Friday, March 17, 2006

Defying Gravity: ERHC Ends Historic Week With A Whimper

Squandering an opportunity for profit, ERHC Energy shareholders closed out their company's week of historic achievements in Blocks 2, 3 and 4 of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe by giving away their 20 percent gains. Our stock behaved much like an old man with dementia dribbling saliva down his chin as he sits catatonic and speechless on a soiled couch.

The company never bothered to release a statement on the awards until 3:27pm, and a surly receptionist named Jane greeted most callers with the energy of a gut-shot sow.

ERHC (OTC BB symbol: ERHE) saw volume drop to 3,309,327 as it lost $0.057 to $0.893, or 6 percent on the day. It did manage to close above its daily low of $0.885.

After a healthy gain on Wednesday of $2,300, we traded Anadarko the rest of the week, ending our week a little over $3,000 ahead.

Our position yesterday of 35,000 ERHE shares at $0.94 was liquidated late in the day at several prices between $0.94 and $0.896 for a loss of $169.

Fortunately, we made that and then some trading APC today, and after initially seeking another 35,000 shares in an order at $0.894 that went unfilled this morning, we stayed away, happily. At exactly 16:00:00, someone traded 354,700 shares of Anadarko at $99.91 as I sold my last 300 for a $26 loss on that trade. So much for the luck o' the Irish!

I guess the lesson of this week is that essentially nothing has changed. The dreamers, the greedy, the opportunists and the plain old hopeful investors who thought the prospect of tens of billions of barrels of oil underwater was going to make them rich are now rethinking their emotions.

While the stock may indeed pay off in the long run, if this week's achievements were not enough to push it above $1, the folks who suppress its price are not likely to change their spots. We may even revisit the $0.50s again, as Hyperdynamics (HDY) did after its historic deal with Equatorial Guinea. It seems clear that we will not make big money for years.

Our personal model had been based on Ivanhoe Energy (IVAN), which shot up like a rocket to $11 when its sister company made a huge ore discovery, but that seems not to be. It is also not clear how much a vast Chevron find will help the share price, even if oil from Chevron's Block 1 OBO-1 well is indeed flowing upwards from beneath our Block 2.

The we have it - gains dribbling down on one end and oil flowing upwards on the other. As Mutwadadi said in his note yesterday, we are "a company the defies gravity."

Have a nice weekend, and Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!


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