Stocks to sell

SOS Limited (NYSE:SOS), a Chinese stock listed on the NYSE that was a crypto mining company but apparently isn’t anymore, finally reported its half-year numbers. This was done in a 6-K filing with the SEC on Sept. 10. Bottom line: stay away from SOS stock.

Source: Mark Agnor /

The problem is that I cannot find where its reported profits have shown up in its balance sheet, either as cash or real money. As a result, even being as generous as I can be towards the company, SOS stock is not worth more than $1.14 per share. That is well less than half of its present price of $2.68, as of Sept. 15. This implies a potential 57% drop in the stock.

Show Me the Money

SOS claims it made $184.489 million in revenue for the six months ending June 30. But it does not appear that most of this came from commodity trading profits that were not made in cash.

The reason for this is simple. In an accompanying balance sheet and other financial statements, the company reported that it had $185,451 million in cash on its balance sheet. Great, you say, that shows that the commodity profits were made in cash.

Not so fast. First, the cash flow statement shows that operating cash flow was negative $339.165 million. There are no cash profits in that number. In fact, later on in the cash flow statement, we learn that the company issued $551.824 million in ADRs (American Depository Receipts) — i.e., an equity raise. So this confirms that the cash on the balance sheet is not from the commodity profits.

The reason is that $551.8 million in cash raised minus the cash outflow of $339.1 million in operating activities (including the supposed $185 million commodity profits), results in a cash balance of $212.7 million. After net capex spending of $30.7 million and foreign exchange gains of $2.9 and prior cash of $0.6 million, the cash balance equals its $185.5 million in final cash.

So where is the $184.5 million in supposed commodity profits? I cannot find it on the balance sheet. The company’s inventory balance is only $102.566 million. Maybe it is some kind of unrealized gain. That should be in some category like Investment Assets or Marketable Securities. But there is no such account on the balance sheet. The only thing that is close is an account called “Prepayment and other assets.” It has a $164.333 million value. Whatever that it is, it still does not add up to a profit of $184.5 million.

How to Value SOS Stock

Let’s be as generous here as possible, since, who knows, maybe I made a mistake, even though the profits seem illusory.

For example, the company now says that its shareholders’ equity position is $559.786 million. The problem is that we don’t know the exact number of shares outstanding. SOS Limited also indicated that its earnings per share (EPS) had a diluted number of shares used in the computation of EPS (not the same as shares outstanding) amounting to 490.72 million.

If we divide $559.786 million in book value by 490.72 million shares, the book value per share (BVPS) is now $1.141 per share. Since the stock is trading at $2.68 it is valued by the market by 2.34 times its BVPS.

What to Do With SOS Stock

Given the doubts that there really are $185 million in commodity profits (at least I cannot find it on the balance sheet), SOS stock is not worth over 2 times book value. These accounts are not audited, so I would expect to see some changes in the accounts before the end of the year.

Moreover, there was no discussion in the company’s report about the amount of money it may have lost in the Chinese crypto mining shutdown and the effect on its operations. I find that strange.

In fact, the only thing that I think is real is the cash. That works out to 37.8 cents per share ($185.5m/489.72m shares). But, again, I’m being as generous as possible.

Therefore, wait until SOS stock falls another 57% to its BVPS, or even below that closer to its cash per share before buying it. Unless the company can show where its profits landed on the balance sheet, they seem to be illusory.

On the date of publication, Mark R. Hake held a long position in Bitcoin but not in any other security mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Mark Hake writes about personal finance on and runs the Total Yield Value Guide which you can review here.