Finding investments in odd areas is something I enjoy doing. It's like a treasure hunt to see who can find the most obscure hidden asset out there. Recently, my search for a hidden company has been in OTC Land.
It's a timely job going through OTC stocks. Typically, I will spend a few hours a week looking through list upon list of OTC stocks. There's a lot of garbage to dig through to find the quality companies in OTC Land. However, with enough digging, value can be found.
Lately, my search for an OTC gem has led me to the book called 'Walker's Manual of Unlisted Stocks'. The book is a timeless tome of each unlisted stock in the year the book was published. I picked up the 1996 copy off Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and finally made my way through it.
Most of the companies in the book are not in existence in today's age. Of the 500 or so companies listed in the book 132 are still in existence. I have created a list, organizing these 132 companies in ten categories; Caveat Emptor, Dark, Grey Market, Pink Current, Pink Limited, OTCQB, OTCQX, US Bank/Thrift Reporting, Nasdaq and NYSE.
Over the next few months I plan to dig deeper into a handful of these companies.
Investors should approach these companies with extra caution. As it states; buyer beware.
Mt. Carmel Public Utility (OTCPK:MCPB)
Old Fashion Foods (OTC:OFFI)
Sixty-one of the 132 companies are dark. These companies do not post anything public for investors. If they do happen to post information for investors, it's likely to be listed on their website. Most of the times, there will not be anything listed. To get a hold of the financials, an individual need to purchase at least one share to become an owner. Then they would need to reach out to the management and prove they are shareholders. If you manage to buy a share and get a company's financials - buying a sizable position will be the next hurdle due to the lack of liquidity in most of these securities.
Amelco Corporation (OTCPK:AMLC)
American Consumers (ANCS)
Ash Grove (OTCPK:ASHG)
Avoca Incorporated (OTCPK:AVOA)
Beaver Coal Company (OTC:BVERS)
Biloxi Marsh Land (OTCPK:BLMC)
Bollinger Industries (OTCPK:BOLL)
Boston Sand and Gravel (OTCPK:BSND)
J.G. Boswell (OTCPK:BWEL)
Bozzuto's Incorporated (OTCPK:BOZZ)
Bresler & Reiner (OTCPK:BRER)
Buck Hill Farms (OTCPK:BUHF)
California Orchard (OTCPK:CAOX)
Carolina Mills (OTCPK:CILZ)
Central Steel & Wire (OTCPK:CSTW)
Cimetrix Incorporated (OTCPK:CMXX)
Clayton & Lambert Manufacturing Company (OTCPK:CLLA)
Cloverleaf Kennel Club (OTCPK:CLVFA)
Coal Creek (CCRK0
Columbian Rope (OTCPK:CRPE)
Decker Manufacturing (OTCPK:DMFG)
Detroit Legal News (OTCPK:DTRL)
Finance Company of Pennsylvania (OTCPK:FCPA)
Garden City Company (OTCPK:GCCO)
Guaranty Corporation (OTCPK:GRTYA)
Hamburg Industries (OTCPK:HMBG)
J.L. Hammett (OTC:HAMT)
Hayward Industries (OTCPK:HWRI)
Hershey Creamery (OTCPK:HRCR)
Hilliard Corporation (OTCPK:HLRD)
Justiss Oil Corporation (OTCPK:JSTS)
Keller Manufacutring Company (OTCPK:KMFI)
Keweenaw Land Association (OTCPK:KEWL)
Kopp Glass (OTCPK:KOGL)
Limco Del Mar (OTCPK:LIDM)
Logan Clay Products (OTCPK:LGNC)
Makepeace Company (OTCPK:MAKE)
Megatech Corporation (OTCPK:MGTC)
Merchant's National Properties (OTCPK:MNPP)
Mortgage Oil Company (OTCPK:MGAG)
National Stock Yards Company (OTCPK:NSYC)
Northfield Precision Instrument Corporation (OTCPK:NFPC)
Oakridge Energy (OTCPK:OAKR)
Ojai Oil Company (OJCO)
Pacific Northwest Development (OTC:PNOD)
Peckham Industries (OTCPK:PKMS)
Queen City Investments (OTCPK:QUCT)
RWC Incorporated (OTCPK:RWCI)
Rdva Corporation (OTCPK:RDVA)
Randall Bearings (OTCPK:RBRG)
Reo Plastics (OTCPK:REOP)
Stonecutter Mills (OTCPK:STCMA)
Terre Aux Boeufs Land Company (OTCPK:TAUX)
Torrington Water Company (OTCPK:TORW)
Tower Properties (OTCPK:TPRP)
Westbrook-Thompson Over-Riding Royalty Trust (OTC:WBTMU)
Xedar Corporation (OTC:XDRC)
York Corrugating (OTCPK:YCRG)
I've looked at a few of these dark companies and believe some of them offer a significant amount of value. The problem for investors is the private status, liquidity and need for patience. Value may persist in these companies for years - even decades - before intrinsic value is realized. If you have a long-term horizon and are able to get a hold of shares, patience shouldn't matter. Remember, the quest is to buy businesses, not ticker symbols.
