It's quite a Cuban feat.
News that the U.S. and Cuba were taking cautious steps toward normalizing relations were enough to send shares in one Cuba-themed American company soaring Wednesday — despite the company having nothing to do with the country.
California-based Cuba Beverage Company makes fruit-juiced based energy drinks. But despite the presence of the word "Cuba" in the name and logo (and its ticker symbol, CUBV) the company has no discernible ties to the island nation.
That didn't stop investors from driving up the stock on Wednesday, eager to cash in on the opening up of the Cuban market by buying anything vaguely Cuba-related.
Shares in company more than doubled on Wednesday, rising as high as 0.41 cents per share. That's more than double the 0.19 cent level they closed at on Tuesday.
That's quite the daily gain for a company that, at the end of November, revealed it had just under $10,000 worth of sales in its recent quarter, from selling just over 400 cases of their products. According to regulatory filings, the company has about 89 million shares, but they're spread across only 326 different shareholders.
On an ordinary day, very few of those shares change hands — less than 5,000, in fact, over the past 30 days. But on Thursday, more than 660,000 shares had changed hands, with several hours left in the trading day. It's enough to put the company well on its way to being the most heavily traded day in the company's history.
A request for comment from the company by CBC News was not immediately returned.
It remains to be seen if the Cuba Beverage Co.'s sudden spike in interest will prove fruitful in the long run, but if exposure to Cuba is what was sought, investors didn't lack for other options.
A mutual fund with actual exposure to Cuba's economy called the Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund gained about 35 per cent on Wednesday, with six times the normal trading volume. And Canadian mining company Sherritt has a very well-established presence in Cuba. Its shares were also rewarded with a similar bounce, up almost 30 per cent to $2.87 on the TSX on Thursday.