Penny-Cap Stock on Watch: Stevia Corp. (STEV)
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    Small-Cap Stock Spotlight: Stevia Corp. (OTC: STEV)

    Small-Cap Stock Spotlight: Stevia Corp. (OTC: STEV)

    Stevia Corp. (OTC: STEV) shares rallied 17.3% to $1.29 Friday, extending gains for the third straight on volume of over 3.54 million shares.  The stock is currently below its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, both set at $1.69.  Market capitalization currently stands at 68.11 million and it has 52.80 million outstanding shares.

    Shares of the farm management company have dropped 25.9% in the last five days; though the stock gained 84.3% in the last month.  Year-to-date, the stock is up 12,436.4%.

    Founded in 2007, Stevia is focused on the economic development of the fastest growing product in the alternative sweetener sector, stevia. To date, the company has acquired two grower supply contracts and three nursery fields in Vietnam.

    Stevia drew investor attention earlier this month after announcing that the Vietnamese national government is providing financial support for the development of 50 hectares of stevia cultivation, while the Bac Giang provincial government is also supporting a further 20 hectares for the same purpose. Both projects expected to be completed this year.  The news sent the Indianapolis-based firm’s shares up 13%, on above-average volume of over 5.68 million shares.

    “Having government support for our efforts to commercialize stevia is a huge benefit providing credibility to the local farmer communities and affirms our decision to begin efforts in Vietnam,” commented Stevia president George Blankenbaker.

    Stevia has agreed to supply stevia seedlings and additional products and services utilizing its proprietary systems.  It has rights to off-take any non-stevia crops produced by inter/multi-cropping.

    Stevia previously said it had selected to begin its efforts in Vietnam for a number of reasons and believes that Vietnam has the potential to be the next major area of high Reb-A leaf production in Asia outside of China. The country’s close proximity to China provides for quicker adaptation of existing high Reb-A strains of Stevia and also provides the opportunity of several harvests per year.

    In the U.S., the company said it is evaluating the best options for market entry and is also preparing a request for proposal which will be circulated among targeted research institutes to provide in-depth research into specific areas that it has identified as major success factors for large scale commercialization of stevia in the country.

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