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Richard Pearson  

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  • Massive Insider Deal Threatens Erickson Air-Crane [View article]
    The newspaper articles were to describe the sentiment towards the IPO, which I had thought was quite clear. As a result, of course they were written at the time of the IPO.

    The LEGIT numbers are actually non GAAP, "adjusted EBITDA" numbers which ignore the massive interest payments and growing depreciation. In addition, the company changed their calculation methodology to boost this metric by 30% even though there was no change in the business.

    The much bigger question is: why would you be buying when ZM is selling ?
    Jun 13, 2013. 02:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Trina Solar: As Debts Come Due, $14 Billion In Off-Balance Sheet Liabilities [View article]
    Hi Rames,

    Yes, TSL can possibly get access to gov't backed bailout loans, grants or subsidies as did LDK and STP.

    I believe that I made the point that Trina's products will continue to be sold, but it will be the creditors that have claim to the assets in the future, not shareholders.

    That is the common sense part.

    In any event, we only need to wait a few weeks for the 20F, and then a few months until the debts come due, so we can compare notes at that time.
    Jan 7, 2013. 12:01 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The End Of The Road For Insolvent China BAK [View article]
    Not sure which part you are referring to when you call me a "liar", given that every thing I have stated comes straight from company filings.

    Also not sure as to why you didn't know I was short when it was then first thing disclosed before the article even began....and it was highlighted as a column for "short ideas".

    Again not sure how you have any hope for a company which has been selling its products at well below cost and has no cash to pay its $170 million in obligations. What part of selling below cost implies any type of acceptable product in the market place ?

    The fact that Li's shares have been pledged for a long time does nothing to change the fact that the banks now hold the shares as collateral against debts which cannot be repaid. The banks will sell these shares. Period.

    I would suggest you make it a point to actually read the articles you criticize, before leveling such aggressive criticism.
    Dec 4, 2012. 08:42 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Troubling Visit To Cleantech Solutions [View article]
    definitely. as shown in my article, pretty much all of Sherb's China clients have imploded to pennies on the pink sheets, even though some used to trade with market caps of a few hundred million.

    however, Sherb also has a number of US based clients, which I plan to look into. So many projects and ideas, but so little time....

    It is unclear to me as of now whether Sherb has a problem as a whole, or whether is was just their China practice. But it is certainly worth looking into.

    If anyone is interested in teaming up on this as a project, please feel free to shoot me a message.

    Thanks for the comment !

    Nov 24, 2012. 10:58 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Richard Pearson Responds On Ziopharm [View article]
    As is becoming common....the data you are relying on from Yahoo is wrong. Period. When people are too lazy to read actual filings, they then post information that is wrong and other people start to rely on that information. I will be putting out an article or instablog (depending on length) on the RJ Kirk ACTUAL investment details shortly.

    The following 8K from Jan 2011 describes Kirk's initial purchase in great detail, and it shows that yahoo's automatically generated data is 100% wrong.

    If you look at the details he ended up acquiring a 14.5% stake in ZIOP for just 9 cents per share. I am not kidding nor am I lying. If you are not already aware of this fact, then it is only because you have not read the filings.

    As shown in filing describing the Channel Partner Agreement:
    Kirk / Intrexon "paid" $11.6 million for an initial tranche of ONLY 2.4m shares = $4.80 per share. That is why Yahoo says $4.80 per share.

    However he also immediately received 3.6m shares for FREE ! If you do the math, that means he really only paid $1.91 per share.

    That initial purchase also entitled him to 3.6m MORE FREE SHARES upon Phase 2 dosing, which he received last week. This means he has now received 9.7m shares under the Channel Partner Agreement in exchange for $11.6m cash. This is $1.20 per share. (feel free to check my math).

    It gets better, under that same agreement from 2011, ZIOP has now already GIVEN BACK to Intrexon $10.7m. See here.

    So the economics of this transaction are as follows:
    1. Kirk/Intrex gives $11.6m to ZIOP
    2. Kirk/Intrex receives a total of 9.7m shares ($1.20/sh)
    3. ZIOP then gives Kirk/Intrex back his money ($10.7m)
    4. So Kirk's real cost is....$900,000 for 9.7m shares
    5. This is only 9 cents per share - effectively free

    This is the true look-through economics of the transaction and is how any institutional investor would look at them. This is also why Kirk could feel safe saying "he didn't even bother to due due diligence" on Pali - see link.

    It reflects how much did Kirk ACTUALLY pay vs. how many shares he received. Yahoo states that Kirk paid $4.80 on 9.7m shares, which we know is wrong because Kirk received fully 75% of those shares for FREE. Yahoo says that Kirk "paid" $29m for these shares, even though he only paid $11.6m as expressly shown in the filing.

