Dear Crikey,

You
can give me a gong as a journo who can’t move the share prices. Back on
16 October 2004, I did a fairly comprehensive job of bagging Fortescue
Metal’s great Pilbara iron ore project. When the article appeared the
shares were about 93c. They raced to $5 within a few months. I claim
that makes me the least influential finance journo in Australia. From
the interview the Chinese gave Steve Wyatt, they might have now read
the article.

We went back to Trevor and told him to stop being so modest
and come up with some real examples of stock prices tanking on the back
of his incisive Pierpont columns and he responded as follows:

My
best might have been Metabolism Health, which raised $2 million in 20c
shares in a November 2003 prospectus. Pierpont bagged the stock on 16
January 2004, by which time the shares were already down to 7.2c. They
went into administration immediately.

Back in October 1995,
Pierpont gave a belting to a stock called Digicall, run by an English
barrow boy called Stephen Morris. Digicall was a market darling at the
time with shares up from 35c to $1.08 over a few months. What the
market didn’t know was that Morris’s past acquaintances were
interesting, because he’d stood bail in London for Jockey Johnstone and
Andrew Kent.

After Pierpont revealed
that (and also that Digicall was front-end loading profits on mobile
phone contracts) the shares took a dive, but I can’t remember the
numbers offhand. The most amusing aspect was that Trevor Kennedy, who
had just taken the chair of Digicall, immediately dived off it,
pleading pressure of other business.

More recently,
Sykes Downtown bagged the float of Allco Equity Partners for all the
outrageous fees that would be charged. As the column appeared only a
few days before the float was due to close, it filled successfully at
$2, but I think I can claim some credit for its performance after
listing.

Thanks for asking me to blow my own trumpet, but if I
took this job seriously I’d really wonder about journalistic influence.
I bagged Alan Bond’s finances continuously from 1974 onwards but nobody
took a blind bit of notice until 1989. More recently I’ve been a great
sceptic of Pacific Hydro, but nobody appears to be noticing that either.

Cheers anyway, Trevor

CRIKEY: If you know of a media report or campaign that moved a share price, email [email protected].

Peter Fray

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