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Hot Tuna (HTT:LN)

Mkt Price:  GBP 0.07p

Mkt Cap:  GBP 1.6 mio

Randomly came across Hot Tuna the other day, and enjoyed waxing nostalgic about wearing their surfing t-shirts years ago, I literally wore some of them to death! This prompted me to take a closer look, without much hope, at its news/financials. Wow, even more entertaining than fondly remembering their t-shirts: Good God, is this the worst AIM stock ever?!?

To give you a flavour: Latest 6 mth Revenues for this ‘leading surf wear and fashion brand’ were GBP 60,000 – hmm, not bad at all, I mused…until I realized there were no extra ‘000s’ on this figure!! Seriously, Revenues of GBP 60 grand! What the bloody hell did they do, sell 2,500 t-shirts out of the back of a van? That’s what it amounts to… Jesus, any (semi) pro surfer worth his salt (wax?) could manage to sell more out of the back of his van attending surfing events, AND turn a profit!

OK, OK, maybe they’re just reviving the brand, let’s give them a little time to get up and running. Nope. I waste a little more time and find they have a revolving door for senior management and directors (including Elle Macpherson at one point, and get this, she was appointed an Executive Director!), they’ve actually been listed since 2005, at their listing price of GBP 50p per share they were initially valued at GBP 20 million based on Annual Revenues of GBP 368 K, and I didn’t bother to check but I think it’s safe to assume they’ve lost money each and every year since. Oh, and the share price is now GBP 0.07p, for a price decline of (99.9)%. So how come the Market Cap is still GBP 1.6 million? Yep, you figured it out, they began with 40 mio shares…now they have 2.2 BILLION shares outstanding!!

Why do I bother…?! Well, we all like to write about our favourite stocks, so writing about the worst stocks one finds is a fun twist. Also, I gotta say, I really have learned a couple of things along the way attempting to ‘analyze’ dross. Most of all, on occasion I’ve had to implore certain friends and colleagues not to buy (or even worse, to sell) garbage stocks. Case in point, I read a rather sad message board devoted to HTT and, Jesus, some of the posts would really make you cry. Sometimes I think the best thing I can do is to try pass on some simple decent advice/education about stocks to friends, family, colleagues, pretty much anybody to help them out.

So, I guess that’s my real message: If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know more than most about stocks/finance – please please PLEASE, put that knowledge to work and help somebody out today. In particular, save them from the lethal combination of buying over-priced stocks of badly run companies! Oh, and if you can also save them from the more pedestrian clutches of their local banker/insurance broker, even better!

ps One other nostalgic surfing memory: Ocean Pacific. They still have the classic OP logo, but I was horrified to discover it now appears to be a clothing brand sold exclusively through Walmart, and oddly enough doesn’t seem to have anything to do with surfing. What?! Sad, sad, sad…