    So please check your numbers before posting things like this. This is obviously very detailed and requires more than just clicking Yahoo and reading. I am well aware of this and I assume that it was an accident / oversight on your part.

    The subsequent numbers on Yahoo are mostly (but NOT ALL) correct.

    After the initial 9.7m shares at 9 cents, Kirk did spend an additional $27m at average prices of $5.28 per share over 18 months. (the yahoo numbers on these purchases are mostly correct and consistent with SEC filings)

    The net result of all of this is that following his new free shares received last week, Kirk owns 18% of ZIOP at an all in price of $1.92 (almost identical to his initial CPA price). 14.9m shares total, all in in price of $1.92.

    Kirk has been able to achieve that even though the stock during that time has ranged from $3.85-$7.70 (prior to my article)

    So Kirk was able to acquire 18% of the company at a price which is LESS THAN 1/2 OF THE 2 YEAR LOW.

    Based on this, I continue to state that Kirk is in fact a genius.

    Unfortunately, the rest of us do not have the ability this way and are forced to punt on a biotech stock at $5.00 +/-. If this stock drops by 60%, RJ Kirk will not lose a single dime. Unlike the rest of the world, ie. retail investors in ZIOP.
    Oct 30, 2012. 03:57 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Richard Pearson Responds On Ziopharm [View article]
    For someone who has "been in biotech for 25 years" your description of the FDA approval process is surprisingly...wrong. Over those 25 years you would no doubt have learned that the the FDA doesn't even remotely "pass" a drug on Phase 2 trials. Instead, the approve the design of the Phase 3 trial and let it proceed if the sponsor chooses to as long as the sponsor can claim some level of effectiveness based upon data which the FDA does not review. You would also know quite well that the FDA isn't even remotely able to conduct such analysis on the numerous early-mid stage drugs that reach Phase 2 - they don't have the budget or the staff to even make it possible. To verify this, interested parties should review the budget and staffing data which prove the point for the FDA in 2012 at
    Readers should find the level of underfunding and understaffing disturbing given the scope of the FDA's declared mandate.

    I would suggest that readers call the FDA directly, however it took me over 2 weeks to get a call back from anyone despite the alarming messages I left concerning a public health issue. I was not calling central recorded lines, I was calling the direct extensions of senior FDA officals, none of whom answer their phones and all of which go straight to voice mail with no option to hit "0" to speak with a live person. For those who wish to repeat this experiment, I am confidant that within 2 weeks or so you will no longer place much faith in the FDA approval process or infer any significant validation due to "passing" phase 2.

    Another link you may find informative is this one, which is basically "FDA approvals for Dummies"

    But after 25 years you must know all of this. It is just surprising that you would say otherwise.

    I was however impressed about your detailed knowledge of the SEC inquiry. None of the details you state above have been made public and are known only by ZIOP and the SEC. I have made every effort to find out more through my own discussions with the SEC and review of all public filings, and have not seen any reference to the Phase 2 Warning Letter, or even to Phase 2 at all. This includes the 8K which you seem to be referencing.

    At no point in time has the SEC given any indication that their inquiry is closed, and it certainly has never ever stated that " this was not a material matter that needed to be disclosed".... I have personally called the SEC to get such clarity and they will give none.

    So while I wold like to "trust you" as a "former CFO of a NYSE company", the statements you have made above are materially and provably incorrect. Unlike you, I never ask anyone to ever "trust me". Instead I provide links to the data and the public filings that prove what I say. I also encourage people to be skeptical of my findings and verify details for themselves. Interested parties can contact the US SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 to learn how to get more info on this subject. It takes patience and a number of phone calls, but it will allow individual investors to stop "trusting" you or me and determine for themselves.

    Finally, you are right about one thing. PPHM did disclose its problems voluntarily. This is why I said that ZIOP is WORSE than PPHM. Your lack of respect for proper disclosure practices is concerning given that you claim to be the "former CFO of a NYSE company". And your repeated posting of inaccurate data regarding Kirk's purchases, the Dec '11 8K and the FDA approval process strikes me as either sloppy to the point of negligence, unethical, or both.
    Oct 29, 2012. 03:16 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • StoneMor: With Dividend At Risk, Shares Could Fall Sharply [View article]
    Whether it is MLP, royalty trust, common stock etc is all the same. The fat is that they cannot pay the dividend without getting money from new investors each time.

    Everyone knows that this cannot be sustained, it is just that no one knows when the party will end.

    There is simply no reason to bear that risk for 3 months until the next hoped for dividend.
    Aug 12, 2013. 11:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Implications Of Organovo Lawsuit [View article]
    Anybody notice that press release just after market close ?

