, Ticker Trax provides an extra set of eyes and ears (idea generation) and for those learning to invest in micro cap stocks, we provide stock picks and market education.
; (1) new research (stock picks) weeks in advance of being featured on this weekend column (2) exclusive
access to our list of junior gold exploration companies (critical for peer valuation), (3) exclusive
access to our list of Cash Rich micro cap companies (our Virtual Vulture Fund) which contains 80 companies with almost $3 Billion.
Both tables are updated monthly.
I always concern myself with management’s past track record but for these cash rich companies I don’t worry about them so long as I am monitoring the quarterly cash burn to ensure they are not doing anything foolish to waste their war chest.
With cash rich micro cap companies I speculate on “cash and time”
– assuming that eventually the board of directors is under enough pressure from majority shareholders to restore shareholder value. This takes patience.
Moly Mines Ltd.
, Stock Forum
) (11.5 cents)
Net Cash: $78 Million CDN = 20 cents per share
Shares Outstanding: 385 million
This one reads more like a mining Soap Opera. It involves a BIG bank account, Asian & Australian investors, and what was initially believed (last month) to be the “execution” of a Billionaire CEO by the Chinese government.
Since peaking at $1.80 in Q1/11, Australian based Moly Mines fell for the next two years and has now flat-lined since the second quarter of 2013. A huge percentage of their shareholders threw in the towel during the past year and now they are left with a relatively loyal shareholder base.
After three years of shareholder value destruction, 2014 (in theory) should be the year they turn this around.
And because so many investors have grown tired of waiting for something to happen with the company (and because they are based out of Australia), the discount to their giant cash value is very large.
Moly had an iron ore mine which was sold in 2013 and added to their already large bank account. A person in theory would hold this one waiting for them to find a good use for all that cash. With so many projects in desperate need of capital, the possibility exists to acquire a high quality asset and rebuild shareholder value this next year.
TWO RISKS – TIME & THE CHINESE
My primary concern would be that this becomes long term idle money. As I mentioned, they have approx. $78 million CDN in the bank and are looking for an acquisition or merger. However a large percentage of their stock is owned by a Chinese Investment Group with a VERY questionable past - Hanlong Group.
The founder of Hanlong was billionaire Liu Han
. He was arrested in March of 2013 for harbouring a fugitive but many believed his charges in China were extended to include corruption and graft. He went to trial recently but there was no public coverage. A month ago it was reported in Australian media that sources believed Liu Han was found guilty and executed by the Chinese government.
It has Surfaced this week that Liu Han is alive - maybe not doing so well, but alive.
And the drama goes deep. The following article provides a good overview but here is a quote:
"36 people including Liu and his brother Liu Wei are being prosecuted by the Xianning People’s Procuratorate in Hubei Province on suspicion of six murders and other gang-related crimes
LIU HAN A HUGE EMBARASSMENT FOR MOLY MINES
Hanlong invested a lot of money in Australia and that included Moly Mines. When problems began to surface with Hanlong (including an insider trading scandal), many outside investors painted Moly Mines with a tainted brush. Unfortunately MOL was guilty by association only but it was bad enough to harm their image in the eyes of investors and many shareholders.
Moly Mines has seen several changes to its board of directors (BOD) over the past year and what is left is a slate of very professional people.
Typically the BOD on a shell company like this is groomed ahead of acquisitions or mergers and that is hopefully what they are doing here. The timing of such a transaction is the unknown variable. Raising $80 million for a junior public mining company would be a massive undertaking so these guys have a huge advantage in this market.
The speculation is how well do they leverage that money to rebuild shareholder value?
MOL has very good liquidity from 11 to 13 cents and what "appears" to be attractive risk/reward
– if you can look beyond the negative history of Hanlong.
October 30, 2013 (news release excerpt)
The board is aware of the urgent task ahead to restore shareholder value and will be embarking on two large and very important initiatives.
The first is to take the steps necessary to start rebuilding the reputation of Moly Mines.
The second is to grow the value of the company. While the board is keen to make progress on these fronts as soon as possible, all opportunities will be considered in a very careful and measured way. Getting it right is critical. The early view of the board is to concentrate on substantial advanced projects in copper and gold in countries with acceptable sovereign risk. Ideally, there will be more than one project, with both commodity and geographic diversification.
As the board refines its thinking, further detail will be provided.
Disclosure: Danny Deadlock owns 150,000 shares of MOL