Five companies are listed as Grey stocks. Grey stocks file, but not to the standards of other OTC Market tranches such as; Pink, OTCQB or OTCQX.
Original Sixteen To One Mine (OTC:OSTO)
Wailuku Agribusiness (OTC:WKUA)
Belle Isle Corporation (OTC:BILSU)
Burnham Holdings (OTCPK:BURCA)
Franklin Credit Management Corporation (OTC:FCRM)
I've looked a Burnham Holdings before. The company seems to have value and is well managed. I do remember there is a decent retirement obligation on the balance sheet that turned me off though.
These companies are similar to the Grey market. They do offer information to shareholders, but not in your typical SEC filing format. For an example, Pioneer Railcorp puts out financials four times a year - but nothing else. Alaska Power and Telephone puts out a very detailed annual report with multiple shareholder letters every year. However, the annual report is in a weird format and is typically not in the layout of your typical SEC or OTC filing company.
Alaska Power and Telephone (OTCPK:APTL)
Pioneer Railcorp (OTCPK:PRRR)
I think both of these companies have value. Alaska Power and Telephone is open with speaking to investors and operates a neat little niche business. Pioneer Railcorp likely has value as well. The tough part will be gathering enough information on Pioneer to make an intelligent investment decision. Researching Pioneer Railcorp will definitely take unconventional due diligence.
These companies provide updated financials that are current in the cycle. There are a lot of interesting companies in this category - with myself having looked a more than a handful.
Bonal International (OTCPK:BONL)
Information Analysis (OTCPK:IAIC)
Iowa First Bankshares (OTCPK:IOFB)
Kiewit Royalty Trust (OTCPK:KIRY)
Life Insurance of Alabama (OTCPK:LINS)
Micropac Industries (OTCPK:MPAD)
Mills Music Trust (OTCPK:MMTRS)
Monarch Cement Company (OTCPK:MCEM)
North Coast Life Insurance (OTCPK:NCLI)
Northwest Bank & Trust (OTCPK:NTWB)
First Real Estate Investment Trust of New Jersey (OTC:FREVS)
GNB Financial Services (OTCPK:GNBF)
Portsmouth Square (OTCPK:PRSI)
Reserve Petroleum (OTCPK:RSRV)
Bank of Santa Clarita (OTCPK:BSCA)
Southern Michigan Bancorp (OTCPK:SOMC)
Summit Bancshares (OTCPK:SMAL)
Summit Bank (OTCPK:SBKO)
TRN Technical (OTCPK:TNRK)
Turboville National Bancorp (OTCPK:TVNB)
Bonal International is a really interesting little company. They operate only 40 or so miles from where I live, so I may pick up a share or two and head to the next annual meeting. Speaking of annual meetings, I was able to attend Monarch Cements annual meeting - which is on this list - this past year. It was a very interesting experience. Finally, Reserve Petroleum is a company I recent wrote about. I think they have excellent value at the current price and will continue to buy more shares when liquidity permits.
OTC Markets classifies the OTCQB as the Venture Market. This marketplace is full of companies that are in an entrepreneurial and development stages - with US and international companies. The standards in this marketplace uphold a strong base for transparency. Though, they are not in the standards as the OTCQX market.