    Funny it should come out on a day when the stock was surging.

    Also funny that the stock crashed 8% in the last 20 min of the day...just before the announcement was made public.

    See you at $4.
    Aug 1, 2013. 04:29 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What The Market Missed On Kandi [View article]
    At the request of a reader, I have made a change to one sentence of the conclusion part of this article.

    The stock doubled over a 2 week period since early June, from $3.70. However the timing of Mr. Porcari's 4 articles began in April, right after the ATM filing, not in June. This can be seen by looking at the dates on the articles, and is consistent with the text in the body of the article.

    That sentence has now been split in two in the conclusion.

    Apologies for any inconvenience.

    No other changes have been made.

    Jun 24, 2013. 11:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clearsign's Lies, Omissions, And One 'Bad Actor' [View article]
    Mr. Berry,

    Your write up on this situation has attracted my attention and I will be taking a closer look.

    I was a bit disappointed to see that no one from MDB decided to post comments on seeking alpha as they did with my recent article discussing UNXL. Perhaps comments from them will be forthcoming.

    I am continually surprised by investors such as Mr. Padnos who continue to think that the best way to get objective 3rd party information is to ask the people who stand to benefit the most from spreading misinformation.

    In Dec 2010 I personally visited China Education Alliance (referenced above) and I was taken to fake schools that bore a different company's logo. The chairman was taking me around personally.

    In one case we showed up a bit early because there were two employees trying to tape a China Education Alliance logo over the real logo for a different school. Unfortunately they were using scotch tape and it wasn't sticking.

    When I asked the chairman about this, he made an unintelligible comment and excuse and assured me that the company had really just done $35 million in revenues. He encouraged me to take pictures of all the students at this school and publish them.

    At first I thought that he assumed that I was stupid enough to believe it. But then I realized that when he pretended that it was true, he assumed that I would pretend to believe it and the only people to lose out would be the suckers in the US who didn't actually know.

    Many people who pump these stocks simply do not care if the companies are in fact committing fraud as long as they (the pumper) can personally claim plausible deniability when the whole thing goes up in flames.

    The people perpetrating the fraud seem to get frustrated when someone calls them out on it and won't go along with the pump party and make money on the way up.

    After all. when the stock keeps going up, everyone wins. Right ?

    Thanks for your research in this article. I will have a closer look at the details and links this weekend.
    Feb 7, 2013. 10:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Trina Solar: As Debts Come Due, $14 Billion In Off-Balance Sheet Liabilities [View article]
    actually you are wrong. as i mentioned, Poly prices are now getting so low at they are near their own cost of production.

    are you assuming that Trina's suppliers will sell below their own cost just to give Trina good deal ?

    The renegs already happened and Trina is selling below cost.
    Jan 7, 2013. 11:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Earnings Miss Will Send TearLab Sharply Lower [View article]
    thanks all. i do not really care much about the semantics of whether or not they want to call this a "beat" or a "miss" in the headlines.

    i guess my only point was that the numbers would be bad and the stock would trade sharply lower.

    i spent months doing this research, including dozens of phone calls to doctors around the country. this was the same type of work i did on IRG and FRAN and the results ended up being reliable and predicitve.
    Nov 15, 2013. 11:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Kandi: Experts Weigh In On China's EV Market [View article]
    the stock consistently jumps on non event "news". it is always great for a trade, either long on the way up or short on the inevitable pull back. just like every other promotion.
    Oct 29, 2013. 09:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How U.S. Investors Got Punk'd By Kandi [View article]
    no, no, no.

    the option has value from day one.

    the option can be sold to someone else or hedged immediately. it is free money on day one.

    just like the stock, the options will eventually be worth more money IF the stock goes up and IF the holder keeps holding.

    But there are plenty of investors who are not in the business of gambling on Chinese reverse mergers with multi year bets. Instead, investors like this get a very cheap deal. They sell as fast as they can. They lock in an attractive *RISK FREE* profit. They then move on and repeat the process with other companies.

    It is a much more certain business model than is stock picking on volatile micro caps.
    Jul 12, 2013. 09:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Retail Got Slaughtered On Ziopharm [View article]
    In the past the institutional ownership was more like 40% but it rose some over time. It is always a little difficult to get an exact number because it seems there are always bad or late data included.

    The point I was trying to make (which I guess I wasn't clear) is that if we exclude Kirk and Fidelity (who was likely only in because of Kirk), then inst ownership is almost nil.

    With the presence of Kirk and Fido in there then we should have expected to see total institutional ownership of at least 80-85%, but instead it was the remainder of all retail.

    Sorry, I should have been more clear.
    Mar 27, 2013. 08:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment