Thursday, May 18, 2006

An Unwelcome E-Ticket Ride

Signaling yet another unwanted "buying opportunity," ERHC Energy shares will see their symbol change from ERHE to ERHEE to indicate the company has failed to file its quarterly report on time.

After 30 days, the company can be delisted from the Over The Counter and Pink Sheets.

One consequence is that brokerages like E*Trade show no information beyond yesterday's closing price for ERHE even on Level II platforms like my Power E*Trade, but that is easily fixed by using the symbol ERHEE. (ADVFN, which is only $5.99 a month, also shows every trade in real time for ERHEE.)

Update, 3:25pm ET: With volume still low at 625,871 a three-cent gap has developed. The Bid stands at $0.58 and the Ask at $0.61.

The extra "E" can be removed in as little as one day after filing occurs.

Update, 12:53pm ET: Volume is about 550,000, and Bid and Ask are $0.58 x $0.60, with last two trades being Buys at $0.60. The last was the 111th trade.

Update, 11:43am ET: Volume is about 450,000 and the current price is $0.60 x $0.61, and small Buys and Sells continue to move the Bid and Ask in both directions. The last price was $0.60.

Update, 10:41am ET: ADVFN shows relatively light trading with ERHE up $0.01 at $0.635 on 344,000 shares of volume at 10:41am ET. There was an opening surge to $0.64, until now most of the trading day the Buys and Sells have been evenly balanced.

Our speculation is that the new auditors, Malone & Bailey, have had difficulty resolving issues concerning corporate governance that would allow it to certify the company as in compliance with new requirements created by certain provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act regarding audit functions and the independence of directors, particularly when it comes to recent expenses related to the company's hard-won equity in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone.

Inadequate documentation for those expenses would ultimately create a standoff between auditors and company officials that - unless one side backs down - could ultimately lead to a parting of ways with our new auditors.

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