You could be forgiven for doing a double take regarding the share-price jump at Pegasus Wireless (OTCBB: PGSW.OB) today. Up 400%? Incredible!
Alas, it's simply the result of a reverse split, about the only thing I can imagine that would bring the share price above a buck these days. But don't be fooled; your shares, if you own any, are not worth 400% more today, because no value is added by a split.
Pegasus, as you remember, is one of this year's most harrowing penny-stock screamers. The stock levitated on the winds of PR and investor enthusiasm for its promised products, including wireless video-streaming gizmos that -- according to Pegasus faithful and a few naive, business-journalism apologists -- would beat Apple's
I've previously pointed out that the firm was (and remains, in my opinion) horribly overvalued by any metric, and that the past record of management leaves an awful lot to be desired. After the stock tanked, the much-ballyhooed "insider buying" by frontman Jasper Knabb dried up, and then the stock voluntarily delisted from the Nasdaq, ostensibly to somehow protect it from the questionable trading that Knabb has been trying to fight for some time.
In the meantime, shareholders have been treated to spectacles like first-pitch toss-outs at baseball games, and post-concert parties with Clapton. How about killing those pesky shorts the old-fashioned way, by selling a lot of products and producing good bottom-line results? Not so much: The latest financial results, as far as I'm concerned, were the kind of thing only a mother could love, and maybe not even her.
So what's the point of continuing to pay attention? Simple -- to remind investors that when you forget the past, you're likely to repeat it. And I find this whole reverse-split, change-the-ticker thing to be a pretty suspicious gambit. My bet is that Pegasus would like to remove as much of the past press as possible. Luckily, when you get yourself a new ticker, the news feeds at places like Yahoo! Finance reset nicely. It's even tough to get a chart on this thing, to show you what it looks like when you ride a penny from nearly $20 a share down below a buck. I can't paste graphics into this article, alas. If I could, you'd see a sickening slide. But remember, things can always get worse.
The bottom line is this: Investors need to stay on their guard, now more than ever.
I still believe Pegasus has nothing other than grand promises to offer investors, and I don't think it will deliver on them. This latest costume change, and run for the palm trees, only confirms my suspicions. Stay away from this stock.
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