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John H. Ford

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  • NASDAQ Up Listing And Institutional Buying Could Double Finjan's Shareprice [View instapost]
    Yes, the SEC keeps asking for minor changes in the S1, completely insignificant items, but that has delayed things. Everyone is surprised about how long this is taking, but after speaking with the company today, my understanding is that everything is proceeding. First the S1 should go effective, and then the NASDAQ up listing should follow shortly thereafter. I do expect the up listing to occur within 2 weeks, possibly sooner.
    Apr 10 04:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Finjan Could Go From $6 To $15 [View article]
    IP Hawk. You are right about more shares becoming tradable, but it will happen gradually.

    Once the S1 goes effective, 10% of the shares registered in the S1 can be sold every month. This will gradually increase the float above the current 2 million share level. But, at the same time this will generate much-needed liquidity. If an institution wanted to buy 500,000, or 1 million shares today, it would not be possible because the shares are just not available on the open market.

    But most of the large shareholders are on the board of directors, and I think we can safely assume that board members will not be sellers. From what I understand, only 35% of the outstanding shares could be sold, and of that, only 10% can be sold per month. So, only 3 1/2% of the outstanding shares could be sold every month. This will bring shares onto the market gradually, which in my opinion was a good strategy on Finjan's part.
    Jan 23 11:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Opko's Billionaire CEO Invested In ChromaDex [View article]
    For those of you who are not familiar with Seeking Alpha’s policy, authors are prohibited from receiving compensation (other than from Seeking Alpha). Seeking Alpha was wise in establishing this policy early on. Just to be clear, I have received no compensation for writing this article.

    With reference to following successful investors, as some of my readers know, my early trading career was escalated as a result of focusing on companies backed by Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Institutional Venture Partners, (Netflix, Twitter, Oracle). IVP conducted a high level of due diligence, and by concentrating my investments in IVP companies, my returns increased dramatically.

    I now focus on microcaps without VC backing because the return potential is greater, and the timeframe is considerably shorter. Even though I am primarily a trader, I conduct at least 100 hours of due diligence before initiating a position. This includes dozens of conference calls and meetings with management, board members, and opinion leaders. The lengthy due diligence process is necessary in order find undiscovered trades with reduced downside risk, and large upside potential. An important motivation for this lengthy due diligence process is the fact that all the companies that I write about, are companies in which have a position.

    With regards to investing in companies that Barry Honig or Dr. Frost have invested in, I only wish that I had begun investing in these companies years earlier. For example, I would have preferred to initiate my position in Opko when it was trading at $.34, rather than $4.
    Dec 6 03:41 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • $6 Million Biotech Should Provide A Short-term Double [View instapost]
    I'm still long uSell. I was surprised at that jump in share price also. I recommend you look deeply into this company, and please share what you discover. I have been doing the same.
    Nov 15 09:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • $6 Million Biotech Should Provide A Short-term Double [View instapost]
    With regards to Oculus, the big catalyst is the Ruthigen IPO. It could happen as early as September, but all is dependent on whether or not investors are interested in buying into the IPO. If not, Ruthigen will have to do a private financing, which would not be as beneficial to Oculus shareholders. The primary benefit would be a significant reduction of cost structure, which could bring Oculus to profitability. But with the company's most recent revenue numbers, and greatly reduced guidance, even that comes into question at this point.

    The other catalyst could be FDA approval of the scar product. This also could happen as early as September, if everything goes according to plan. But with the FDA, that rarely happens.
    Jul 11 11:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • $6 Million Biotech Should Provide A Short-term Double [View instapost]
    I'm waiting for a couple of events to occur before releasing the article, and as of right now it looks like I will release the article in September. By waiting until September, this should provide investors with an even stronger asymmetrical trade, as positive events in this sector and within the company continue to multiply.
    Jul 10 12:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Marijuana Stocks And Legalization - The Complex Relationship [View article]
    Good article! You bring up the most important point regarding all these companies: on a federal level, marijuana is illegal. Investors are hoping that the federal laws will change soon, but in my opinion, we are at least 10 years away from federal legalization of marijuana. Realistically, it may never happen. The average soccer mom just doesn't want her kids to have easy access to the drug.

    You are correct, at any time the federal government could shut down many of these businesses and confiscate all assets. That level of risk will not change anytime soon. I shorted MedBox at $96, and believe the company will ultimately go below one dollar.
    May 1 08:20 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is MGT About To Receive A Big Settlement? [View article]
    I have made some changes in this article to improve its accuracy and simplicity. Thank you Seeking Alpha readers for helping me to make this a better article.
    Apr 15 03:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is MGT About To Receive A Big Settlement? [View article]
    Thank you for your comments. You bring up some excellent points, and I agree with much of your analysis. From that perspective, my estimates should be reduced.

    However, I believe the following 3 factors more than compensate for any reduction of estimates:

    Number 1: once MGT receives its first settlement I anticipate a share price multiple, as was the case with VirnetX. VirnetX received a 20X to 40X multiple from its pre-settlement one dollar shareprice. While I do not expect to see a multiple of that magnitude for MGT, even if MGT were to receive a 2X multiple, investors would be well rewarded. This is an unknown factor, and the multiple could be 2X, or 20X. When VirnetX was trading at one dollar, very few investors believed it would ever hit $40.

    Number 2: as I mentioned in the article, I took the ultraconservative route of applying cash directly to share price appreciation, as opposed to using a PE multiple. Even if we applied an unrealistically low PE of 2, estimates could be doubled.

