Stevia First Leaves a Not-So-Sweet After Taste (STVF)

Stevia First (OTC: STVF) announced today that the company will present at the Rodman and Renshaw Global Conference that runs from September 9-11 in New York City. Robert Brooke, the CEO of Stevia First, will not only give a business overview to attendees, but he will also be available for one-on-one discussions. Who could blame buyers of the stock from getting a little excited over the company gaining exposure at an investment conference?

Traders, however, greeted the news in a less-than-enthusiastic manner. Outside of the opening trade at $0.71, which ended up as the high print of the day, the stock never saw another green moment for the remainder of the trading session. Before buyers had a chance to fully digest their breakfast, sellers drove share prices to an intraday low of $0.47. The 33% decline in the morning left a bad taste in the mouths of buyers who showed little appetite for shares during the rest of the trading day. The stock finished the session down 19 cents at $0.51 for a loss of 27%. Over 975,000 shares exchanged hands today compared to an average daily volume of 180,000.

Last week the company released news of its intellectual property license with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre located in Ontario, Canada. The agreement opens the door to fermentation technology that could significantly reduce the company’s cost of stevia extract production. Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant. This news sent traders into a buying binge with share prices tripling from $0.30 to $0.90 in a three-day span. The last five trading days has also seen some of the heaviest volume in months. The stock has traded over a wide range since it started to actively trade at the beginning of March this year with a high of $3.28 and a low print at $0.23. The question for traders to consider tonight is whether the pullback from last Friday’s high represents a natural digestion process after huge gains, or whether eating too many sweets so fast caused a loss of appetite for the natural sweetener producer.

On August 29, 2012, Penny Stock Publisher touted the stock with a note about the licensing agreement: Stevia First Corp. is seeking to establish a vertically-integrated stevia enterprise in the U.S. with expertise in stevia seed and tissue propagation, plant breeding, and cultivation.” The promoter did not list receiving any compensation. A total of 59 promotions on Stevia First can read on Stockpromoters.com. On Labor Day, OTCPicks.com put out a similar statement in a newsletter alert, which can be viewed on Stockreads.com. Out on Twitter today, @Stocks to Buy put Stevia First on its stocks to watch list.

The Central Valley, California, company is in the early stages of producing stevia extract on an industrial scale. The extract is a natural, zero-calorie sweetener for use in the food and beverage industry. Stevia First was founded in 2007.

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Published by Alan Masterson

Alan has over 25 years of trading experience in the U.S. equity markets. He began his career in finance working on a program trading desk specializing in over-the-counter stocks. His career progressed from that point to his current position as senior trader on an institutional trading desk. In the evenings, Alan teaches economics at a local community college. He has contributed articles to various publications over the last six years, including feature articles for an economics magazine and various financial blogs. You may contact Alan via his email (alanmasterson@wallstreetpr.com) or his Google+ page (https://plus.google.com/103338576216002376250).