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ZooLink’s hype hardly captivating


Dear Mr. Berko:

I don’t know why this well-written research piece was sent to me, but the stock (ZooLink) that it recommends looks like it could really take off. I’ve sent the original to you, and I would like your opinion on the company.

I’m not really sure what ZooLink does, but it is in the Internet-connectivity business, which I think is on the rebound. If you think this stock has good potential, I would like to buy 20,000 shares at 20 cents a share for $4,000. The analyst who wrote this 12-page article, which is easy to read, makes a good case for buying the stock. Do you agree with his assessment?

L.I., Norman, Okla.

Dear L.I.:

ZooLink Corp. (ZLNK-20 cents) is located in Vancouver, Canada, and is headed by Ali Shawkat. ZLNK develops next-generation intelligent Internet data centers to provide co-location services for companies with mission-critical Internet infrastructure. The company hosts and maintains clients’ equipment in secure, fault-tolerant environments with high-speed connectivity.

Thank you for that colorful 12-page tout sheet called “The Natural Contrarian.” Its owner-author, Scott S. Fraser, uses every one of its high-gloss, multicolor pages to brazenly push the purchase of ZLNK stock. That full-toned and jazzy publication must have cost Fraser (and possibly ZLNK, too) at least $1.25 to publish, print and post to you. That’s rather expensive, considering that the stock trades at 20 cents a share.

ZLNK has been in business since August 1998 and has yet to gross $1 million in revenues. Fraser would have you believe that “some of the most powerful companies in the world are solutions partners with ZLNK: Hewlett-Packard, Nokia, 3Com and others are driving the ZLNK juggernaut.” Balderdash!

Fraser would also have you believe that ZLNK is solely responsible for “engineering some of the largest and most complex wireless projects in the world … establishing itself as a world-leading services provider.” Horseradish!

I know that ZLNK had almost $1 million in revenues last year, but I didn’t know that those huge revenues qualify the company as a world leader. That’s pure trash and trumpery; Fraser’s egregious hyperbole amuses me as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission!

I don’t know Fraser and I would go out of my way not to know him. In a recent filing, SEC vs. Scott S. Fraser and Sparklist.com, you will note that Fraser has been a naughty boy. The commission doubts Fraser’s claim that he has “turned 1,170 of (his) subscribers into multimillionaires,” that his “oil and gas (stock) picks have yielded over 1,805 percent combined returns,” and that “over 87 percent … (of his) stock recommendations … have increased on average 135 percent in the past 28 months.”

So far, Fraser has refused to respond to the SEC’s subpoena so that his imaginative and fanciful claims can be validated. In other words, the SEC has reason to believe that Fraser’s claims may be inaccurate.

Fraser and Sparklist.com use huge, demographically designed mailing lists and banks of computers to generate mailings like the one you sent me. Whenever you get a brochure in the mail touting two-bit trash like ZooLink, be mindful that the “touter” gets paid handsomely for his efforts. It’s not uncommon for the touter to be given a huge block of the stock prior to his tout sheet’s publication.

When a professional touter like Fraser does a 100,000-piece mailing, 20 percent of the people (toutees) usually rush to the phone, call their brokers and buy the stock. The initial rush of orders ratchets up the price, and the first 500,000 shares purchased by the toutees are those given to the touter by the chief executive officer of the company being promoted.

I don’t trust any company that would allow itself to be promoted by Fraser’s sleek mass-mailing campaign. And I certainly don’t have any reason to trust ZLNK CEO Shawkat, who announced several months ago that ZLNK completed $1.1 million equity financing via the sale of 550,000 shares at $2 a share. Ouch! The stock is now 20 cents a share.

There is absolutely no reason to buy this stock. It should probably trade in the sewer, not on the pink sheets.

Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 1416, Boca Raton, Fla. 33429 or visit his Web site at www.berkoradio.com.

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