Ticker: CRVW Stock Price: $1.20 Market Cap (basic): $158.5 M EV (f/d): $174.4 M Avg. Volume: 100 K shares Rebate: -4%
Careview Communications, Inc. is an OTCBB-listed reverse merger with a market cap of $158 million, which is ~95x run rate revenues and 16.5x book value. EV is slightly higher at $174.4 M, this assumes full exercise although some options/warrants are slightly OTM.
Careview’s business is selling in-room internet, TV, and monitoring services to hospitals. If this doesn’t sound like a great business, that’s because it’s not. Careview had a revenue of $630K in 2011 and $829K in the first half of 2012. Their operating loss was $5.5M for an operating margin of -670%. This isn’t due to a large capex, although depreciation is high. In fact, it costs them twice as much to simply operate the network as their revenue! Their G&A is 3x revenue, while marketing costs are 1.2x revenue and D&A 1.3x revenue. In summary, this business model is absurd.
The way the promoters pitch the stock is that the monitoring services are somehow a great advance in patient care technology, but what is so special about putting a camera or motion sensors in a hospital room? Frankly, I can’t imagine that very many patients would even want such a thing.
This is a motion sensor that alerts medical staff to any patient movement outside a restricted zone on the bed. Management describes the addressable market like this: “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports the costs of patient falls at approximately $18 billion per year”.
This number is touted throughout their website and promotional materials. While I did find studies claiming that the cost of treating falls is roughly $19 billion annually (while already doubtful), what percentage of those falls occurred in hospitals? And what percentage involved a patient that was LYING in a HOSPITAL BED? I was not able to discover that number, but I am sure it is quite small vs. $19 billion. Most falls occur in the elderly and frail while they are walking due to balance and strength issues and environmental factors (slippery ground) often contribute. The whole idea of the Virtual Bed Rails product seems absurd on its face with a cost of $2.30 per day (not including the staff cost) compared to a physical bed rail ($100) which seems much safer if the patient is actually at risk of falling out of bed.
Another product, FacilityView, allows staff to view “exits, entrances, parking lots, and any additional hospital areas that could be considered a security breach” (actual quote from website). While I am sure many hospitals do utilize security cameras, I doubt many facilities would give this business to Careview rather than a well-known security firm.
I could keep going through the reasons why Careview’s various products are not attractive to hospitals, but the proof is in the pudding. After several years of marketing this junk, Careview has minimal revenues to show for it even at -670% op margin.
Paid Research / Promotions
Stock promoters have been paid to issue research reports on CRVW:
Steve Johnson was the CEO of American Wireless Systems Inc. (AWSY). AWSY, another reverse merger, merged with Heartland Wireless in 1995 and Heartland (the surviving company) went bankrupt in 1998. The CFO of Heartland, John Bailey, was the former CFO of CRVW. The CEO of Heartland, David Webb, is a former director of CRVW.
Howes has 12 actions against him from various state regulators, mostly for sales of unregistered securities, and also securities fraud. These actions resulted in 12 cease and desist orders and a financial penalty of $20,000.
The CEO of CRVW, Samuel A Greco, used to run the Florida-based penny stock VGPO before it was deregistered by the SEC:
There are the usual risks of shorting a stock promotion – timing / borrow issues, although the borrow isn’t too hard right now. There is also an extremely small possibility that even though the company is worthless, the promoters could arrange for it to be bought out by their cronies at another public company (similar to what they did with Heartland/AWSY). I would just note that the market cap involved here is $158 million vs. $34 million for AWSY.
No immediate catalyst but insiders have to dump eventually.