Just to throw a speculative interpretation out here - the decision to put out PRs about this industrial Hemp project may be connected to an earlier PR to adjust the conversion rate on the remaining C shares in a shareholder friendly way. Maybe they said to the C holders - "How about this, you agree to lowering the conversion rate and in exchange we will put out promos about HIMRs connection to a project to grow hemp. This should give you a much better price to sell into."
Back in 8/13, they announced they were negotiating to resolve the C share issue. Prior to a resolution, the C shares were set to convert at discretionary conversion rate (this typically resulted in a conversion of 1M common shares for a C share) and the C holders were restricted from doing a conversion which resulted in owning more than 9.9%. We haven't been given a full accounting of the the C share resolution, but we do have pieces of the puzzle. In the Q3 2013 Q, it said the C shares convert at a fixed rate of 1 C share converts to 2M common and that the C holders were restricted from doing a conversion which resulted in owning more than 4.9% of the outstanding common. In my opinion these changes were probably part of the C resolution that resulted in retiring 99.5% of Hayward's shares. To me it seems they gave up the right to control the conversion rate to do that deal (they also probably had to give up the right to redeem or buyback the C shares, otherwise it is too easy for HIMR to buyback the remaining C shares for the C holders to agree to). And so, when they subsequently announced they were lowering the conversion rate, it made me wonder - in exchange for what? Didn't you(HIMR) give up that right already. These PRs about this industrial hemp research JV may be an answer to the "in exchange for what?" question. They may have offered this to do a deal to lower the overall dilution from the C shares.
It has seemed to many of us that the company has preferred a lower stock price. These recent PRs are incompatible with that, but it does make sense if we assume the previous preference to keep the stock down was motivated by a desire to limit conversions and now the same motive to limit conversions may have resulted in a deal which includes lowering the conversion rate in exchange for doing these PRs which may tap into the hemp/MJ exuberance.
Just a thought.
Hollund Industrial Marine Inc. (HIMR) Stock Research Links