Things look bleak for Star Scientific. It’s been linked through its former chief executive, Jonnie R. Williams Sr., to a federal corruption case against former Gov. Bob McDonnell. In December, the Food and Drug Administration warned the Henrico-based company that it was illegally marketing its flagship product, Anatabloc. And in the past few weeks, its share price has dipped to less than $1, meaning it risks being de-listed from the Nasdaq exchange where it’s traded. But in the world of stocks, opinions are like, well, everyone has one. We found four market watchers with very different perspectives:
The enthusiastic believer with a stake in the company:
John Faessel of La Jolla, Calif., has written dozens of articles for blogs and investment newsletters promoting Star Scientific, in which he acknowledges that he owns stock. He won’t say how much. But he will say he’s a strong believer in the product. He says he takes it every day and so does everyone else in his family.
“It’s more than this negative story about the governor,” he says. “It’s about science, and I love the science.”
What about the FDA warning and plummeting share price?
“The institutions are buying this stock because that’s the smart money. … I’m talking about BlackRock and the other 115 institutions that own it.”
Faessel attributes much of the negative press to “well-connected people with deep pockets” who are shorting the stock, meaning they’ll profit if the stock loses money.
The anonymous conspiracy theorist:
On the online message board InvestorsHub, there’s been daily chatter about Star. Among the postings last week was this item from a user who goes by “trmet”:
“We on this board have witnessed the elaborate attack on Star, Anatabloc and JW by the media, short traders and paid bashers.
“The effort to destroy STSI goes beyond the competition big pharma IMHO. … The World Health Organization has a grand plan to reduce world population to 500 million, a manageable population. They plan to kill us by vaccine and with aspartame and others. If this seams [sic] far fetched, see the documentary on the Bildebergers by Jesse Ventura. It was on his TV show Conspiracy Theory this morning. The TRU channel at Dish Networks.
“When the people speak up the Bildebergers back off, We have the power. The media moguls don’t report on their secret Bildeberger plans so we are the last to know until a secret plan leaks out.”