I liked your thoughtful post. Permit me to give you my perspective on the situation.
Taking last things first, Rich Cavalli has never tried to hide behind TRADERINVESTORALERT. There is a big picture of him right next to the posts if you go to the "Market Pulse" section on Yahoo. I think we all know it is him and he certainly made no effort otherwise.
With respect to the nature of the those writing positive articles versus those writing negative articles, I have the following perspective.
Ampio is undertaking its business much differently than other drug discovery/development companies. Ampio has ALWAYS operated differently - and that includes financially and funding-wise. From its inception as DMI in 1991, the company, unlike almost every other company of its nature has NEVER taken "institutional" money. It NEVER raised money from venture capital, or private equity. From its inception it raised funds as needed from individuals. Scores of them.
The result is that it has never (unit very recently) had any "institutional" (read "professional investor") following. Instead there has only been a truly rabid group of individuals who have taken the time to get to know the company and its products, and bought in. This is very unusual. I don't know of ANY drug discovery/development company that has gotten anywhere near where Ampio is without taking "institutional investor" money.
There are some real upsides, as well as downsides to this approach. The upside is that the individual investors (and management) can do very, very well without the huge amounts of dilution, and sometimes the "highway robbery" typical of an early stage venture capital investment. Typically the VCs will take about 85% leaving the other shareholders and management to split the remaining 15%. Ampio always sought to treat its early investors (from the DMI days) very well.
The downside we are seeing now. That downside is the fact that as a public company, especially one that went public through a reverse merger into a public shell, there were no institutional investors with a vested interest in supporting the stock. There was no "initial public offering" per se - complete with investment bankers taking an interest and making a market in the stock. There was no analyst coverage. And no venture investors with investment banking buddies on their side.
Ampio was just sitting out there with a ton of potential and stock that had risen to to over $9 on just the hearsay of people who knew the company. (Really quite remarkable) Ampio was the ideal stock for a professional "short seller." There was no legitimate independent analyst coverage to counter anything the shorters wanted to say. The result has been professional shorters battling it out with the dedicated individuals who have closely examined the company and fell in love with the story.
You are correct. You can't trust any of them, and they all have their own interest at heart - on whatever side of the equation they may fall.
All of this however, is starting to change. Based on the last coupe of fundings, institutions have started to get involved. And lately (a day or two ago) Aegis Capital produced a 48 page research report on the stock - with a BUY rating and an $11 price target. True, Aegis was one of the firms handling the last funding, but the research side of the house is supposed to be objective (supposed to be).
I anticipate additional analyst coverage and research coming out in the near future. I think you will also see more institutional interest as the stock gets over $5.
In the meanwhile, take it all with a grain of salt and do your own research. Talk to Ampio - they are good people and willing to talk to you. Some have said they lie and you can't trust their published press releases and other information, or will try to find some thing or another to attack what they have said. Make your own determination on whether they are willing to risk jail time to do so.
As for Rich Cavalli, I don't blame him. Once you get into it, you will not only want to buy the stock but you would also want to do their PR. I am long... VERY, VERY long... but it is based on what I have found out and learned about the company, and nothing else.
I am deeply grateful for your taking the time to state your insight into Ampio. In my opinion, you have stated the truth very calmly and objectively. I believe you are right on target and that Ampio is an incredible opportunity for those who take the time to think for themselves and do their own research. In the not too distant future, Ampio shareholders will be rewarded beyond even the dreams of todays most bullish advocates.
All my very best to buyers, sellers, short sellers, bashers and pumpers. I hope you all do well and prosper with happiness. There will be plenty of opportunity for all players in this arena.