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There has been some confusion during the past month or two caused by
Priceline's upcoming IPO. Priceline originally wanted to issue their stock under the ticker PRLN:
This symbol is currently being used by Paracelsian, a small biotech company located in Ithaca, N.Y. Several people have already come onto the Yahoo Paracelsian thread and said that they either accidentally bought Paracelsian under the mistaken belief that they were buying Priceline or that they had stumbled upon Paracelsian while doing research on Priceline. In either case, they ended up liking what they saw and decided to invest in Paracelsian (PRLN) or put it on their list of stocks to watch closely for a possible future investment.
So what is Paracelsian and why are people getting excited about it? PRLN has formed a partnership with R.P. Scherer to conduct a quality assurance program to certify that herbal dietary supplements function as intended. There are tons of herbal supplements on the market, but unfortunately there is no standardization within the industry. There is no widely accepted "Good Housekeeping" Seal of Approval that can help the consumer know if what he is buying will be effective or whether it is diluted crap. Paracelsian's BioFIT(tm) program is intended to fill this void. You can read more about it here:
Publicity for this program will start in mid-March when Danielle Lin broadcasts her nationally syndicated "A Word On Health" radio program from the R.P.Scherer booth at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA.
Paracelsian has also formed a partnership with a Japanese conglomerate to market an assay they have developed that can measure dioxins in the
environment more rapidly and less expensively than traditional tests. We do not yet know the name of the Japanese conglomerate or how much money this will bring in because final details of a contract are being negotiated. We do, however, know that PRLN and its partner have already started working together with the assay. PRLN has stated that they expect to see money from the partnership flow into the company this quarter, so I think we will find out more details about the contract very soon. The following links give more information
about the assay:
Paracelsian has yet to earn a profit, but between the launching of its BioF.I.T. program and its dioxin assay, this should soon change. This should give PRLN a nice steady base for growth. However, PRLN's blue sky potential lies elsewhere, in its drug discovery program:
Risks Associated In Investing in PRLN
Are their any risks involved in this company? You betcha. I hate it when others hype a company and don't point out the risks, so I will point out the risks as I see them.
1) PRLN is a very small company. I think there are only about 14 employees now. It is very dependent on the services of a few key employees.
2) PRLN has yet to make a profit. This should change within the next 3 - 6 months, but there can be no assurances that the public will embrace PRLN's BioFIT(tm) program.
3) PRLN is highly dependent on the performance of just two companies, R.P. Scherer and a Japanese conglomerate to be named soon. If they don't perform well this could hurt PRLN.
4) There is a lawsuit against the company:
5) The stock price is very volatile. Though the general trend over the last year has been up, the stock price has jumped around a lot. It recently shot up from $.75 to $2 before settling in at $1.25. If you don't like short term volatility then this might not be the stock for you.
Now, For Some More Good News About PRLN
PRLN's price has risen from 1/8 in January 1998 to $1.25 today, yet I still think it is undervalued when one considers the potential upside. The market is still skeptical about PRLN because it has a history of bad management and broken promises. The management of PRLN prior to January 1988 can only be called incompetent at best and it may even have been guilty of criminally sabotaging the company. Fortunately, in January 1988 the company came under new management. Not a single member of the corrupt old Board of Directors remains. Today PRLN is overseen by a first class Board of Directors and is run by Bernie Landes, a CEO with proven credentials.
They say the three key ingredients to a successful business is Management, Management and Management. PRLN has good management in spades. I can't imagine a company as small as PRLN with a better Board of Directors.
However, despite the fact that we are now under good management, I think the market is still skeptical about PRLN because of all its broken promises in the past. There is too much to cover here, but I have written extensively about this on the Yahoo! PRLN thread. I urge you to read my posts there because learning about PRLN's past can shed new light on its potential today:
For an overview of past mismanagement, start here (post 565) and read through post 570:
For information about past management's "Great AhImmunoAssay Giveaway"
start here (post 691) and read through to post 693:
For information about the failed launch of a dietary supplement that might have helped AIDS patients and has since turned into a sleeper asset, start here (post 712) and read through post 714:
Paracelsian's web site is also a good source of information about the company:
A Word of Caution About Me
As you might guess, I am bullish about PRLN. I have a lot invested in this company, and though I've tried to describe it fairly, I may be seeing things through rose colored glasses. Oh, hell. Let's be frank. I have every reason to hype this thing and you have no reason to believe me without doing your own due diligence. So please, before you invest do your own due diligence and recognize that there are risks involved here. I don't want to be responsible if you lose money here, so investigate before you invest.
P.S. Do not buy this stock in order to gamble on the possibility that it will soar because others will buy it thinking they are really buying into Priceline's IPO. It is unlikely that a large amount of mistake buying will occur because Priceline will come out under the ticker "PCLN" in order to avoid confusion. If you buy PRLN, do so on its own merits.
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