Do they have no shame?

Do they have no shame?

This morning in their continuing quest to drive shares of MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD) higher, our friend Ken Kam posted yet another piece for Forbes. This one was entitled “On MannKind, Diabetics Have One Up On Wall Street” and the very first paragraph states;

“Wall Street is short 31% of the float of MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD).  Nate Pile, a Marketocracy Master, who is ranked #1 by Mark Hulbert for his 15 and 10 year track record is on the other side of the trade, naming MNKD as his best idea for 2015. Last week, I asked diabetics to share their firsthand experiences with Afrezza.”

After reading Ken’s profile on LinkedIn we came to understand why he’s got a man crush on Mr. Pile. The profile states; “Ken Kam, founder and CEO of Marketocracy has more than 20 years of investment experience and holds a B.S. degree in finance from Santa Clara University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.” Is it any wonder that Ken sees Gomer as a genius, he’s CEO of the firm that employs Gomer.

Listen we’ve seen some out and out stock promotion but this Ken and Gomer show is off the charts for their chutzpah. Like so many MannKind believers they don’t let the facts get in the way of their beliefs. Like so many MannKind believers they choose to believe other MannKind supporters and disregard  MannKind detractors.

MannKind shares are trading around $7 a share which is currently above the cost basis for Gomer’s 200,000 shares. Now we’re sure at some point Ken will write a glowing review of how Gomer was right all along and made tons of money on MannKind. That Gomer had the “wisdom” to take his profits before the stock tanked, something shares are destined to do.  The only problem with this glowing review is its pure horse manure and nothing but shameless self-promotion. The reason shares have trended upwards recently is Afrezza is finally on the market.

Now if Ken and Gomer had any real talent they would share with the investors just what their plan is, and what metrics they will use to know when it’s time to get out of MannKind.  But they won’t what they’ll do instead like every shameless self-promoter is sell their position in MannKind and then either brag about it later (assuming they made money) or never be heard from again if they lose money.

What’s unbelievable here is not the shameless self-promotion, this is after all America and capitalism isn’t dead yet. No what’s unbelievable is that a respected publication like Forbes has given these shameless self-promoters a forum not once, not twice but now three times. Yes Ken’s posts carry the usual disclaimers and disclosures however as everyone being a Forbes contributor is a quasi-endorsement by Forbes.

Listen Diabetic Investor has been very clear with our beliefs about Afrezza, MannKind and their partner in France Sanofi (NYSE:SNY). It’s a fair statement to say that we haven’t held anything back and we’re not overly optimistic that Afrezza will reach the lofty revenue estimates provided by so many uniformed individuals. We’ve also been very clear that we have no vested interest in the outcome as Diabetic Investor is neither short or long shares of MannKind or Sanofi. Although if we did take a position we would be on the short side for both companies.

As we have noted before time will tell who is right on Afrezza, MannKind and Sanofi. However one huge difference between Diabetic Investor and the Ken and Gomer show is we’ll be here to see this all the way through while Ken and Gomer will be long gone. They will have either made their money or cut their losses. They’ll publicly brag if they make money yet will remain shamelessly silent if they lose money.

As we have said many times investors are free to choose who to believe and Diabetic Investor will stake up our track record with anyone.  Nor will we shy away should it turn out if we’re wrong here, the possibility exists however remote that we are wrong. That Afrezza is the greatest thing to happen to diabetes since the invention of insulin. That the drug won’t be hurt by a trier 3 formulary position and a boxed warning. That somehow magically their partner who has failed at every diabetes product they’ve touched that’s not named Lantus will all of a sudden execute.

Although Afrezza is not an exact remake of Exubera, it’s likely to suffer a similar fate. As we’ve stated in the past we’ve seen this movie before and unlike the Godfather II the squeal will not better than the original Godfather. Will Afrezza cost Sanofi $4 billion as Exubera did Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) unlikely.  However given all the issues facing this drug it will never amount to more than a niche product, something we’ve stated consistently.

The choice is really simple shameless self-promotion or nearly 20 years of covering this wacky world.