Since 1996, asensio.com has been publishing investigative research concerning short investments. asensio.com’s reporting has always strived to be accessible and relevant for all types of investors and to provide the most accurate facts and analysis available concerning the companies that are the subjects of our research. asensio.com was launched on June 4, 1996, as the late-1990s period of the market’s “irrational exuberance” was getting underway. It was the first website of its kind, being exclusively devoted to short-selling-focused research. The launch of asensio.com was driven by the idea that contrarian investment news and research should be available to the public – that there should be a voice counter-balancing promotional rhetoric that all too often is out of touch with economic reality.
That tradition has continued to the present, and in more than 20 years of reporting, we have dealt with numerous cases of outright stock fraud and dozens of high-flying stock promotions that plummeted when reality set in. Among these were companies that mounted aggressive defenses to keep their stock promotions going, and companies that were supported by officials at the highest level of government.
We believe that opposing viewpoints and short-selling enhance the market’s price discovery process and support market liquidity. By price discovery, we mean the process that investors go through when determining a price that reflects all available public information about a stock. In the stocks reported on by asensio.com, the price discovery process has often become impaired, at times as a result of manipulation or misleading disclosures, or simply a lack of understanding about a purported new technology. In all cases, asensio.com only reported on a company where there were relevant facts unknown to investors and where a company’s equity market value seemed dramatically out of line with its intrinsic economic value due to misinformation.
Despite its merit and benefits, short-selling – especially advocating a short investment thesis – nonetheless always proves to be controversial. Company officers and directors, acting out of self-preservation, tend to make hostile responses, and in the worst of cases, to file lawsuits against those who publicly discuss a short thesis. asensio.com has published research on many different companies whose stocks have become controversial, and not once has any member of management or a board – or anyone else working for the company – called us and invited us to explain our reasoning or to discuss the scenarios investors were facing.
The investment information apparatus – including the media, regulators, and Wall Street sell-side analysts – tends, by design, to be deferential to public companies (their executives, board of directors, and their associates), even when it might be the case that management is misleading analysts and investors or even when they are engaged in fraud. In cases where asensio.com has exposed outright stock fraud, it was not until well after the fact that regulators or prosecutors acted to hold the perpetrators accountable.
We invite you to explore asensio.com’s history here – to a remarkable extent, asensio.com’s investment reporting has unearthed major investment scandals, intersected with important events, and even spurred regulatory changes. Since asensio.com’s founding, other websites have taken up the vital market function of delivering short-selling-focused, investigative reporting, but asensio.com will continue its seminal role of providing relevant, accessible, and unique research.