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Hot Penny Stocks

February 4, 2009

Spicy Pickle Franchising Inc. (OTC:SPKL) Up 47% Year-to-Date

Filed under: — MicroCapPress Editor @ 1:25 pm

Say whatever you want to about the way their growth plans were put on hold in 2008, but you can’t deny that somebody made some big money by owning Spicy Pickle Franchising Inc. (OTC:SPKL) shares since the end of last year. Those traders who stepped in at 17 cents over the course of the last days of 2008 are now sitting on a 47% gain, if they held onto those trades. If that wasn’t you, don’t worry - there may be more of the same in store.

Just to be clear, this is strictly a technical look. We haven’t heard from Spicy Pickle in a while, and what news we were getting was modest when we got it. However, technical analysis can still highlight some great trades, which may be the case now.

Specifically, we’ve witnessed a bullish cross of the 20 day moving average line (blue) and the 50 day moving average line (purple). More importantly, we’ve seen some pretty strong volume behind the recent gains. Though the shift in the underlying dynamic has been subtle, it’s also been more meaningful than most traders seem to be giving SPKL credit for.

In the very short run, SPKL may be a little overbought. We may see the stock slide all the way back down to 21 cents before support is found and the uptrend can be renewed. So, from that perspective, right now may not be the exact best time to get in. There’s no way of knowing for sure; the chart has just been a little too hot for most traders’ taste.

Either way, we’re pegging a near-term target of 35 cents. That’s the first Fibonacci line SPKL will meet if this rally does end up taking hold (that target has nothing to do with whether or not we see an intermim pullback). The next key retracement level is at 47 cents … the major one we’re eyeing. If you look closely, 47 cents was also a ceiling in September, so there’s something significant there that we may not want to mess with. A move from 25 cents to 47 cents isn’t anything to sneeze at though.

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November 26, 2008

Spicy Pickle (SPKL) Still Growing, First Drive-Thru Being Tested

Filed under: — MicroCapPress Editor @ 7:49 am

The real estate market’s contraction - having finally made its way into commercial real estate prices - has been nothing but a good thing for eager Spicy Pickle (SPKL) franchisees. Early in November a couple of new leases were signed, and another one was just signed this week for a new location in San Antonio … the Texas town’s first.

At a point in the real estate crisis’ timeline it seems like nobody wants anything to do with real estate, Spicy Pickle’s people realize this is an opportunity to find new locations at very reasonable prices. Rent and lease terms weren’t as tenant-friendly as they were a year ago, and they’ll probably not be as tenant-friendly a year from now. For those who are willing and able, getting prime real estate now is going to be highly-advantageous in the long run. So, Spicy Pickle is basically making lemonade out of the economy’s lemons.

The San Antonio store will be located near the University Square shopping center on DeZevala Road, and should be opening in early 2009. That’s not the only new thing we heard from Spicy Pickle though…

Canada’s Bread Garden Urban Cafes - a wholly-owned group of restaurants located in and around Vancouver - is moving their Cloverdale store to a location with a drive-thru. It will be the first drive through for any Bread Garden or Spicy Pickle. But, if it works out well, the company may entertain the idea of adding more of them in the future. CEO Marc Geman thinks the company may be able to compete with other quick-service restaurants not just with speed, but also with menu choices (and quality) not available at other drive-thrus.

Note that Spicy Pickle’s initial growth plan from late last year, which was on hold for a while, appears to be getting back on track.

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October 15, 2008

Micro Cap Company Spicy Pickle (SPKL) Adds Another Profit Center

Filed under: — MicroCapPress Editor @ 8:25 am

You don’t have to actually go to Vancouver, Canada any longer if you were dead-set on trying the company’s newly acquired Bread Garden. Come 2009, you’ll be able to experience the restaurant if you have a layover or a plane change at Vancouver’s airport. The great part for the company is that you’ll be joining the 18 million other people who pass through Vancouver airport every year. That’s a lot of foot traffic.

There aren’t a lot of details yet, other than the square footage, location, and the estimated open date of what will be the twelfth Bread Garden. However, airport restaurants tend to do quite well. A unique concept like a Bread Garden Urban Cafe stands to do even better than average.

In the bigger picture, we find it more than a little interesting that this micro cap company has once again found a way to grow by expanding somewhere there’s not a painful recession. On the contrary - Vancouver is thriving. Presumably anybody traveling to, from, or through Vancouver is also doing reasonably well in terms of consumerism.

A game changer? We won’t go that far. There were already 11 Bread Gardens, and there were a total 53 restaurants in the Spicy Pickle (SPKL) family not counting the new one underway at the Vancouver airport. However, every company-owned unit can have a solid impact on the top and bottom line when it comes to a micro cap company like Spicy Pickle.

More specifically, every company-owned unit means much better (relative) cash flow, as there are less than 20 company-owned stores. The rest are franchises. And, owning a unit rather than franchising it gives the corporation a chance at stronger bottom-line earnings than a franchise might produce.

The stock itself remains a frustration, though we attribute the majority of its weakness to the bear market - not the company’s performance.

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April 16, 2008

Micro Cap Company Spicy Pickle (SPKL) Shows Same-Store Growth

Filed under: — MicroCapPress Editor @ 1:04 pm

Being a fast-growing franchise, it can be tough to evaluate bulletin board company Spicy Pickle (SPKL). The challenge is distinguishing between expansion-based growth and the improvement of your existing revenue centers. To help investors figure it all out, sometimes a retailer or restaurant will publicize ’same store‘ sales. As a shareholder, even if the company never opened another unit, you’d still want to see evidence that growth was going to happen.

