August 24, 2006
Escala Makes Regulation SHO List, Spurs Shorts
Escala Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ESCL) made the Regulation SHO List yesterday. The list, which is published each business day well after the end of trading could have convinced short sellers to cover their shorts before it got too late. According to SEC regulation, a stock that has met the threshold security requirements for five consecutive trading days, must have their short positions cleared below the requirements before thirteen days after being on the list. If the short position is not cleared now, then a forced buyout could be initiated at that time. With that being said, short sellers must be nervous as there are 6.41 million shares short with the public trading float of Escala at just 6.43 million shares. Additionally urging the shorts to cover was an article circulated this afternoon, reporting that the European Commission had decided it would not investigate two cases of fraud linked to stamp-trading company Alfinsa. Hence, there was a spike in afternoon trading by $.92 to $6.14 on heavy volume of 1.6 million shares.
Escala Group Reports Teletrade(R) To Initiate Currency Auctions; Teletrade(R) Capitalizes on Growing Market For Collectible Paper Money
Escala Group (Nasdaq: ESCL), a global collectibles company in stamps, coins, and art and antiques, today announced Teletrade(R) will add certified paper money to its auction of certified coins scheduled September 10, 2006, and currency will become a regular and recurring collectible category at future sales conducted by Teletrade. Teletrade is America's largest telephone and Internet auction company for certified coins - rare coins that have been independently certified for authenticity and grade.
Commenting on the company's market expansion, Teletrade President Ian Russell stated: "With the growing interest in the collectible paper money market, we believe this segment holds notable potential for growth. Combining our long-standing relationships with collectors and dealers in the coin world with our Internet platform, we can leverage our core strengths to identify significant collections of certified paper currency and disperse those highly sought-after collectibles to bidders across the U.S. for maximum exposure."
As part of Teletrade's inaugural auction in currency, Teletrade has secured notes from the famous Huntoon Collection. Mr. Peter Huntoon has amassed one of the most prominent existing collections of bank notes reflecting the banking history of Arizona and Wyoming. The collection also includes rare specimens from across the US.
"Adding currency to Teletrade's auction schedule was a natural growth and diversification of the coin market we have focused on since the company was founded," continued Mr. Russell. "With the wide acceptance of independent currency grading, many of our clients increasingly collect both coins and currency, and we have received repeated requests to conduct auctions that include certified currency. Within days of informally telling the market of our plan to launch this new service, we consigned over 200 lots for our first currency auction, and we anticipate having between 300 and 400 currency lots before the September auction begins."
Currently Teletrade is accepting currency consignments certified by either Professional Currency Grading Service (PCGS Currency) or Paper Money Guaranty (PMG). PCGS Currency is a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (Nasdaq: CLCT). Images of the paper money offered for sale at Teletrade auctions will be professionally produced for posting online. Teletrade will offer consigners and winning bidders competitive sellers' and buyers' fees, and offer cash advances for consignments of $10,000 or more.
Teletrade will hold a viewing of currency highlights at the World's Fair of Money sponsored by the American Numismatic Association (ANA) in Denver August 16-19, 2006. For more information on Teletrade and its upcoming auctions, please visit the company's website at www.teletrade.com.
About Escala Group, Inc.
Escala Group is a global network of leading companies in the collectibles market with operations in North America, Europe and Asia as well as on the Internet. The company operates through a number of subsidiaries that specialize in various sectors of the collectibles markets, and is comprised of three business areas: auctions, merchant/dealer operations and trading.
Escala Group's North American auction and retail operations include Greg Manning Auctions division, Ivy & Manning Philatelic Auctions, Greg Manning Galleries, Greg Martin Auctions, Teletrade, Nutmeg Stamp Sales, Superior Sports, Bowers and Merena Auctions, North American Certified Trading, and H.R. Harmer. In Europe, the leading auction houses affiliated with the network are Auctentia Subastas of Madrid, Spain; Corinphila Auktionen of Zurich, Switzerland; and the Koehler group of auction companies of Berlin and Wiesbaden, Germany. In Asia, Escala Group's auction operations are conducted through John Bull Stamp Auctions, Ltd, the oldest philatelic auction house in Hong Kong.
Merchant/dealer activities are conducted through Spectrum Numismatics International, one of the largest wholesalers of rare coins in the U.S.
The trading activities of Escala Group are conducted through A-Mark Precious Metals, one of the largest private sellers of bullion coins and bullion gold, silver and platinum to the wholesale marketplace.
Founded in 1986, Teletrade has over 152,000 registered users and is one of the most frequently visited coin-related websites on the Internet. Auctions are held every Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
Statements in this press release that relate to future plans, objectives, expectations, performance, events and the like are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Future events, risks and uncertainties, individually or in the aggregate, could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Factors that may cause such differences include changes in market conditions, changes in economic environment, competitive factors and the other factors discussed in the "forward-looking information" or "risk factors" sections included in Escala Group's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Escala Group's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, prospectuses and other documents that Escala Group has filed with the Commission. In particular, any statement related to Escala Group's expected revenues or earnings or Escala Group's being well positioned for future profitability and growth are forward-looking statements.
The words "should," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "anticipate," "foresee," "plan" and similar expressions and variations thereof identify certain of such forward- looking statements, which speak only as of the dates on which they were made. Additionally, any statements related to future improved performance and estimates of revenues and earnings per share are forward-looking statements. Escala Group undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
Perry Hall, 212-421-9400
Ian Russell, 800-949-2646
Source: Business Wire (July 27, 2006 - 8:53 AM EDT)