ERHC tried to open higher this morning, possibly because some investors anticipate award announcements from the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority this morning, but sellers quickly moved in and brought the price down to $0.535 on volume that reached 169,158 by 9:40am EST and then stalled.
There was some light pre-market trading at $0.545 and $0.55, which quickly dropped back to $0.54, and then to $0.535 as a block of about 65,000 shares hit the tape in small lots, the largest being 18,000 shares. The bid then moved up to $0.54, up half a cent.
Update At 10:37am EST, the stock began trading at $0.54 and moved up to $0.545, and about 240,000 shares traded at that price over the next half hour, with two lots of 25,000 and a final lot at 60,000 at $0.545, before the ask dropped back to $0.54 and the bid dropped to $0.535. Trading then resumed, mostly at the ask.
Update Following a post by markvo10 (now orangeandwhite0) that indicated the awards would have to await ExxonMobil's choice of preferential rights, the stock dropped to $0.525, and closed there at 4pm EST on volume of 986,163, substantially less than yesterday's 1.6 million shares.
There was still no indication anywhere in the Nigerian press, or from the thrice-errant Dr. Edmund Daukoru, as to whether awards will be announced today.
No mention of the signing of the Production Sharing Contract for Block 1 appeared anywhere in the Nigerian or limited Sao Tome press, either, before a story announcing that it had been signed appeared on the commercial telecommunications Website www.cstome.net.
Nigerian reporters apparently are not alerted to such events until after they occur, or have become wary of Dr. Daukoru's predictions, which normally are wrong.
Meanwhile, a fairly lengthy list of shareholders was headed to Houston this morning to the first shareholders' meeting in memory. The event is being held in a small conference room (capacity 20) at 3 Riverway in Houston.
One of them, a Louisiana man known on the Raging Bull ERHC message board as stockhocker70 had revealed to the Raging Bull message board that he would be carrying a shotgun to Houston, although when questioned he said he was not bringing it to the meeting. Then again, he also professed to being a "long," but later confessed he'd become a "swing" trader.