Hedge fund manager David Einhorn warned of dangers for retail investors that he sees in the market, and one of his main examples was a tiny New Jersey deli with a market capitalization of more than $100 million.
The Paulsboro, New Jersey-based Your Hometown Deli is the sole location for Hometown International, which has an eye-popping market value despite totaling $35,748 in sales in the last two years combined, according to securities filings.
“Someone pointed us to Hometown International (HWIN), which owns a single deli in rural New Jersey … HWIN reached a market cap of $113 million on February 8. The largest shareholder is also the CEO/CFO/Treasurer and a Director, who also happens to be the wrestling coach of the high school next door to the deli. The pastrami must be amazing,” Einhorn said in a letter to clients published Thursday.
Hometown, which appears to have begun trading in 2019, according to FactSet, has shares that trade over the counter and rarely has more than a few hundred shares change hands per day. Often, there are no trades logged in an entire trading day.
Still, the company’s market cap is just over $100 million, according to FactSet.
Hometown did not immediately return a request seeking comment made to the phone number listed in the company’s securities filings. A manager was not available to comment at the deli’s phone number.
According to the company’s latest 10-K filing, the company’s single location was closed from March 23 to September 8 of last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. During that time, the company’s stock price rose to $9.25 per share from $3.25 per share. It last traded at just under $14 per share.
The company sold 2.5 million shares last year and has about 60 total shareholders, according a filing.
Hometown reported more than $600,000 in expenses last year, up from about $154,000 in 2019. The company also reported a net cash gain of $2.2 million from financing activities, such as selling stock, in 2020.
Einhorn’s highlighting of Hometown comes as politicians, regulators and high-profile investors have publicly fretted about the boom in certain types of stocks over the past year.
As a new wave of retail investors joined the market in recent months, special purpose acquisition companies have launched at a record pace and some stocks, like GameStop and Discovery, have seen wild swings after being bid up by traders on Reddit or hedge funds.
The over-the-counter stock market, often referred to as pink sheets and penny stocks, have historically been a risky place for investors. Shares of penny stocks have also soared in recent months.
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