Just a few moments ago, Spicy Pickle announced their Q1 (2008) same-store revenue growth was just a hair under 5%. The sixteen stores they had up and running during Q1 of 2007 generated an average of 5% more sales in Q1 of 2008. Therefore, the corporation’s royalties were increased by the same percentage (they take their cut from the top line).

So what? The most important thing it demonstrates to us is simply proof of the concept. Growth is tough to come by in any environment, but it’s particularly impressive considering consumers went into hibernation mode during the first quarter of this year. If there was any doubt that the restaurants’ ‘fast and casual’ concept would fly, the revenue increase should alleviate the concern.

In short, the restaurant’s concept has been proven in the real world. Here’s the news release.

Start receiving FREE e-research on select small and micro cap stocks. Get in-depth research reports, comprehensive coverage, exclusive market commentary and more, just by becoming a MCP subscriber today! Look for the submission form at the top of the right-hand column.

November 14, 2007

Spicy Pickle (SPKL) - One More Open, Two More In The Oven, Plus Earnings

Filed under: — MicroCapPress Editor @ 6:48 am

Micro cap company Spicy Pickle (SPKL) continues to grow at a rapid pace, opening their 31st store last week, and signing leases for two more. The newly-opened one is the second one in Indianapolis, Indiana. A total of ten are on tap for the area. The two new leases were signed for pending stores in San Diego, California, and Austin, Texas. It’s the first store in San Diego, though twelve are on the way. It’s the third store in the Austin area.

As we’ve mentioned before, each store established in a new market is like a seedthe first one softens the ground, which means the following ones are well received. And in all cases so far, their popularity among consumers has had a positive ripple effect. We suspect this is the primary reason for such a brisk pace of growth right now.

Moreover, this early-stage company is why we feel SPKL is an early-stage investment opportunity. As more saturation occurs, the risk/reward dynamic of being a shareholder changes.

Speaking of shares, the pullback seems to have stabilized after a full 61.8% retracement of a historic run-up. Many traders would consider this a relatively safe ’second chance’ entry point, or perhaps a first chance for anyone waiting for all the early volatility to subside.

Additionally, the company reported quarterly earnings on Wednesday. No surprises really…the cost of ‘going public’ was built into the bottom line, making the loss seem substantial to anyone not reading the income statement closely. Those are one-time fees, and shouldn’t be a factor at all going forward.

Also, note that the company doesn’t book franchise fees until that store is open. Considering a significant number of stores were open after their reported quarter was completed, the ‘then’ doesn’t exactly reflect the ‘now’. More than that, the number of stores being opened right now is accelerating. We believe next quarter will be significantly stronger than this past quarter, and encourage you to focus on the future rather than the past for this micro cap stock.

Here’s the full press release on the store openings, while the quarterly fiscal information can be found right here.

October 23, 2007

Micro Cap Stock Spicy Pickle (SPKL) Opens Two More Stores

Filed under: — MicroCapPress Editor @ 6:37 am

The saga continues for this micro cap company - and its stock. Spicy Pickle (SPKL) announced Monday afternoon that two more stores had been opened during the prior week. Adding those two to the two opened the week before, the total number of units now up-and-running is 30. The company plans to have 10 more open by the end of this year, and 50 more franchise agreements beyond those 40 have already been signed.

One of the new stores is in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The other is near Indianapolis, Indiana - in the Fishers suburb. In both cases it’s the first Spicy Pickle in the area, though not the last. Two more are slated for Hattiesburg, and nine more are planned for the Indianapolis area.

The Micro Cap Press research team believes these are key expansions - not just in numbers, but geographically. As new markets are penetrated, it becomes easier to establish a foothold in other new markets. Potential franchisees see the current rapid growth, and want to establish their restaurants before some other restaurateur claims a territory.

The food is being well received too, as evidenced by busy stores. Consumers tend to follow the crowd…and a buzz. Though it’s counter-intuitive, the longer the lines are, the longer the lines get. We suspect the ‘newness’ of the concept is going to sustain interest and growth with this micro cap company.

The stock? ‘Wow’ pretty much sums it up. The move from 69 cents a month ago to yesterday’s close of $1.88 may have exceeded anybody’s expectations. At this point, we’ve heard some traders are starting to lock in a short-term profit. Though the general consensus is that SPKL will eventually be worth $2.00, or more, as of right now, there are also a few shareholders taking advantage of a short-term overbought situation by selling their position and waiting to buy them back on a dip.

For the full news release, click here.

September 28, 2007

A ‘Spicy Pickle’ (SPKL) Seed Gets Planted

Filed under: — MicroCapPress Editor @ 7:34 am

Spicy Pickle (SPKL) has officially released their first bit of news as a bulletin board stock. Yesterday afternoon, we learned the company has signed a new Franchisee in Gainesville, Florida. It will be their first store in the state, and it should be open sometime in 2008. The company’s real estate selection team has begun the hunt for an ideal store site.

While one store may only be a drop in the bucket, with new restaurant concepts, one store can be like a seed. Once the seed takes root, branches start to sprout. We won’t be surprised to see a few more Spicy Pickle’s pop up in Florida shortly after this one goes up.

Also, if you haven’t had a chance to view the web film, we encourage you to do so. We know a lot of you can’t actually go and try the food (yet), so the presentation really gets you up close and personal with what this restaurant really is. More importantly, it can really explain what all the buzz is about within the investment community.

As far as trading is concerned, what’s not to like? On the Friday we released our profile, SPKL closed at 69 cents. As of right now (10:24 AM on the next Friday), it’s trading at 91 cents. That’s a 31.8% gain in about a week. Better still, the volume still seems to be matching the upward momentum, and we’re still seeing higher highs and higher lows. The amazing part? Based on our analysis, SPKL is still undervalued as an intermediate-term holding.

For the full news release, click here. To see the brief video, click on the image above.

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