Long Blockchain Corp., — formerly Long Island Iced Tea — expects to report a wider net loss for 2017, but has said it will be late in filing its annual report. The company expects to report a net loss of about $14.9 million for 2017, compared to a net loss of about $10.4 million in 2016.
Following the announcement, shares of Long Blockchain fell 8.1% today, closing at $1.93. These numbers followed a 9% drop on Tuesday. Of note is that the stock’s decline in recent months has paralleled a decline in the value Bitcoin, from almost $20,000 in December to under $7,000 today.
The filing, signed by chief executive officer Shamyl Malik, said that Long Blockchain would not be able to file the annual report on time “without unreasonable effort and expense.”
Rebranding: From Beverages to Blockchain
Over the past few months, Long Blockchain has been attempting to rebrand itself, shifting focus from beverages to blockchain technology. Apparently, investors aren’t buying. Earlier this year, the company was issued a delisting notice (its second) from Nasdaq for failing to keep its market cap above $35 million.
In December, when the company announced its name change and diversification, it experienced a near tripling of its share price overnight. These numbers didn’t last. The problem is that Long Blockchain’s filings don’t back this new direction up: according to its most recently filed balance sheet (from November) the company currently owns no blockchain assets.
Long Blockchain has also failed to follow-through with seemingly concrete plans to move into the crypto-space announced earlier this year. In January the company revealed plans to spend $4.2 million to buy 1,000 cryptocurrency mining machines. Less than a week after the announcement Long Blockchain abandoned plans to sell stock to finance the purchase, and by the end of the month, it had abandoned the mining proposal entirely.
Further, in late-February, the company announced a change in leadership. Shamyl Malik, who previously ran the firm’s blockchain efforts, took over as CEO, replacing Phillip Thomas. “Shamyl has shown great initiative and leadership since joining the team, and his appointment as CEO and our planned spin-off will allow the Company to execute on a clear, focused Blockchain strategy,” Thomas said in a statement. As noted, this “blockchain strategy” has yet to actually materialize.
Long Island Ice Tea wasn’t the first company, nor will it be the last, to try to take advantage of the media attention that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies have commanded as of late. Others, like Kodak and Atari, have diversified their platforms too, with both companies recently putting forth plans to develop their own tokens. Like Long Blockchain, these fledgeling companies have been met with some skepticism from experts and industry insiders.
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