Sprott’s Inconsistent Promotional Statements in Barron’s

Eric Sprott, CEO of Sprott Asset Management, continued to promote Timminco Limited (TSX: TIM $13.24) in an interview with Barron’s published August 18th, following the recent sharp decline in Timminco’s share price. To read the full Barron’s interview, click here.

Sprott told Barron’s that he had not cut his Timminco position. He stated, “I’m still by far the largest holder, with 17%. One of our portfolio managers sold some of his shares, but a very small part.”

According to an article in the Globe and Mail from August 13th one of Sprott’s fund managers, Jean-Francois Tardif, had in fact cut his position by more than “a very small part.” Timminco shares went from 4% of Tardif’s portfolio to just 0.6%. The Globe and Mail also revealed that Tardif continued to promote Timminco on BNN, even after selling his Timminco shares. To read the Globe and Mail article, click here.

On August 14th, the Globe and Mail also revealed that Sprott has a history of investing in “overhyped” small-cap stocks and selling off his position just before the stocks plunge in value. Some of Sprott’s past “overhyped” stocks have ended up declining more than 90%. To read the August 14th Globe and Mail article, click here.

Sprott also made a questionable statement to Barron’s regarding Timminco’s production numbers. Sprott stated: “Timminco produced 291 tons in the quarter, 70 of which were compromised.” This statement conflicts with a statement made by Timminco CFO Robert Dietrich in Timminco’s second quarter earnings conference call. Asked if solar-grade silicon production was “around 221 tons” (the amount shipped in the second quarter), Dietrich stated “Yes. Shipment and production were close to the same number.”