Barry Bottger: ‘You’re paying $2.59 a can?? Andy, Andy, Andy. I caught it on sale at my local Winco for $1.38. Had to stock up at that price.’
Joe Rident: ‘In your last column, you compared your more-gift-booze-than-you-bought party to nuclear fusion or a perpetual motion machine. But shouldn’t Andrew Tobias have compared it to ‘return on investment?’ You probably made a better return-on-investment on that party than you will from Borealis.’
☞ Ah, probably so. I am steeling myself for a total loss. But it’s interesting:
Two years ago, when this thing (Borealis) was valued at $15 or $20 million – less than the cost of a single commercial jet – it was flying on nothing but a wing and a prayer. Sure, it claimed to have all sorts of astonishing breakthroughs that, if true, could be worth billions. But give me a break! Indeed, the sheer number of these (unrelated) claims was one more reason to scoff. You mean you’ve invented a perpetual motion machine and you can turn base metals into gold? Give me a break!
Now, two years later, the company is valued at more like $30 million – still considerably less than a single top-of-the-line private jet – but there have been two independent press releases of note: one, from Boeing, suggesting that the company’s ‘Cool Chip’ claims seem to have foundation; the other, from an old-line elevator manufacturer, suggesting that the company’s spectacularly-more-efficient electric motor may be real.
Two press releases do not a bonanza make – clearly. But for my money (and to repeat, for the record: I have a ton of this absurd little stock, so I am not a disinterested party), it is a better buy today at $6 than it was two years ago at $3.50. Because two years ago, there was absolutely no reason to think it was anything but the most preposterous speculation. Today, it remains highly risky. But the Boeing news would seem to suggest it is no longer preposterous.
Borealis has taken forever to inch even this far, and could take years more to inch any further. (Wasn’t TV invented in the mid-Twenties? Though real, and earth-changing, didn’t it take more than two decades before anyone made a dime of profit from it?) So Borealis stock may not go much of anywhere for a long time (unless it goes to zero, as one has to assume it will).
All that said: If you have a little play money that you can truly afford to lose without hardship – and, more to the point, without getting mad at me – I think this is one speculation, with the stock back around $5 or $6 or $7 a share (after a momentary spike to $11), you should consider. The symbol is BOREF; your broker will find it traded very thinly on the “bulletin board.” (So don’t put in a “market order,” only a “limit order.”) You truly have to assume you will lose whatever you invest. But if the company did prove to have breakthrough technologies . . . and if the market ever did value the company at, say, one-quarter the value it assigns Krispy Kreme . . . the stock would be trading at $100 a share. (And in my wildest dreams, I sometimes imagine it could be worth even more than a quarter of Krispy Kreme. But then I wake up and smell the coffee. And crave one of those donuts.
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History is a vast early warning system.~Norman Cousins
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