Investors Heritage Capital (OTCQB:IHRC)
Mendocino Brewing Company (OTCPK:MENB)
New Ulm Telecom (NULM)
Precision Optics (OTCQB:PEYE)
Scientific Industries (OTCQB:SCND)
Sierra Monitor Corporation (OTCQB:SRMC)
I have never looked at any of these companies before. However, I did briefly look at New Ulm Telecom's financials. They look interesting and may have some value. I might dig into them in the future.
The OTCQX is considered the 'Best Marketplace'. The marketplace is for more established companies. In the past I have found a decent amount of value in the OTCQX marketplace.
Capital Properties (OTCQX:CPTP)
Commercial Bancshares (OTCPK:CMOH)
Computer Services (OTCQX:CSVI)
Corning Natural Gas Holding Company (OTCQX:CNIG)
First National Community Bancorp (NASDAQ:FNCB)
Community Bank of Santa Maria (OTCQX:CYSM)
I hold Capital Properties in my portfolio. The company owns long-term ground leases and a terminal petroleum facility. The CEO recently sold his other company and will probably sell Capital Properties in the mid-term. I believe there is good upside and low downside.
Commercial Bancshares looks interesting on an M&A standpoint. They are currently in the process of getting bought out by another bank. There appears to be a decent short-term spread to take advantage of.
Finally, Corning Natural Gas Holding Company sounds interesting. I haven't done too much work on natural gas companies - but find the energy sector fascinating. This is a company I would like to understand.
US Bank/Thrift Reporting
These banks don't provide much color for investors from your typical filing bank. They do provide enough on a US Bank and Thrift reporting standards though.
American Bancorp (OTCPK:ABNC)
Capital Directions (OTCPK:CTDN)
Damariscotta Bankshares (OTCPK:DMSQ)
I find it interesting how many companies from the 1996 Walker's Manual that have graduated to the NASDAQ exchange. The only company I have thoroughly looked into is Limoneria Company. Their business model appeals to me the recent expansion of a packing facility should allow the company to increase their revenues.
Acacia Research Corporation (NASDAQ:ACTG)
American River Bankshares (NASDAQ:AMRB)
Ames National Corporation (NASDAQ:ATLO)
Artesian Resources (NASDAQ:ARTNA)
Farmers National Bancorp (FNMB)
Industrial Services of America (NASDAQ:IDSA)
International Speedway Corporation (NASDAQ:ISCA)
Lakeland Bancorp (NASDAQ:LBAI)
Limoneria Company (NASDAQ:LMNR)
Nicholas Financial (NASDAQ:NICK)
Orrstown Financial Services (NASDAQ:ORRF)
Penns Woods Bancorp (NASDAQ:PWOD)
Preformed Line Products (NASDAQ:PLPC)
RF Industries (NASDAQ:RFIL)
Shenandoah Telecommunications (NASDAQ:SHEN)
Sierra Bancorp (NASDAQ:BSRR)
Southside Bancshares (NASDAQ:SBSI)
Steelcase Incorporated (NYSE:SCS)
Union Bankshares (NASDAQ:UNB)
York Water Company (NASDAQ:YORW)
Only five companies since 1996 are still around and have graduated to the NYSE. Tel-Instrument Electronics is an interesting one. Maui Land and Pineapple is also one that appears to have decent value. I will probably spend some time going over these companies in the future.
Alpha Pro Tech (NYSEMKT:APT)
Lannett Company (NYSEMKT:LCI)
Maui Land and Pineapple Company (NYSE:MLP)
Mexco Energy Corporation (NYSEMKT:MXC)
Tel-Instrument Electronics Corporation (NYSEMKT:TIK)
When I bought the Walkers Manual, I thought 1996 was the last edition. However, the edition looks to go through the early years of 2000. There is also the Walker's Manual of Community Bank Stocks - but that appears to be quite expensive. I am not sure if any readers have the Walker's Manual in the 2000 years or the Community Bank edition. If so, I would appreciate some color on the context of the books and if they are worth a buy.
Overall, I find it quite enjoyable looking at these obscure companies. If time permits, I may spend some time generating my own list of OTC Stocks that look enticing. If anyone has input on that or would like to collaborate on future ideas, feel free to drop me a line.
Disclosure: I am/we are long CPTP, RSRV.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
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