More than one-third of the IP CloseUp® 30 public patent licensing companies (or PIPCOs) are currently selling for less than or about $1 per share — Opportunity of red flag?
With the S&P 500 and other major market indices up slightly for the year, about as expected, PIPCOs continue to defy expectations both on the down and the up side.
As of mid-day December 17, nine IP CloseUp 30 companies are trading below $1 per share and two others are just barely above it. The laggards include Copytele, DSS, Hipcricket, Inventergy, MGT Capital, Opti, Inc., Paid, Inc., Single Touch, Unwired Planet and Vringo. Pendrell is at $1.27 and Spherix at 1.13, 2014 lows. VirnetX is down 75% for the year and Finjan 64%.
It remains to be seen whether 2015 investors will regard these stocks, beaten down by new patent laws and lackluster performance, as buy or sell opportunities.
Patent licensing stocks continuing to outperform the market by a wide margin are Tessera, Rambus, InterDigital, Marathon Patent Group and Acacia Technologies. Collectively these stocks are up well over 50% in 2014. Marathon is up 188%.
Year end stock selling can be fueled by many things, including mutual funds that announce their mandatory distributions, typically in mid December. This year fund distributions have been particularly high because many have taken gains from previous years, including a huge 2013. Some investors sell to avoid the taxes passed on by funds. The plunge in oil prices is adding volatility as is the Fed’s suggested easing of economic support.
PIPCOs that have transcended the general public NPE stock trend appear to be well-positioned for 2015 and may benefit from proposed new patent legislation should it pass.
Image sources: ipcloseup.com; promotaka.com