duminică, 20 martie 2011

50 Cent pumps but doesn't dump penny stock

Over the weekend, the popular rapper 50 Cent urged his 3.8 million Twitter followers to buy the stock of a microscopic company in Florida. The penny stock jumped 290 percent on Monday. The rapper, who owns 7.5 million shares and warrants for 22.5 million more in the company, had a paper profit that was briefly worth almost $5.2 million on paper.

The company, H&H Imports, sounds like it might be related to the famed maker of New York bagels. No such luck. H&H is a Clearwater, Fla., company that distributes headphones favored by Curtis Jackson, the real name of rapper 50 Cent. It's the parent company of TV Goods Inc., which markets its products through infomercials and the QVC channel, has virtually no revenue ($293,000 in its most recent quarter), and loses money.

"HNHI is the stock symbol for TVG there launching 15 different products. they are no joke get in now," went one promotional tweet from the rapper.

As the Twitter hype (Twype?) wore off, the stock fell from 39 cents to 30 cents a share on Tuesday and a further 4 cents Wednesday morning, meaning 50 Cent gave back just over 290 million cents ($2.9 million dollars). The company has a miniscule market capitalization of $63 million. It traded for 10 cents last week.

Strip away the involvement of a celebrity and the use of social networking and this story bears some resemblance to one of the oldest stock market games around: The pump and dump.

In their classical form, such schemes work this way: Insiders talk up the attributes of a worthless stock (the pump) and then sell when its price jumps (the dump). So far, 50 Cent appears to have avoided violating laws against this sort of behavior because he has not sold H&H stock.

"This kind of stuff has given the SEC headaches for a long time," says Rick Sauer, a former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney who wrote a book about fighting stock fraud at the agency called "Selling America Short." "It's probably OK unless he knew the stock was bad and touted it anyway, which is hard to prove."

An amateur boxer and drug dealer who turned to music after a stint in prison, 50 Cent's most famous record is entitled "Get Rich or Die Tryin'." He is known for his muscular physique and for surviving an attack in which he was shot nine times at close range.

But 50 Cent apparently has little taste for a fight with securities regulators.

Several hours after his first tweet about H&H, 50 Cent tweeted some suspiciously sober cautionary notes. I'm taking a wild guess that they were suggested, though not copy-edited, by a worried lawyer. And the initial promotional tweets were wiped from Twitter, though they live on forever on the web.

50 Cent
Alec Baldwin
Alicia Keys
Amanda Bynes
Amy Winehouse
Angelina Jolie
Anna Nicole Smith
Ashlee Simpson
Ashley Olsen
Ashley Tisdale
Audrina Patridge
Avril Lavigne
Ben Affleck
Beyonce
Beyonce Knowles
Bobby Brown
Brad Pitt
Brandon Davis
Britney Spears
Brody Jenner
Brooke Hogan
Bruce Willis
Cameron Diaz
Camilla Belle
Carmen Electra
Carrie Underwood
Chris Brown
Chris Rock
Christian Bale
Christina Aguilera
Dakota Fanning
Daniel Radcliffe
David Beckham
Demi Lovato
Denise Richards
Drew Barrymore
Ed Westick
Eminem
Emma Roberts
Emma Watson
Eva Longoria
Evan Rachel Wood
Evangeline Lilly
Faith Hill
Fergie
Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Gael Garcia Bernal
Gavin Rossdale
George Clooney
Guy Ritchie
Gwen Stefani
gwyneth paltrow
Halle Berry
Hannah Montana
Hayden Panettiere
Heath Ledger
Heather Locklear
Heidi Klum
Heidi Montag
Hilary Duff
Hogans
Hugh Heffner
Hugh Laurie
Jada Pinkett-Smith
Jamie Lynn Spears
Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jessica Alba
Jessica Biel
Jessica Simpson
Jewel
Joel Madden
John Mayer
Johnny Depp
Jonas Brothers
Josh Hartnett
Jude Law
Justin

Timberlake

Kanye West
Kate Beckinsale
Kate Hudson
Kate Moss
Katherine McPhee
Katie Holmes
Katy Perry
Katy Pery
Keira Knightley
Keith Urban
Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Osbourne
Kendra Wilinkson
Kendra Wilkinson
Kevin Federline
Kid Rock
Kim Kardashian
Kimora Lee Simmons
Kirsten Dunst
Kristin Cavallari
Kylie Minogue
Lady Gaga
Lance Armstrong
Lauren Conrad
Lauren Graham
LeAnn Rimes
Leelee Sobieski
Leonardo DiCaprio
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Lily Allen
Lindsay Lohan
Madonna
Mandy Moore
Mariah Carey
Marilyn Manson
Mary-Kate Olsen
Matt Damon
Matthew McConaughey
Megan Fox
Mel Gibson
Mena Suvari
Michael Jackson
Michael Phelps
Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Williams
Miley Cyrus
Mischa Barton
Naomi Campbell
Naomi Watts
Natalie Portman
Nathalie Kelley
Neil Patrick Harris
Nick Cannon
Nick Jonas
Nick Lachey
Nicky Hilton
Nicole Kidman
Nicole Richie
Oprah Winfrey
Orlando Bloom
Pamela Anderson
Patrick Dempsey
Paul McCartney
Paula Abdul
PCD
Perez Hilton
Pete Doherty
Pete Wentz
Pink
Playboy Bunny
Raven Symone
Reese Witherspoon
Richard Gere
Rihanna
Robert Pattinson
Rosario Dawson
Rose McGowan
Rosie O'Donnell
Ryan Phillippe
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Scarlett Johansson
Selena Gomez
Shakira
Shar Jackson
Sharon Stone
Sheryl Crow
Shrek
Shyamali
Sienna Miller
Simon Cowell
Snoop Dogg
Solange
Spencer Pratt
Star Jones
Stephen Colbert
Sylvester Stallone
Tara Reid
Taylor Lautner
Taylor Swift
Teri Hatcher
The Baldwin Brothers
Tiger Woods
Tom Cruise
Topher Grace
Tori Spelling
Tricia Helfer
Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Minnillo
Victoria Beckham
Vince Vaughn
Wesley Snipes
Whitney Houston
Whitney Port
Will Ferrell
Will Smith
Wilmer Valderrama
Zac Efron
Zach Braff
50 Cent
Alec Baldwin
Alicia Keys
Amanda Bynes
Amy Winehouse
Angelina

Jolie

Anna

Nicole Smith

Ashlee

Simpson

Ashley

Olsen

Ashley

Tisdale

Audri

na Patridge

Avri

l Lavigne

Ben

Affleck

Beyonce
Beyonce

Knowles

Bob

by Brown

Brad

Pitt

Brandon Davis
Britne

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Brody

Jenner

Brooke

Hogan

Bruce Willis
Cameron

Diaz

Camilla

Belle

Carmen

Electra

Carrie

Underwood

Chris

Brown

Chris

Rock

Christian

Bale

Christina

Aguilera

Dakota

Fanning

Daniel

Radcliffe

David

Beckham

Demi

Lovato

Denise

Richards

Drew

Barrymore

Ed

Westick

Eminem
Emma

Roberts

Emma

Watson

Eva Longoria
Evan Rachel

Wood

Evangeline

Lilly

Faith

Hill

Fergie
Freddie

Prinze, Jr.

Gael Garcia

Bernal

Gavin

Rossdale

George

Clooney

Guy

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Gwen

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