GENTA: 1988-2012BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- On August 2, Genta ( GNTAQ) filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, thereby ending 24 years of repeated clinical failures, multiple FDA rejections, countless toxic financings and epically piggish executive behavior. Before the Genta corpse rots into distant memory, I thought it might be helpful to document the company's colorful and painful history. The Genta story is a warning to biotech investors showing how chronic clinical failure can lead to soul-crushing shareholder dilution.
2007: 1 for 6
2009: 1 for 50
2010: 1 for 100
2011: 1 for 50
2011/2012: FINRA denied multiple Genta requests for yet another reverse split, evidently saying enough is enough.
July 2012: Genta shareholders approve a "reincorporation" of the company from Delaware to California, merging Genta Delaware into Genta California, effectively trying to game the system so they could institute an up to 1-for 25,000 share split. Multiplied together, Genta pushed through an astounding 1-for-15 million reverse stock split, beginning with their initial split in 1997 and ending in 2011. A 1-for-15 million reverse stock split is hard to grasp but think about this way. If you had owned 15 million shares of Genta in 1997 and never sold a single share, today you would own 1 Genta share. In 1997, Genta had slightly more than 40 million shares outstanding so that means there are just two of these Genta common shares remaining. Their value today: $0.0006. Okay, here's where Genta gets downright freaky. Let's assume Genta never instituted any reverse stock splits. How many outstanding shares would the company have on its balance sheet today? The answer: Approximately 100 quadrillion shares outstanding! This is what 100 quadrillion looks like numerically: 100,000,000,000,000,000 Mind you, 100 quadrillion shares only represents Genta's common stock (15 million in splits multiplied by roughly 6-7 billion shares currently outstanding. The fully diluted share count, sans reverse stock splits, would be 1 quintillion! This is what 1 quintillion looks like numerically: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 A history of Genta is not complete without mention of Dr. Ray Warrell, chairman and CEO since 1999. In 13 years, Warrell manned Genta's helm through all but one of the reverse stock splits, the failed Genasense program, $1 billion in accumulated losses and an almost 100% plunge in the company's stock price. At Genta's end, Warrell was still chairman and CEO, surely a record for futility and resilience.