In 2005, the year Obama traded Skyterra stock, the amount of federal funds MSV received swelled to more than $250 million, and 76.4% of that came from no-bid contracts.
Obama sold his Skyterra holdings on Nov. 1, 2005, when the stock closed at $31. Based on the stock's closing price of $39.10 on Feb. 10, the day he bought the shares, he recorded a loss of about 21% on the investment.
Burton says Obama lost $15,000 on his Skyterra trade. Still, the sale was timely because Skyterra shares then dropped off precipitously in early 2006 after a partnership with a major phone carrier never materialized.
Bioterror Stock Takes Off
Some of the senator's losses in Skyterra were mitigated by his investment in AVI Biopharma. That company makes drugs that can be used to treat a number of infectious diseases, some of which are listed on the Department of Homeland Security list of bioterrorism viruses, including West Nile, bird flu, Dengue, SARS and Ebola.AVI spokeswoman Jenny Moede says the company, based in Portland, Ore., has collaborated with various agencies of the federal government to test its technology on animals. It has not yet been used on humans, and the government has yet to stockpile any of its drugs. OMB Watch reports that AVI received $164,078 in 2004 for research grants. In the first three quarters of 2005, the year that Obama made his trades in the stock, that amount increased nearly three times to $471,696.