Yesterday the stock of Urban Ag Corp. (OTCMKTS:AQUM
, AQUM message board
), a sub-penny OTC offering, soared 75% up and closed the session at two tenths of a cent. The ticker traded its greatest volume for the last three years, moving 290.1 million shares.
The high volume is partly explainable with the slew of pumper emails that have been flying about, targeting AQUM. The latest batch of promotions started coming in on Wednesday evening, with Stock Mister disclosing $25 thousand for touting AQUM.
Along with some vague promises of a bright future for the company, Stock Mister makes some misleading statements about AQUM in his tout, claiming the ticker may soon trade at less than half its earnings, quoting a revenue figure instead of net profit. Actually AQUM recorded $772 thousand net loss for the six months ending June 2013, on revenues which are supposed to be the highlight of the tout but are really 90% down from the same period in 2012 - something the promoter never mentions.
The Wednesday pumps were followed by more promotions coming before, during and after the market hours yesterday. Still, even with all the promotional emails combined, it's rather unusual that the company would shift a number of shares equal to 99% of its total outstanding shares, if the OS number listed on OTCMarkets is anything to go by.
This brings us to the even more important question of what happened to AQUM's common shares in the relatively short stretch of time between August 20, 2013, when they published their last quarterly, listing 48 million outstanding common shares, and October 1 - the date on which they already had 290.5 million outstanding shares, according to OTCMarkets. How the difference of over 200 million shares came to be is not explained clearly in a filing, with the last 10-Q just mentioning an increase in authorized shares up from 200 to 900 million.
Traders may also find it an interesting tidbit that Mr. Billy V. Ray, Jr., AQUM's CEO, was previously CEO and chairman of Charys Holding Co., formerly trading under the CHYS ticker. Curiously, Charys worked in telecom and infrastructure services - the current focus of AQUM. Mr. Billy V. Ray, Jr. resigned from his positions in CHYS as the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The focus of the last wave of touts was also that AQUM was awarded a project by an unnamed major telecom carrier. A similar press release came out in early April, informing that AQUM has a master service agreement with one of the largest "communications solutions providers" in the U.S. On the day of the April release, AQUM tripled intra-day, then ended the same session in the red, only to proceed to a 70% drop over the following 7 sessions.
Considering the performance of the stock in the wake of previous loud and proud PR announcements, the fact that it's currently being actively promoted again and the inherent volatility of sub-penny stocks, traders are advised to be extra careful.
Other double-digit movers in yesterday's session include The Stephan Co. (OTCMKTS:SPCO) who gained 27% and closed at $1.45 per share. Multi-Corp International, Inc. (OTCMKTS:MULI) surged even higher in a freak session that saw the ticker close 93% in the green, stopping at $0.52 per share.