I thought it might be a nice sleepy summer for VRNG, and we could accumulate the stock in the mid $3 range. We will hopefully see it down there again soon, so you can pick it up at a more reasonable level. The stock was up there close to $4.50 yesterday, but today closed at the $3.72 level- so we are headed the right way if you don’t own it.
Back on July 19th VRNG closed its acquisition of Innovate/Protect- which means it’s game on as VRNG goes to court, armed with all the old Lycos technologies in its IP portfolio. In its SEC filings, VRNG describes the transaction as a “reverse merger”- meaning the assets and business of Innovate/Protect now become the primary direction of VRNG. That business is the business of suing the likes of Google, AOL, Target, and a few other giant names. Innovate/Protect owns all the assets of the old Lycos- one of the early stage search engines.
To me, it was rather amazing the stock traded so well in light of this week’s news. The only positive news related to new director Donald Stout- now Chairman of VRNG’s intellectual property committee.
This past week, Stout has become a true David taking down several Goliaths. NTP inc is a company cofounded by Stout- unrelated to VRNG.
However, this past week NTP was richly rewarded after several years of patent infringement battles appeared to pay off big time.
NTP settled with AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile- NTP is still going after smart phone manufacturers Apple, Motorola, Palm, LG Electronics, and Samsung.
While the terms of the settlement were undisclosed, the market loved it in the face of some negative news out of VRNG, and bid the stock up to $4.29 on huge volume (7 million shares Tuesday).
Modern day David took down these Goliaths with their massive legal teams- but the true outcome remains unknown. One might assume Stout has earned a gigantic pay day for his efforts. The market certainly did.
I believe this week’s surge will prove short lived as there have been some major negatives this week as well- all related to the Big “D”- D for DILUTION. At some point in the future the public float of VRNG will inevitably be much larger- meaning the stock will become far more cumbersome in terms of moving up the charts.
The other developments this week include the following:
- VRNG issued approximately 51 million shares in the form of common stock, convertible preferred, and warrants to acquire Innovate/Protect. Formerly boasting a very manageable 14 million shares I&O, it has now ballooned to about 65 million or more fully diluted.
- VRNG also filed a “shelf registration” to raise $100 million. This means the company will eventually be able to sell any combination of common, preferred, debt, warrants, rights, purchase contracts, or units to raise a maximum of $100 million in any form it wants at any price it wants. Since whatever form any capital takes will somehow end up as free trading shares as soon as funded at whatever price the company deems, this registration statement represents an ominous technical black cloud which could hang over this stock for sometime to come.
In the September/October time frame, Innovate/Protect’s case will be moving to the next stages. This is when I expect the story to really heat up.
In a best case scenario, I expect the stock could be worth about $10 with this new dilution coming into the picture. I’ve read forecasts of $30 per share, which would imply a $2 billion market cap- that’s without raising the $100 million they filed for this week.
Add in the potential $100 million that will certainly take some form of massive dilution, and the picture becomes even murkier.
I still believe this stock should be owned. The market sometimes has the ability to wear blinders when it comes to explosive upside potential- as we have here.
I’m no lawyer, but I know one who’s following the story. These law suits will not likely be worth $2 billion- probably something more like $500 million at best.
My suggestion- accumulate on dips into the $3.25 to $3.50 range.
At present- I’m not a shareholder, just an interested party. I’ll be looking at some call options if the stock trades off.
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