Why was Top Ships at over a million a share?

Why does a company (top SHIPS for example) that had a stock price worth of more than 40 million dollars is now only worth 0.30 cents?

Top Ships (TOPS) has done 11 reverse stock splits since 2008 so that one share today represents 189 billion 2008 shares. In theory, your one share worth $1.90 today was worth $4.7 trillion dollars (189 billion shares times a high price of $24.14 per share) in November 2004.

TOPS follows a standard manual for extracting value from a public company. It issues shares at substantially below market value to investment firms that unload the shares to retail investors. It uses the money to pay salary, bonuses, commissions and related-party fees to the CEO Evangelios Pistiolis, who holds toxic preferred stock that basically allow him to create shares for free, and suck up any cash the operations happen to generate.

All those new shares drive down the stock price, so the company does the reverse splits to reduce the number of shares, and keep the share price up high enough so it does not get delisted.

Unlike most stocks of this sort, TOPS has a real business, but all the money it makes seems to get diverted before it reaches public shareholders. My prediction is no public shareholder will ever see a penny of cash flow from this company.

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