Our Small Cap Investing History – A Story Of Missed Opportunities

Here is a look at our small cap investing over the years:




































StockBuy DateBuy PriceSell DateSell Price Current Price/Status Comments
Oravax (ORVX)9/18/199514.59/29/19972.2N/A The company constantly released promising press releases about oral vaccine progress, with very little substance. Eventually, got acquired by Peptide Therapeutics for about $1.5/share in 1999. Holding on would have resulted in more negative returns.
Mesa airlines (MESA)9/18/199510.99/29/19975.755.05 Smaller airline touted to have competitive advantage on express routes. Holding on would have resulted in about 20% more losses over the last 10 years.
Novacare (NOVA)9/18/19958.054/2/199814.4N/ARenamed as Nahc, inc. Acquired by J.L.Halsey corporation for roughly $0.01/share around 2/2002. The vision of Novacare was to consolidate & integrate rehabilitation services in America. The company lost its bearings along the way with unfocused acquisitions and questionable deals. Holding on would have resulted in losing all our original investment. Amazingly it would have been a phenomenal investment if shares of JLHY were purchased around the 2002 timeframe (see JLHY historical chart) after the acquisition.
En Pointe Technologies (ENPT)12/29/19988.71/5/1999 5.653.05En Pointe Technologies is in the low margin computer equipment distribution business. Holding on would have resulted in more than 50% further losses over the next 8 years.
At Home Networks (ATHM)1/12/19997.51/21/19996N/AThe goal was to gain market share as fast as possible in the cable ISP business. The main problem was not having ownership interest in the cable lines themselves. Bankrupt end of 2001. Holding on would have resulted in losing all our initial investment.
Gigamedia (GIGM) 5/15/20030.936/6/20031.0222Gigamedia is based in Taiwan and is in the high growth subscription based online gaming business. It owns gaming portals in Taiwan, Hong Kong, & China and has plans to expand into Japan. Holding on would have resulted in a phenomenal return of over 2300% on our initial investment over a period of 3 years.
Dryships (DRYS)9/20/200516.511/29/200513122Dry Bulk carrier whose prospects are closely tied to Baltic Exchange Dry Index (BDI) rates because of the strategy of preferring spot charter market to longer term fixed price contracts. Holding on would have resulted in a 700% return of investment over the last 2 years.
CytRx Corporation (CYTR)9/7/20061.59/21/20061.734.29ALS drug trial in Phase II studies is the company’s major product candidate. Holding on would have resulted in us more than doubling our initial investment over the last year.
Local.com (LOCM)8/10/20075.479/17/20076.095.84Local search company with a free 411 service patent and another in the location based search area. Click to see our analysis of Local.com. Let us see what happens with this one.




  • We also realized substantial losses following the bubble in the 2000-2002 timeframe on a number of technology stocks: ASKJ, HNCS, REDB, ARBA, EMS, ADAP, CLGN, CMGI, ICGE, SUNW, INKT, SDLI, PMCS, JDSU, VRSN, AETH, EXTR, CMRC, ABI, ITWO, REDB, REDF, ONIS, etc. You name it, we owned it!
  • 2003-2004 we also traded KRY & SCOX profitably through a number of very short-term transactions. KRY would have been a decent investment to hold on to. And, SCOX declared bankruptcy recently. A mixed bag!

Stock selection in the small cap area in the 1995-2002 were largely non-starters, given that holding on to them instead of selling would have resulted in more negative returns in all cases. Since 2002, our stock selection seems to have improved, given many of the stocks have since returned very well, unfortunately after we sold.

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