Monday, January 02, 2012

Horiyoshi Worldwide (HHWW) Tattoos Investors With Losses

Going through my old pile of Trinity Investment Research teaser mailers is always a joy.  They sent me one about a year ago promoting Horiyoshi Worldwide (HHWW), a clothing company that used to be called Kranti Resources before they rebranded the company in a forward stock split.  A reverse merger with an existing ticker shouldn't be a big deal as long as the new company is successful.

Horiyoshi has yet to experience financial success.  The company's negative net income, free cash flow, and retained earnings since 2008 are obvious for all to see.  This invaluable article from the Vancouver Sun describes the company's dealings with very questionable stock promoters.  I can only add that spending $3000 on a promotional campaign is actually pretty cheap in the penny stock world.  Mailing out these multi-page three-color brochures to tens of thousands of suckers week after week can rack up the bills.

Clothing based on the work of a renowned tattoo artist is a cute concept but positioning this apparel as a premium product may have been a big mistake.  Hoping for movie stars to wear this stuff for publicity . . . well, hope is not a method.  It costs almost nothing to mass produce T-shirts and jeans.  Cutting the price and promoting them in discount retailers might have worked but these people seem to like the glamorous Hollywood route.  It doesn't matter now.  Investors buying in when this thing was pumped have watched it drop from over a buck to around two cents.

Full disclosure:  No position in HHWW, ever.