I have been following Code Rebel (CDRB) since it’s odd IPO back in May, and I wrote about the unusual way they were dealing with the media, and in my article The Curious Case of Code Rebel’s Soaring Stock. In the article, I wrote about how I had reached out to the IR team and management, and kept getting contradictory information about revenue projections, and how after speaking with them, they asked that our discussions stay off the record due to a quiet period – a request to which I complied.
After watching the stock fall 100%, from $40 to $20, I wrote a follow-up article, titled Code Rebel Runs Silent Runs Deep. In this article, I once again asked the company to provide the media and their followers with current information that we could sink our teeth into.
But today’s press release is a showstopper, and one of the few times in my career I have seen this. The SEC notified Code Rebel of a press release from a third party that seemed to offer incorrect information about the company. Code Rebel then issued a PR of their own, which read “Code Rebel Corp. ("Code Rebel") (CDRB) became aware today of false information released yesterday, announcing that Code Rebel had declared a quarterly dividend. It appears the false and unauthorized press release was issued by Dakota Financial News, via its website, and not by Code Rebel. Code Rebel has notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Nasdaq of the false press release.”
I expect shares to be down Monday morning after this unfortunate gaff by the news organization that made the error, and I question if the company will ever earn credibility again for the great products they have. Simply put, this has been a disastrous start for Code Rebel as a public company. Someone over there needs to reach out and get their hand on the rudder. As I have said several times in articles, Code Rebel should be participating in market awareness for shareholders – not hiding under the bed. So, let’s review the facts regarding the snafu.
Anatomy of a PR Disaster
Apparently, this small Sioux Falls-based News agency Dakota Financial News released information that Code Rebel was planning to declare a quarterly dividend. They posted (and recently removed) an unauthorized press release when the SEC jumped in and asked that the information be corrected, which prompted an emergency press release from the company.
Now, this is what puzzles me: Why would a small news site based in South Dakota publish press about a Hawaii-based software company that has rebuffed all attempts by journalists to get information about the company’s revenue? It makes absolutely no sense. Maybe it was an oversight from Dakota – which is what Code Rebel is saying in the recent PR – but it makes the company look snake bit.
I am still amazed that the company can’t seem to get it right. It was a great start for them, moving higher on IPO day by more than 100% on thin volume and ranking as one as the highest percentage gainers on opening day…but it has been downhill ever since.
I hope they can shake off this start because it actually sounds like a cool company, but the perils of being public and leveraging the vehicle is often too much for many techies. As I’ve said many times before, Code Rebel - I am here when you want to talk.
Steve Kanaval is the author of the upcoming Equities.com's Small-Cap Throwdown, a premium newsletter designed to help investors identify the best small-cap stocks to add to your portfolio and trading ideas to profit off them. The first issue pits the hottest beverage small-cap stocks against each other to find a winner. Sign-up here for a free issue today!
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