Questions abound on Orsus share moves, flawed information
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Orsus Xelent Technologies Inc ORS.A, a small mobile phone distributor based in Beijing, has been an investor favorite this past week, has tripled its stock price on unprecedented volume, but it's not easy to get the company to talk about it.
Attempts by Reuters to contact the company at offices in New York and Beijing were unsuccessful.
Phone numbers listed on the company's website were disconnected for both its Beijing and New York offices and visits to the listed addresses showed they were occupied by other businesses. E-mails to the company went unanswered.
Orsus was among the 160-plus Chinese securities that Interactive Brokers Group Inc (IBKR.O) said it no longer allowed clients to buy using margin, citing "elevated risk concerns."
Brokerages have recently tightened their margin borrowing requirements on many Chinese stocks after damaging reports from short-selling research firms. The most recent trigger was charges against Sino-Forest Corp TRE.TO, which is down more than 80 percent since allegations of financial fraud two weeks ago.
Many of the stocks named by Interactive slumped following the announcement, but Orsus has seen the reverse happen.
The company, which listed on U.S. exchanges as a result of a reverse takeover, is tiny, with a market capitalization of about $13 million. On Thursday the stock was down 24 percent to $4.22, once again on heavy volume.
One of the five suites listed by Orsus as part of its New York office belongs to DGI Investor Relations, a firm that counted Orsus among its clients until about a year ago.
Ken Donenfeld, president of DGI, said that while he knew his address had been used as an American contact when they were clients, he was unaware the address was still listed.
"I called the company to tell them to update <the site>," Donenfeld said, adding that he had spoken to someone at the company on Wednesday.
Orsus made its most recent regulatory filing on May 23, when it detailed delayed first-quarter results. It swung to a net profit in the quarter, though sales were down about 49 percent to $3.9 million.
"The company has pretty plainly stated that it's in serious trouble, nevertheless there are folks who seem to want to play with it," said Donenfeld, who said he is no longer professionally affiliated with the company.
The investor relations firm currently listed by Orsus is Focus Asia Partners, but Robert Agriogianis, president of the Florham Park, New Jersey-based company told Reuters on Tuesday they hadn't been affiliated with Orsus in at least five years.
There were similar questions about the company's Beijing headquarters, where the posted address currently belongs to Running River, an outdoor sports clothing company. Orsus' consumer services department could not be reached, nor could its main distributor.
Orsus shares have climbed almost 200 percent since a low of $1.45 on June 6. On Tuesday they surged to $7.15, their highest price since March 2010. It reached an all-time high of more than $90 in October 2007.
The Chinese reverse-takeover scandals recently prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a bulletin on the risk of investing in companies that enter U.S. markets through reverse mergers.
The company was created in March 2005 through a reverse merger between Universal Flirts Corp, a Delaware-based company, and United First International Ltd, which was the parent of Orsus Xelent. The name was changed shortly thereafter to Orsus Xelent, according to regulatory filings.
(Additional reporting by Wan Xu in Beijing)