Life at the lower levels of the stock market can be a cruel beauty contest.
Most of those who don't get picked stumble off the stage and are never seen again. But why some beauties are overlooked is not always obvious.
Justyn Peters, the executive chair of Leigh Creek Energy (ASX code LCK) did not hide his frustration at the company's AGM in Adelaide last week.
He told shareholders there had been "a complete lack of media reporting" of the "important milestones" the company had achieved this year, including the independent assessment that LCK has 2P (proved and probable) gas reserves greater than the Cooper, Otway and Bass basins combined.
The Punter suspects that part of LCK's problem may be that she is not the first company to promise huge projects based on gasifying SA's coal underground.
Linc Energy's plans came to nought when its Queensland operation caused serious environmental problems.
Leigh Creek has convinced the SA regulators that she is not that sort of girl. Her demonstration project was given a big tick and she now has permission for seismic surveys of her entire tenement.
The Punter has already voted for her. He just hopes she soon finds a wealthy partner, and/or signs an interim deal to sell gas. Either should win her a lot more votes.
Meanwhile, Murray River Organics (MRG) is having a terrible hair day.
The shares crashed to a new low of 6c on November 21, when it released a trading update even gloomier than the last.
Thanks largely to the drought and the cost of water, it now expects losses of between $5-$8m, instead of $1-$3m.
The AGM presentation stressed the progress in year two of the company's turnaround, including a 17 per cent reduction in costs.
Despite the drought, losses should still be well below 2018's comparable loss of $14.3m.
- The Punter has no financial qualifications and no links to the financial services industry. He owns shares in a number of companies featured in this column.