The most talked-about penny stocks on the street: Washington Mutual, Inc. (WAMUQ), Smokefree Innotec, Inc.(SFIO), NeoMedia Technologies (NEOM) & Options Media Group Holdings, Inc. (OPMG)
Washington Mutual Inc. (WAMUQ)
Washington Mutual Inc (WAMU), is a savings bank holding company. Founded in 1889 as a loan and investment association, the company which later undergo several name chances as well as strategic shifts in it’s banking and loan practices through its nearly 120 years of existence. From it’s inception until 1983, WaMu operated as a mutual company deriving profits and gains to be reinvested towards services and products for its existing and future members. During the time which WaMu operated as a mutual company, a series of purchases of other banks and holdings were made as a way to expand the membership of the bank and it’s services.
In 1983 the company went through demutualization following 94 years of operation. For the first time in it’s history WaMu would issue capital stock onto the free market and change it’s overal business purpose to “for profit”, while it strives to maintain the same benefits and services that it had provided before demutualization. Shortly after converting over the company, WaMu would see its assets double in just 6 years. During that time and the years that followed, the company would go on to acquire 29 more banking companies and divisions, adding more assets to the company’s portfolio. WaMu also saw the addition of several mortgage companies and a credit card division into its business plan. By 2005, WaMu had become the 3rd largest mortgage company in the United State, as well as the 9th largest credit card company.
As early as late 2006, WaMu would begin to become a victim of what would eventually become the worst recession in US history since the Great Depression of 1929. WaMu’s aggressive business strategy would begin to unfold throughout the end of 2006 and become increasingly disastrous through 2007. As housing rates were at all time highs before the recession began, WaMu would use its considerable leverage and assets to make large amounts of loans in both subprime mortgages and subprime credit cards. The banking division of WaMu at one point before the end of 2007 had nearly 336 stand-alone branch buildings where various types of home loans were processed and approved. WaMu would eventually over leverage themselves due to the high number of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs). As the US economy slowed down, the number of home loan defaults began to rise in quick succession. This coupled with the falling home prices throughout most of the US meant that even with foreclosures and the properties back in the hands of the company, they were unable to sell them back into the market, or were not able to derive enough revenue from the sale to cover the loan that was made on them. In the mean time, the credit card division was also seeing a surge in the number of late and non payments being made.
By September of 2008, WaMu’s stock price had fallen to $2 from its previous highs of around $50 just two years earlier. Amid strong voices from the shareholders, then company CEO Kerry Killinger was dismissed by the company board. In the meantime, the company went looking for a buyer for part of its banking division. WaMu had been unsuccessful in finding an appropriate buy until its seizure by the FDIC. Overnight the companies banking division was bought by JP Morgan Chase in a secret deal brokered by the FDIC for 1.9 billion dollars. At the time it was believed that the assets sold were worth many multiples more than what it was forced to sell for by the FDIC. Particularly troubling was that the deal was done by the FDIC as a result of the failure of IndyMac bank earlier in the year. The FDIC feared that if it did not sell the bank quickly they would not have enough capital reserves in its insurance fund to cover all the accounts should something have gone wrong. This action by the FDIC resulted in massive losses to WaMu shareholders who felt that their holdings were worth far more than what the government had forced upon them.
Shortly after the sale of WaMu’s banking division, the holding company would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing $33 billion dollars in assets and $8 billion dollars in debts.
Presently WaMu is operating under Chapter 11 as it tries to reorganize the company. A number of lawsuits have been filed by the company and individuals against JP Morgan and the FDIC concerning potentially illegal activities regarding the sale of the WaMu banking division. The outcome of these lawsuits will have a large impact on the reorganization plan and eventual outcome of WaMu Holding Inc.
Smokefree Innotec, Inc. (SFIO)
2300 West Sahara Avenue, Suite 800
Las Vegas, Nevada 89102
Tel: 888 850-4022
Fax: 949 333-0857
Smokefree Innotec, Inc. develops and markets a hi-tech electronic smokeless cigarette which is completely smoke-free and tobacco-free. SFIO’s products are designed to protect the non-smoker from second hand smoke and all its effects while providing the smoker a way to enjoy smoking anywhere, including places where smoking is prohibited. Furthermore, it allows the smoker to enjoy smoking while not having to worry about the dangers and ill effects of regular cigarette consumption.
The SFI ‘smokeless cigarettes’ provide the smart smoker her or his accustomed delight without smoldering tobacco and therefore without irritating bystanders with second hand smoke.
NeoMedia Technologies (NEOM)
Note: Yorkville Advisors (Cornell) client; A/S is 5,000,000,000
Tel: +1 678 638 0460
Fax: +1 678 638 0466
NeoMedia™ Technologies, Inc. is the innovator and global market leader in 2D mobile barcode technology and infrastructure solutions, harnessing the power of the mobile phone in a whole new way to transform traditional communications into a multi-media experience.
NeoMedia’s technology platform transforms mobile devices with cameras into barcode scanners, enabling a range of practical and engaging applications including consumer oriented advertising, mobile ticketing and couponing, and business-to-business commercial track and trace solutions. As the leading technology pioneer in the global mobile barcode industry, NeoMedia’s suite of products, service and IP portfolio means we are the only provider able to offer our customers a comprehensive end-to-end mobile code solution.
NeoMedia’s product portfolio includes: mobile barcode management & infrastructure solutions, barcode reader solutions, Mobile Coupon & Affiliate Marketing, Mobile Ticketing & POS Integration and IP Licensing. And, our current customers include handset manufacturers, platform providers, brands and agencies looking to offer pioneering mobile barcode solutions to their customer base.
Options Media Group Holdings, Inc. (OPMG)
Options Media Group
123 NW 13th Street. Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Options Media Group Holdings, Inc., one of the leading Email Service Providers (ESPs) in the U.S., designs custom e-mail delivery solutions for companies that own or license large customer lists and continually optimizes their system to maximize inbox deliverability based on industry best practices. The company currently has over 100 industry-leading e-mail marketing firms, corporate brand advertisers and agencies as clients under management, representing over 120 million unique e-mail addresses. In addition to providing comprehensive e-mail marketing solutions, including a complete ASP solution, consultation services, and stand-alone software, Options Media Group also reviews results and works with clients to optimize and fashion more effective campaigns.