Motient Sickness

Justin Hibbard

One of the screens I run regularly in CapitalIQ checks for companies with negative gross margins, negative cash flow, negative earnings--and a stock price that's up 100% or more for the year. I'm always curious when apparent dog stocks have big run-ups. Until recently, the results of this screen regularly included Motient Corp., a Lincolnshire (Ill.)-based provider of two-way wireless communications with a $1.3 billion market cap and a stock that trades on the Pink Sheets (an unusual combination). What knocked the company off the list wasn't an improvement in its fundamentals, which still stink, but rather a mysterious end to its stock rally. When I dug a little deeper, I found a web of intrigue so tangled that Peter Parker couldn't find his way out of it. Even in this scandal-a-day era, the backstage drama at this company is off the charts.

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