Shares in TTA Holdings (ASX:TTA) more than doubled at the opening bell this morning, on no news.

The company’s primary function is as a distributor of TEAC brand electrical products in the Australian market.

It has a market cap of around $5m and its 4C filing for the June quarter showed it made $949,000 in cash receipts.

Cash expenses such as product and operating costs ($1.299m) more than offset its income. TTA finished the quarter with operating cash outflows of $769,000, and only $858,000 in the bank.

The company has had minimal news flow in between the 4C filing on 30 July and today’s price surge. But that didn’t stop TTA shares from mooning by 127% in just 13 minutes of trade, before it went into a trading halt at 10:13am AEST.

Which raises the question; is it the latest penny stock to become the subject of a ‘pump and dump’ attempt?


Pump and dump

Among the many unique features of post-COVID markets, one is the proliferation of various social media and private messaging groups that are fairly direct in their efforts to pump stock prices through volume-based trading activity (rather than stock fundamentals).

Vulcan Energy (AX:VUL) spin-out Kuniko (ASX:KNI) has turned heads since its IPO last week, having rallied by a ridiculous ~1,500% from its IPO price (so far).

Adjacent lithium stock Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) also mooned at the start of this week, although its initial gain did follow some actual markets news on its Thailand-based development project in geothermal lithium (based on the VUL/KNI price action, those are the hottest two words on the ASX right now).

‘Well Done everyone today with $TTA. Hopefully you all gained some profit from here. Good job [redacted] for arranging the pump.’

The double-up by TTA Holdings this morning came in the wake of no news at all.

And the stock was the topic of plenty of discussion on the ‘ASX Pump and Dump Group’ that discusses stocks on encrypted messaging app Telegram.

“Hey guys I just got a call for Commsec asking do u know if any of your friends are trading this today? Is this usual? #tta”, one user wrote.

“Well Done everyone today with $TTA. Hopefully you all gained some profit from here. Good job [redacted] for arranging the pump. It was a perfect pick that ticked all the boxes for a pump stock,” another user said.

What those ‘boxes’ are is a valid question. Regardless, trading activity in TTA this morning sent shares in a company with a $5m market cap and less than $1m in the bank mooning into the stratosphere.

Shortly after 12pm AEST, shares in TTA were still in a trading halt pending a further announcement by the company.

The company has responded to two other ASX price queries this year.

One on June 23, when TTA shares ripped higher by 75%. And another on February 19, when the stock more than doubled with an intra-day gain of 132%.

On both occasions, TTA responded by saying it wasn’t aware of any information which, “if known by some in the market, could be an explanation for the recent trading in securities”.

UPDATE: At 1:39pm AEST, shares in TTA resumed trading after the company released its latest response to the ASX in the wake of this morning’s price action.

Again, TTA advised that it wasn’t aware of any additional information that would prompt such as surge.

In afternoon trade the stock had eased back to 6.6c, for an intraday gain of around 83%.