    Number 3: Taxes will be unusually low for MGT because it is allowed $18.7 million in federal U.S. carry-forward tax losses, plus $2.3 million in state carry-forward tax losses. These carry-forwards are the result of the years of prior losses. So depending on the size of the settlement, MGT could pay $0 in tax on settlement. If the settlement is large enough, it will pay tax above what it is allowed to deduct for its carry-forward tax losses, but at that point it becomes irrelevant, because a large settlement will be nirvana for investors.

    Ultimately this all comes down to whether or not I am right about a possible settlement in the near future. If I'm right, and MGT receives a fair settlement, I believe investors will see at least a 2X return.
    Apr 12 12:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is MGT About To Receive A Big Settlement? [View article]
    Thank you for bringing that up. You are correct, there are 4 million warrants with an exercise price of $3.64 per share, which if exercised would add $14.5 million in cash to MGT's balance sheet. Some investors will see a tripling of the company's cash position as a more important factor than the dilution it imposes. Others will focus on the dilution, however even with a future share count of 8.6 million, the company's market capitalization is still extremely low relative to the potential settlements.
    Apr 12 12:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Medbox Doing All The Right Things? [View article]
    Thanks for your MedBox article, I disagree with much of it, but I am in complete agreement with you in one area, marijuana should be legalized on a federal level. I believe this will happen in 10 to 15 years, unfortunately it probably will not happen any sooner. Once marijuana is legalized in a federal level, there could be a robust marijuana industry, and some of these companies will succeed. However, until that time, these marijuana companies are all at risk, because the federal government continues to shut down in jail marijuana entrepreneurs.

    While I appreciate the company's creative thinking, I think the idea of getting prescription drug vending machines into Walgreens is misguided. The last thing these drugstores want is a highly technical, expensive, space consuming machine, that breaks down, needs service, etc. Also, I wonder if these Fortune 500 companies even want to be associated with a company like MedBox, that is primarily known as a marijuana consultation and marijuana vending machine company. In the corporate world, marijuana still carries a negative stigma.

    The most recent MedBox press releases have been humorous. MedBox is offering financial assistance for marijuana entrepreneurs? You got to be kidding! In my opinion, MedBox would be better off not using these marginal press releases, I think they do more damage than good.

    I think you are wise for not buying shares at this level, because I agree with you, the shares will fall from here. As most of my readers know, I have a short position in MedBox, because I believe the company is fairly valued at about $2 or under. I am shocked that anyone would buy shares at this level.
    Jan 30 10:27 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pot Stocks Higher, But Is There Room To Grow? [View article]
    You are right, it will take years for this industry to develop but investors need to remember that at any time the federal government can come in and shut down more dispensaries, even though these dispensaries are legal at a state level. It doesn't matter whether or not the states legalize marijuana, the Fed is still in control, as it has proven on hundreds of occasions over the past year.

    I'm sure you are aware of Chris Williams, a marijuana dispensary owner, who is now facing a potential 92 year prison sentence because he was breaking federal marijuana laws. He was arrested and prosecuted on a federal level, even though he was totally compliant on a state level.

    Eventually the federal government will be forced to capitulate, and will legalize marijuana, but this is probably at least 10 years off. Until then, investing in this space is a risky business.

    In terms of MedBox, you are advising investors to stay long, even though the company is currently trading at a PE of about 1000. Even if MedBox presented a viable business model, a PE of 30, would be more appropriate, which would give us a share price of just over $2. MedBox is extremely overvalued right now, and the downside risk is tremendous. As you recall, even the founder stated that the shares were way over priced at $35.

    To your credit, you are also advising new investors not to buy shares at this level. I believe you are right, there will be much lower prices for anyone who wants to enter this space, especially when you consider that the founder of MedBox is going to be selling $30 million of his own shares on the open market.
    Jan 22 05:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Medbox Short Could Provide A 50% Return [View article]
    MedBox is embarking on an extremely risky venture, not only because of the risks inherent in any startup business, but particularly because the company is selling products that are used by businesses that clearly break federal laws. It doesn't matter that certain states consider marijuana dispensaries to be legal, as long as the federal government says it's illegal. The federal government has and will continue to arrest and prosecute marijuana dispensary owners in so-called legal states.

    For example, Chris Williams operated a completely legal medical marijuana dispensary in Montana, where he has complied with all of the local and state regulations. But he was breaking the law on a federal level, and in March 2011, federal agents raided his marijuana dispensary. He was jailed, and faces up to 92 years in prison. Here is the link to a New York Times story about Chris Williams:

    Unfortunately, the Chris Williams story is not unusual. Over 500 marijuana dispensaries have been closed in the last year. The federal government cannot and will not roll over and play dead while individual states break federal law. MedBox is in a very precarious position, not only because the federal government will put a damper on the company's growth, but one has to wonder if the federal government would ever come after MedBox.

    With the numerous risks that MedBox faces, at best, the stock should be trading under $5.
    Jan 21 05:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Medbox Short Could Provide A 50% Return [View article]
    I deal with three different brokerage houses, and the one I ended up using goes out and searches all the major houses, J.P. Morgan, Goldman etc. to find shares to borrow. About 50% of the time I could get more shares than I needed, and the rest of the time there were no shares available to borrow. Timing is important, and I find that 30 to 45 minutes before the market opens is the best time to get shares. Good luck!
    Jan 16 10:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Medbox Short Could Provide A 50% Return [View article]

    Thank you for pointing out that error. It has been corrected.
    Jan 16 10:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment