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One to keep an eye on:

It's still early in 2014, but Celsius Holdings (CELH) is shaping up as a solid candidate for the 'Comeback Player of the Year'.

Celsius, the maker of the Celsius calorie-burning beverage, looks to have stabilized its domestic revenue stream just as encouraging signs are emerging overseas.  The boost in publicity and sales numbers has slowly led to an uptick in trading volume over the past couple of quarters, an indication that investors may be slowly discovering this company's potential as a growth or 'second chance' play.

The latest quarterly and full-year reports support that theory.  Revenue has stabilized to the point where the fourth quarter 2013 number came in at $2.9 million, capping off a record year of $10.6 million for the company.  Significantly, these numbers were achieved without the expensive marketing campaigns of the past that ate away at previous profits, although net losses and expenditures were also on the rise.  Notably, international sales look to be picking up steam, too, and profit margins are on the rise - which sets a solid foundation for future growth...

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Hope you all enjoyed the long weekend.  Here are a few speculative plays to keep on the radar and add some excitement to the new trading week...

Celsius Holdings (OTC:  CELH) has battled to establish relevance for years in the energy drink and healthy beverage sectors, but has failed to catch onto the mainstream, although this company's selection of sugar-free 'calorie burning' beverage flavors brings a unique perspective to the market.  In its latest bid to build on a niche domestic consumer base, Celsius has announced a couple of NASCAR sponsorship deals over the past trading days.  Friday's announcement brought with it volume of over five times the daily average, although CELH shares remained trading in its normal range, established over the past couple of quarters since a run last year to sixty cents from about twenty. 

The NASCAR fan base is a far cry from the middle-aged gym moms that were the marketing target of the failed Mario Lopez campaign, but Friday's resulting trading volume shows that there is still some interest left in the potential of this company and its calorie-burning beverage options....

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A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...

Capstone Turbine (Nasdaq: CPST) shares spiked by roughly nine percent on Friday after the company announced another very significant purchase for its low-emission microturbine units.  This movst recent order included 25 C65 and two C1000 units - all destined for the Permian Basin shale play beneath West Texas and southeastern New Mexico - and follows suit of a strong showing for the company during the new year's opening weeks.  The bang of big orders to open the new year is certainly bringing renewed attention to the Capstone Turbine stock, as volume rolled in at nearly three times the norm on Friday, but the company has yet to become a profitable one, which give the shorts an opportunity to jump on top of rallies such as this one.  Should this bombardment of new orders continue into the new year, however, enough momentum may exist to sustain a prolonged period of highs... 

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Amarin Corporation (Nasdaq: AMRN) shares were down by over fifteen percent during premarket trading on Tuesday morning after an early-hours press release informed investors that the FDA is standing firm and will not re-instate the ANCHOR SPA agreement for Vascepa.  As discussed last week in a Seeking Alpha piece, the FDA had missed its original announcement date, but the quick turnaround is an indication that FDA officials were merely digging through the backlog of work that piled up during holiday routine when Washington essentially shuts down for two or three weeks.  A conference call is scheduled for 8 AM Monday as the company is likely to lay out further plans for appeal.  The call will most likely be geared to reassuring investors who may decide to bail out after another round of negative news.  Any shorts still looking to cover after last year's fall will be able to do so a bit more easily now - and at lower prices - barring any unexpected news, such as a sale of Amarin to another company for 'Crazy Eddie' prices.

Look out for today's 8 AM conference call as the company looks to reassure investors, as best as it can.

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A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...

Amarin Corporation (Nasdaq: AMRN) will become a topic of much discussion on Thursday as an announcement made by the company just after the market close on Wednesday stated the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products (DMEP) within the U.S. FDA notified the company that a decision on reinstating the SPA for Vascepa in the ANCHOR indication would not be forthcoming on the 15th. The delay is not interpreted by Amarin officials as being a long way, based on its own ongoing discussions with DMEP, but investors are left to figure out what "not significant" means to Amarin and the FDA.

I go into more detail in an article posted over at Seeking Alpha today, but essentially what is "not significant" to the FDA may be more "significant" to investors awaiting the news - especially the traders who may consider the time it takes to watch a couple of episodes of "Cheers" as a significant amount of time in terms of a delay...

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A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...

Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) is sending markets higher this morning after beating the street with its earnings report. Investors had turned skittish earlier in the week when some speculated that results from the big banks may not roll in as positive as previously thought, but BAC quells some of those fears and starts the trading day off an upbeat note.

Biotech / Healthcare:

Shares of Chelsea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CHTP) are also on the move Wednesday morning after an FDA advisory panel overwhelmingly supported approval of Northera for the treatment of symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. CHTP saw a move higher of over 160% during the premarket trading hours, after posting similar gains during after-hours on Tuesday, and are likely to open well in the green. Buyers beware, however, as a panel voted in favor of approval for this drug in 2012, before the FDA ultimately rejected approval. That said, even with some wise profit-taking entering the picture, there's likely going to be enough volatility and upwards movement left in CHTP where investors can trade themselves into having only house money left for decision day...

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A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...

Agenus Inc (NASDAQ: AGEN), which offered some M&A news yesterday to kick off the new week, issued news again on Tuesday morning, announcing the initiation of a Phase 2 trial with lead pipeline candidate Prophage in the treatment of melanoma, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy for the treatment of Stage III and IV metastatic melanoma. The combination, according to a Tuesday morning release, has the potential to trigger a more effective immune response against the tumor than Yervoy alone. Agenus has proven to be a decent speculative trade in the past and news such as this fuels the speculative outlook for those betting on Prophage success. Bear in mind that regardless of how high these things can fly on success, it's always worth selling a few trading shares into price spikes because more companies than not fail in the sector. Bank at least some profits when you can.

Agenus picked a good week to announce news on back-to-back days with JPM14 in full swing...click the 'Read more' jump below to continue...

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It wasn't a devastating day for the markets on Monday, but the drop was enough to reinforce investor concerns about the upcoming earnings reports and Friday's weak jobs numbers. Additional concerns were voiced by numerous media outlets that investors are also concerned about the overvaluation of stocks following last year's run, as the S&P's price-to-earnings ration is at its highest in seven years. Given that the markets closed near their lows on Monday, investors will anticpate another rough day on Tuesday, barring any unexpected jolt of good news.

Not even the healthcare sector - which is on showcase this week in San Francisco with the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in full effect - was immune to the sell-off, as there was quite a bit of red mixed in with some green as the day progressed. I guess it doesn't help the sector any either when A-Rod isn't out there buying up all those experimental pipeline products.

Down market or up, there's always quite a few individual stocks and stories to talk about - here's just a few of them to keep an eye on Tuesday...

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A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ICPT) is down big during pre-market hours. Company is a late addition to the JPMorgan healthcare conference in San Francisco this week after Amarin Corporation (Nasdaq: AMRN) pulled out to focus on the FDA and the SPA for Vascepa in the 'Anchor' indication. Investors will key on what company officials have to say about future timelines for trials - the liver disease drug behind the price spike is still mid-stage - and will also concentrate on the potential safety concerns raised regarding increased 'bad' cholesterol in patients last week.

Agenus Inc (NASDAQ: AGEN), which made some noise last year with Phase II Prophage results in brain treating brain cancer, announced during the early hours on Monday a definitive agreement to acquire 4-Antibody AG, a privately-held European firm with a "technology platform for the rapid discovery and optimization of fully-human antibodies against a wide array of molecular targets of interest." Shares were spinning modestly higher during pre-market as this acquisition boosts the long term value of the company, but this morning's spike may be more related to the general rally in the healthcare sector as a whole, and not necessarily related to this news. Agenus also announced Monday morning the appointment of a new Chief Scientific Officer, a newly-created position...
 
 

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Friday's jobs report is likely to drive trading patterns throughout the day, while actual and projected earnings numbers could also come into play. Consensus has it that the jobs report should be a relatively positive one, continuing an encouraging trend, but investors are also aware that the positive trend may also factor into the Fed's decision to continue easing off its long-running stimulus program that has provided an economic crutch since the depths of the recession. It's apparent from this week's release of December's Fed minutes that the office is in agreement that the program finally come to an end, but officials plan to tread cautiously as to not spook the markets into a sell-off.

For full article, including insight into recent trading for MNKD, SIRI, CPST and others, visit Seeking Alpha by clicking HERE...

 

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Happy 2014, everyone. This year is sure to bring the same excitement as the previous few years, given the record-setting closing months of 2013 and the renewed sense of enthusiasm from both new and experienced investors. As always, some key political and geopolitical events are likely to influence trading this year, namely the tapering off of Washington's bond-buying stimulus program. The market responded nicely late last year to news that the tapering would be slow in order to avert any quick and drastic impacts on the economy, but reports indicate that the program is likely to be gone by the end of the year. Washington has no desire to see the end of the stimulus program put a dent in the record progress of 2013, but some investors will remain wary that the full-steamed recovery can continue without the ever-present crutch that the bond-buying provided.

For full article, visit Seeking Alpha by clicking HERE...

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Shares of SanuWave Health (OTCBB: SNWV) swiftly achieved a near double in price earlier this year as investor anticipation grew in regards to the initiation of a new Phase III trial testing the company's dermaPACE shockwave therapy in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. A new trial design and an agreement with the FDA to utilize some previous Phase III data added to the enthusiasm and hinted that SNWV shares had the potential to approach price levels seen during the last Phase III trial. That trial, as previously discussed, ended without the endpoint being met, although the results were convincing enough that success could be easily achieved after the new trial designs were implemented.

Since the quick spike in price, however, SanuWave shares have retreated again after many of the short-term minded day, swing and momentum likely took some profits and moved on in search of another quick winner - although you can never blame anyone for taking some profit from the table - but the result of such action could potentially be another buying opportunity for investors who may have missed out on the last quick run. Given the encouraging prospects for the upcoming trial and the numerous catalysts that will be slated to unfold - in terms of interim and actual results - once the trial gains momentum, SanuWave shares could quickly rebound once the current phase of consolidation is complete...

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A letter to shareholders issued last month by Assured Pharmacy (OTCBB: APHY) emphasized an aggressive expansion strategy that would be implemented over the coming quarters. The first phases of that plan look to be taking shape as an announcement last week revealed that new locations in Denver and Boston have been targeted for summer openings. Enthusiasm is high in regards to these new locations, as the company has sought the support of local physician groups in an all-out effort to replicate the quick success of its Kansas location. In light of the robust expansion plans, company officials and some investors are beginning to estimate that break even and profitability milestones may not be that far off into the future.

The company's current market cap, however, does not yet indicate a widespread acceptance of that theory, leaving a potential ground floor opportunity still open for investors looking to speculate on the maturity of Assured Pharmacy and its business plan, which looks to take advantage of shifting trends in the healthcare industry...

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Many market analysts and economic pundits have predicted over the past few months that the record-setting highs - although nice while they lasted - would only be short-lived and a pullback or outright market correction was in store. Stocks proved overly resilient, though, and despite some questionable economic news at times to go along with gloomy predictions from many financial media outlets, new records have continuously been set, defying the negative forecasts and making winners out of many green portfolios and IRA accounts. The continuous uptrend may have made believers out of many, but some skepticism still prevails as we head into a new trading week, leaving the door open for investors to take advantage of the individual stocks and stories that may not be gaining much mainstream attention.

Here's a few to keep an eye on for the week of 13 May, 2013...

Assured Pharmacy Announces New Store Openings

Shares of Assured Pharmacy (OTCBB: APHY) have been steadily gaining investor attention over the past weeks, if trading volume is to be an indication, and recent announcement just days ago of multiple new store openings over the near term may not only explain the uptick in volume, but also provide assurances that the company's potential to significantly grow its revenue stream over the coming quarters is leaning more towards the likelihood of being a probability, rather than just a possibility.

A letter to shareholders last month set the stage for what's to come over the coming year, but last week's definitive announcement of major store openings within months confirms the previous promises and speculation. According to the news, two new stores - in Denver and Boston - are slated to open this summer in what Assured officials are labeling a "major expansion strategy." ...

 

 

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Through the course of its early development and growth stages, Assured Pharmacy (OTCBB: APHY) has admittedly faced challenges not uncommon to other niche start-ups in a tough economic climate, but with trends shifting in the company's favor and its newest store also its most profitable, this company could be on the verge of a breakout with significant expansion coming. Assured Pharmacy is a unique, personalized pharmacy that caters specifically to the prescription needs of its customers while also heavily scrutinizing the distribution and use of heavily-regulated prescription medications for both doctors and patients in order to ensure strict compliance with federal regulations. Assured has targeted the chronic pain market for its services, given the high rate of abuse and misuse in the sector, which has highlighted the need for specialized pharmacies. Its customer base of both doctors utilizing its services and patients receiving their personalized care has grown and is currently in a backlog, according to statements made in a recent letter to shareholders.

As additional funds can support, Assured will be able to take on additional customers, which could quickly double the current patient base - again according to recent communications by the company...

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The imminent expectation of multiple product launches during the course of the coming year and the further development of a pipeline full of urine-based diagnostics designed to detect various cancers and infectious diseases placed TrovaGene Inc (NASDAQ: TROV) on the map during the closing half of 2012, especially when shares nearly quadrupled in value in anticipation of the many milestone catalyst events that were due to unfold throughout 2013. The first of those catalysts came to fruition in late March when TrovaGene announced that it had commercially launched a urine-based human papillomavirus (HPV) diagnostic test, the first of numerous elements of its pipeline expected to hit market this year and a move into a very lucrative market, as six million new cases of HPV are diagnosed in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TrovaGene's technology utilizes transrenal DNA and RNA from simple urine samples to detect genetic abnormalities that may result from cell deaths and/or disease progression. Any diagnostic test resulting from the advancement of this technology follows the current healthcare industry trends of emphasizing early detection through less-invasive (and less costly) means and launching its first test onto the market is a huge validation to the company and its future prospects. That said, the development and commercialization of such next-generation technology may not be enough alone to convince investors looking at the near term that the medical community is ready to fully embrace such a drastic shift in early-detection methods, but investors could quickly become convinced if much larger and more relevant parties from the industry come into play to support future development...

 

 

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On numerous occasions during the record-breaking rally of 2013 we've pointed out the fact that the more speculative and 'under the radar' sectors of the investing world are often ignored and disregarded when everyone is making 'easy money' while the markets are setting record highs on a seemingly day-by-day basis.  At some point, however, we also argued that profits would be taken and - since most investors and traders don't like to see their money sitting idle - would possibly be transferred into those more speculative companies and sectors that hold the potential to return catalyst-based gains over the coming months and quarters.  The recent volatility experienced by stocks - with highs and lows of the day in the DOW, for instance, trading in a range of well over a hundred points - could be an indication that profits are being taken and the traders are taking over.  It could be an opportune time to concentrate more on where the money is going next.  That's where industry trends and pending catalysts come into play, as those companies that have been trading under the radar for a while could start to come to the forefront of their respective sectors. 

With that in mind, we'll take a look at a few companies with catalysts pending that could offer investors an opportunity to capitalize in the near and long term futures...

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SanuWave Health (OTCBB: SNWV), with trial catalysts pending over the near term, has received its fair share of attention during the course of 2013 thus far, but the company's potential value over the long term may have received a significant boost earlier this month with the issuance of a patent covering the company's shockwave technology for use in blood purification.  Although not yet in development for that indication, SanuWave projects that its shockwave technology could disrupt "the outer membrane of bacteria and viruses which," according to a company press release on the topic, would result in the death of such pathogens.  For SanuWave, this patent also represents the first for the company outside of those obtained for its initial methods-of-use - which include wound care and regenerative medicine - and provides another solid starting point from which the company can grow. 

In today's day and age a solid baseline of intellectual property (IP) is invaluable for a company.  Patent wars are seemingly popping up on a near-daily basis in numerous sectors and solid patent protection alone could be worth tens of millions of dollars - at least - to companies looking to protect their respective technologies in settlements.  Additionally, patents could also bring in new revenue streams for companies utilizing similar technologies, as was demonstrated by the signing of a licensing agreement between Synergy Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SGYP) and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IRWD) last year, as each company's respective drug used a similar mechanism of action.  Amarin Corporation (NASDAQ: AMRN), too, is a company whose patents are day-by-day being tallied by at investors at home, given the continued uncertainty surrounding Vascepa's New Chemical Entity (NCE) status. 

In terms of potential mergers and acquisitions, patents are factored into deals just as much as developmental pipelines and some deals are actually consummated on the basis of patents alone.  Needless to say, patents may be more valuable now than at any time before - and maybe event to the point of becoming a detriment to progress and innovation.  That said, a company has to have them to succeed...

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Discovering industry trends early and then establishing positions in companies who may benefit from those trends ahead of the general market could quickly turn into a successful trading strategy.  For a prime example of such, look no further than 3D Systems Corp (NYSE: DDD) and Organovo Holdings (PINK: ONVO).  Shares of both companies traded along relatively under the radar until investors caught onto the fact that 3D printing was advancing quickly enough that the next generation of the technology was quickly becoming considered the 'now' generation.  Shares of 3D tripled in quick time, as did the more speculative Organovo Holdings, whose technology could eventually be used to 'print' organs for transplant patients, and investors who caught the trend early were very handsomely rewarded.

Over the course of the past few weeks we've also discussed heavy trend shifts towards diabetes treatment, since that industry is growing at alarming rates.  Companies such as SanuWave Health (OTCBB: SNWV), AntriaBio, Inc. (OTCBB: ANTB), and MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD) have already seen their respective share prices rise over early-year levels as key upcoming catalysts and more cost-effective and less-intrusive technologies could quickly thrust each company to the forefront of the booming multi-billion dollar industry. 

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Investors of the developmental healthcare sector are well aware that cash raising events and dilutive financings are an established part of the process in bringing a new drug or medical device through the trial stages and to market.  While few investors look forward to these events with heavy anticipation, given the potential for a rally to be stalled or for a share price to drop to the level at which an offering was conducted, these events are wholly necessary, given the design of today's health care and financial systems.  That said, those who exercise patience and utilize an investing strategy that includes trading into the spikes and dips with a position of 'trading shares' - while also potentially building a core position with eyes towards the long term - could survive the tides largely unaffected, while potentially coming out on 'house money' by the time the developmental stage plays out.  

Such a strategy also includes not going 'all in' on a particular stock when initiating a position for the first time.  Buying in with just a fraction of what one plans as a total investment amount allows for additional buys later on down the road should the targeted share price dip.  As noted above, stock offerings and other means of cash-raising for companies often contribute to share price slides, since the new shares are generally 'offered' as a discount to recent levels. 

Last week Sunshine Heart (NASDAQ: SSH) announced a public offering of common stock pursuant to a previously-filed shelf registration.  The pricing of the offering was $5.25, whereas company shares had been trading along steadily at roughly six bucks before the announcement.  In turn, SSH traded down late last week to price levels right in line with the offering.  Investors, after already having seen this stock trade from roughly the three dollar mark to nearly twenty over the past year, are left to decide whether or not the post-offering slide offers a decent accumulation point or whether there can be more pain in store as the company's technology edges its way through trials and - should encouraging results continue - ultimately to market...

 

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Despite some recent concerns speculating that the record-setting market rally of 2013 was losing its steam, Wednesday saw another day of record highs as investors remained enthusiastic following encouraging comments from the Fed, while economic data overseas, specifically in China, represented a continued global recovery.  The record-setting day in the US sparked international rallies on Thursday, although early indications were that US markets may experience tempered trading, given existing concerns that each move higher could just create that much more of a dropoff, should a pullback materialize.  With earnings season underway, more and more attention will be paid to the 'hits' and 'misses' of the street, with ample consideration given to the fact that it's no secret company's have been under-guiding during the recovery period in order to look that much better if a stronger-than-expected report hits.  Guidance moving forward, however, has been tempered, meaning weak earnings reports during the current quarter could end up pushing the markets lower, as many pundits expect will be the case.

Although new highs are still being set, volatility has increased, an indication that skepticism remains as to whether or not the rally continued.  It also provides an indication that the traders may be taking hold of the market as the 'buy and hold' game may have been milked for all it's worth during the early-goings of 2013.  As mentioned earlier this week, profit-taking money could start pulling out of the broad market, should expectations of a downturn arise.  If that is the case, that money - along with any sideline cash that investors have been hording in case of a dip - is likely to find its way into individual stocks and stories that may have been trading below the radar as the big players in the markets rallied. 

We'll continue this week to follow a few of those that could attract some speculative money, given pending catalysts, recent developments and overall growth potential.

As the noted news items of the day develop and the earnings stories roll in, there are still plenty of individual stocks and stories to keep an eye on. Here are just a few of them for Thursday, 11 April 2013...

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FluoroPharma Medical (OTCBB: FPMI), as briefly described earlier this week, has recently seen a modest uptick in trading volume as some first look data from ongoing Phase II trials indicated that the company's positron emission tomography (PET) technology may already be proving superior to the current market standards. Aside from a brief push towards the dollar mark during the opening days of the new year, shares have traded relatively un-moved and under the radar, even as February and March brought in enough trading volume to indicate that investors may be starting to take notice that FluoroPharma - with a pipeline of imaging agents that are potentially superior to what's already out there now - may be positioned to capitalize on shifting trends in the healthcare industry. With that in mind, it could be safe to assume that the modest - but still noticeable - jump in volume over the past couple of months could be an indication that accumulation is under way in anticipation of some milestone catalysts that are expected to unfold over the course of the year. By comparison, shares of SanuWave Health (OTCBB: SNWV) traded in similar fashion, too, before that company's stock proved to be a 'volume before price' play and shares doubled in just a short period of time.

While assuming the inherent risks of the sector, and also understanding the potential of FluoroPharma's PET technology to infiltrate a shifting market trend, there is reason to believe that FPMI could also be positioned to trade higher leading into the upcoming trial catalysts. Furthermore, should those catalysts - largely based around interim and actual Phase II results - look positive, then there is reason to believe that shares could approach the price target set by Zacks not too long ago - a target that is roughly three times the current levels. Initial indications support the Zacks target, as the noted early trial returns hint that FPMI's PET technology is superior to the current market standards...

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Shares of SanuWave Health (OTCBB: SNWV) have about doubled in the time span of just a few days - after already having tripled since the beginning of the year - with volume growing methodically higher along the way.  No significant news has been released along the way to fuel the rally, but with some trial catalysts pending that could thrust SanuWave's Pulsed Acoustic Cellular Expression (PACE) technology directly into the middle of a booming subsector of the healthcare industry, investors may have again become aware of the company's potential as a short term rebound play and a longer term growth play.  The PACE technology, known as a 'shockwave therapy' has been employed into the dermaPACE and orthoPACE medical devices and have already received CE Mark Approval in Europe for the treatment of chronic wounds, where revenue is already rolling in.  In America, a Phase III trial is expected to begin enrolling patients within the current quarter for dermaPACE in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and improved trial designs devised in conjunction with FDA guidance has many investors enthusiastically expecting more definitive results than those seen in a previous trial, where efficacy was demonstrated, but an endpoint was not met and market approval was not achieved. 

With a new round of trial catalysts pending, and given the size, scope and rapid growth of the diabetes and chronic wound markets, it could be argued that this latest rally was based on the SanuWave market cap catching up to its speculative potential.  If that is in fact true, and if the pending trial progresses in a more defined manner under its new design, then both interim and actual results have the potential to rally shares even further than what has already been realized since the beginning of 2013.  By comparison, SanuWave shares approached the six dollar mark in early 2011 at the height of previous anticipation regarding the thermaPACE therapy, and it's reasonable to believe that another push towards FDA approval could fuel a similar share price run.  Such action is expected and routine in the developmental sector, although heavy volatility should also be expected, given the fair amount of day, swing, momentum and catalyst traders that move in and out of stocks in search of quick returns...

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As the broad market rally looks to have sputtered, and with the upcoming earnings season not expected to blow away estimates by any means, investors will be looking to bank profits from the early year run and move onto other plays that have the potential to reap both short and long term dividends. That means that some money will move into the more speculative sector, where individual stocks and stories have the potential to create the volatility needed for traders to trade and for the longer term investors to find adequate entry points to accumulate for the long term.

Below we'll take focus to some medical device and imaging agent plays that are still in the developmental phases, but could attract the interest of those investors who have banked profits during the DOW's record run this year, but now may realize that the 'easy money' gig is up as market conditions have somewhat deteriorated. Each comes with its own inherent risks often associated with the sector, including the potential for cash-raising events to stall rallies and/or the prospects of a failed trial or road bump in development, but each is also advancing novel and potentially next-generation technologies in huge, billion dollar markets.

Everyone was making money when the broad market was soaring, but now it may be time to go looking for the individual stories that can pay benefits down the road, hence the focus this week on the developmental sector...

This Week's Focus: Medical Devices

SanuWave Health Heads Into The New Week On An Upswing

Price followed volume for shares of SanuWave Health (OTCBB: SNWV) as they closed the day Friday up by thirty percent on volume of well over ten times the daily norm. With key milestones pending for the duration of the 2013 and with momentum building after last week's trading action, SanuWave could turn into one of the healthcare sector's better rebound stories of the year...

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SanuWave Health (SNWV), a company advancing a technology that could change the scope of chronic wound treatment for years to come, is sitting in the midst of a booming sector with numerous key milestones expected to unfold over the short to mid term. According to current trading volume and market cap levels, however, the company's stock could still be trading well below the radar. That could all quickly change with late-stage trials due to initiate in the United States over the short term as overseas marketing and distribution efforts continue to yield results. In the text below we'll take a look at the target market for SanuWave's technology, the potential impact that the technology itself could have on the future chronic wound treatment - specifically for that of diabetic foot ulcers - while also examining the inherent risks of the sector that investors should always bear in mind.

The Technology

SanuWave has developed Pulsed Acoustic Cellular Expression (PACE), a technology that utilizes 'shockwaves' to incite the healing and regeneration of cells. While the foundations of this technology have been used for decades in treating kidney stones and some orthopedic conditions, SanuWave has applied its shockwave therapies to creating a pipeline of stimulative treatments revolving around the dermaPACE and orthoPACE devices. Both are already CE Mark approved in Europe and have returned a revenue stream from units sold and also from the recurring sales of 'device applicators'. The next target is America, where the company looks to receive an FDA approval after completing a supplemental Phase III trial testing the effectiveness of dermaPACE in the condition of diabetic foot ulcers. The trial is expected to begin enrolling patients within the current quarter, while efforts to mobilize sales on an international level continue, too, as evidenced by recent regulatory approvals in Australia and New Zealand...

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U.S. markets spiked on Tuesday and international shares followed suit on Wednesday, aside from markets in Europe, after housing and durable goods data provided another round of reassurance that the economic recovery in the States was well on track. Concerns in Europe remained, however, even after a bailout deal was reached earlier in the week in regards to Cyprus. The fact that large depositors in the Cypriot banks were 'taxed' heavily as part of the deal concerned investors across the European continent and applied pressure to regional markets and the euro currency, too. Markets on this side of the pond continue to disregard the Cyprus news, but the longer it affects Europe, the potential increases that investors over here will become somewhat concerned as well - but as long as the encouraging economic data we've seen continues moving forward, a large-scale pullback will be viewed as improbable. Especially given the likelihood that America is about to witness its first real budget deal in years.

The stability we've become accustomed to during the early-year record setting uptrend looks to have been replaced by more volatility, if the past few trading sessions are to be a judge, so it could be inching back towards a trader's market, whereas the "buy and hold" crowd has done quite well so far this year. If the overseas markets are an indicator for Wednesday, though, another up day could be in the works.

As the broad-market stories continue , there are still plenty of individual stocks and stories to keep an eye on. Here are just a few of them for the week of March 25, 2013...

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The trading week brings with it heavy anticipation. The DOW has been setting new record highs left and right these days and the S&P may be positioned to do just the same. The momentum built into last week's close favors a continued uptrend this week, although there are multiple major news stories still developing that could quickly come into the picture and create the uncertainty needed to lead to the volatile trading that has been relatively non-existent during the DOW's record run. Leading the way in terms of headlines is Cyprus, where indications over the weekend were that a 'Plan B' bailout deal was on the verge of being reached. Many are concerned that the fiscal fiasco still evolving on the island-nation could spill over onto mainland Europe, but many investors now consider the ordeal as an isolated incident relevant more to Russia than to Europe as a whole. Early Monday headlines indicated that a plan was in place, pending a little bit of cash-raising from Europe to cover the bailout package. While the situation will still be monitored with caution, relative calm should prevail and Cyprus could disappear from the headlines just as quickly as the Yankees' playoff chances - and the Greek debt crisis, which we haven't heard from in a while...

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Another day, another deadline - such is the merry-go-round of Washington. In a last ditch effort to thwart off the potential impact of sequestration on the economy, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a budget that is en route to Congress for its stamp before possibly reaching the President's desk and potentially becoming the first approved budget in years. Of course, that's still an uncertain proposition, given the long-lasting stalemate between the two political parties, but the country is as impatient as ever with the status quo and the politicians know that their political capital is spent, making it likely that a deal will be reached this time. After all, another election season is quickly creeping upon us (although it'll be an off-year season) and the viability of some political careers may be on the line.

The new deadline to get a deal done is 27 March, enough time to halt the building momentum behind planned budget cuts and the furloughing of government workers. General market action seems to indicate that few are panicking over this date, as world markets generally traded favorably on Thursday, more interested in comments from the Fed over the past two days than anything else.

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Markets worldwide continued to trade relatively flat leading into Wednesday's trading day as uncertainty stills abounds in relation to the Cyprus bailout package that some believe could pose a threat to the stability of the still-rebounding global economy. As discussed earlier in the week, however, concerns over a drastic backlash against the eurozone (EZ) economy based solely on the instability in Cyprus may be overblown, as the ordeal looks to be one more involving Russia and Cypriot banks than anything else, but fears will remain, nonetheless, that a similar situation could arise in Greece, Italy or Spain - countries whose failures could greatly effect the health of the European economy. That is likely the reason why European shares fell rather significantly after the recent Italian elections, but have only been modestly effected by the Cyprus fiasco.

On this side of the Atlantic investors can be reassured the Fed will maintain its current measures of stimulus as long as long as uncertainty exists globally and in Washington, according to comments made during day one of a two-day meeting. As a result, investors - who currently look to be in a holding pattern following the early-year record run - can be reassured that no broad changes to current conditions are forthcoming, pending the result of budget talks and a clearer picture of what sequestration may bring. Initially, it looks as if the doomsday scenarios laid out before the 1 March deadline kicked in were more fear-mongering by Washington than anything else, but also keep in mind that the full impact of any newly-implemented measures is not expected to be felt until 1 April or beyond...

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Tuesday proved a day of modest rebound for international markets, most of which were hammered on Monday on fears over the Cyprus bailout plan and how it could potentially hit the rest of Europe. Futures action indicate a similar open in the US as well. Investor caution has eased once the Cyprus bailout news was digested and the fiasco became more of a comedy show between Cypriot banks and Russian billionaires than anything else as markets stabilized, although initial concerns arose when some pundits wondered whether the savings tax proposed in Cyprus could also be implemented in other Western countries, but those concerns are largely considered unfounded because of existing regulatory measures in other eurozone (EZ) countries and also because of the unique relationships between Cypriot banks and its foreign investors, like Russia.

It's highly unlikely that any scenario evolving from the bailout of Cyprus will have any lasting effects on the rest of the EZ economies, hence Tuesday's more enthusiastic trading. The situation has, however, caused the euro rate to drop a bit in relation to the dollar, but that should cause little concern to investors and do more to satisfy the budgets of any dollar-bearing tourists ready to start taking advantage the spring holiday weather in Europe...

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Although the DOW closed modestly higher on Tuesday, the trend was lower for much of the day and the other major indices finished in the red.  Headlines swirling Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning hinted that the record-setting rally of 2013 may be losing some steam, but the question is whether that means a plateau was hit and we're in for a period of sideways trading or whether concerns of sequestration and a still-sluggish global economy will push the markets lower again.  World stocks indicated on Wednesday that the latter may be modestly true, but as we've discussed before, US markets don't typically follow trends, they set them - barring unforeseen developments from overseas that could heavily impact global markets.

Should investors go looking for reasons to support the argument that the rally has lost steam, discussions of Europe's hardly-recovering economy and the potential impacts of sequestration could lead the charge.  Europe's continued woes have been largely ignored during the early-year rally, but could quickly become a factor over the near term, while sequestration may become a non-factor if Washington finally rallies itself and comes to an agreement.  There's little doubt that voters are tired of the inaction and recent polls indicate that no side of the fence is immune to criticism over the current stalemate - and that might be enough to nudge these guys in the right direction, if they feel that their own political fate or the fate of their party is on the line. 

So far, Washington in 2013 has been about as productive as A-Rod's playoff bat.  So far that fact hasn't effected the markets at all, but another 'missed deadline' for a budget deal combined with massive cuts could set us down a notch or two.

As the major stories play out there are still plenty of individual stocks and stories to keep an eye on. Here are just a few of them for Wednesday, 13 March 2013 ...

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A large part of investing in the speculative sector involves staying one step ahead of the game - finding the next big thing - the latest fad, brightest technology or newest bull market - before the other guy does.

For instance, those who dabbled in the 3D printing market before the hype hit the market hard could have made huge gains by jumping into 3D Systems Corp (DDD) before it tripled from its lows and - taking the healthcare spin - Organovo Holdings (ONVO.PK), which also posted a triple at point leading up to the bubble. Although the bubble burst and those companies have now seen their share prices retreat rather significantly, the point was made that 3D printing is here to stay and the strength of the sector should be taken seriously. Those who figured that out before the market made bank.

In the healthcare and biotech sectors, staying one step ahead of the game may be a bit tougher, as an epidemic of any type could hit at any given time with little or no notice.

That said, finding next-generation drugs while they are still in development can pay off handsomely for those with the patience to wait the story out, while maybe trading a few shares here and there to make sure at least some profits are had along the way. Dendreon's (DNDN) Provenge can be viewed as just such a present-day, but next-generation product, as it targeted an existing disease, prostate cancer, and then effectively ushered in the next generation of the cancer immunotherapy treatment. The DNDN share price, as a result, jumped from roughly three bucks to well over forty at one point along the way.

Searching for the newest trends can help investors, who need to have a little time on their hands, find the next bullish market before those markets hit overdrive. The sub-sector of diabetes treatment is one such market that looks like it could be lining up for take off, given the trends we will discuss below, although it's arguable that this sector has been heating up for years now, as more and more humans survive on fast food, sugary drinks and exercise that only includes couches, office chairs and golf carts.

Below we'll take a look at a disease that is quickly becoming one of the greatest burdens on the global health care system and a few companies that could play a large role in the sector for years to come, but may still be trading relatively below the radar...

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Another day, another DOW record. The boost provided by last week's encouraging jobs report looks to have carried over into the new trading week while it also looks like investors are continuing to brush off any negative effects that could come into play as a result of sequestration. Those predicted effects my never come into play anyway, given the fact that Washington has issued itself a new deadline to reach a budget agreement and our elected officials are talking to each other again - after cringing at the bad press both sides received as the last deadline expired.

Shares continue to inch higher, defying the odds and the predictions of most experts and analysts, but at some point investors should assume that "what goes up" has to pull back and consolidate, especially with the amount of uncertainty still existing on a global scale. The U.S. recovery looks solid, given the most recent jobs numbers, but it wasn't too long ago that GDP was reported as down to flat. We also cannot ignore the fact that budget cuts in Washington are likely coming - sooner rather than later - and the impact of cuts made now likely won't be seen until a month or two down the road.

Additionally, the Fed cannot maintain its current rate of stimulus forever. At some point the training wheels will have to come off...

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Record high after record high is what we saw from the DOW last week and investors will look this week to see if the momentum can carry over after a strong jobs report on Friday dropped the US unemployment rate to 7.7%.  236,000 jobs were added in February, well above previous estimates, and many see this as a positive sign that the economy continues to gain strength and is well on the road to a full recovery.  Since the markets generally look ahead by a couple of quarters, the record highs could be justified, but the question is whether or not they can be sustained over the short term without any volatility entering the picture.

That question holds extra weight right now as the true effects of sequestration, which are still set to come into play in April, are still unknown.  A harsh round of budget cuts and pullbacks could knock down the merry market mood just a notch, as ancillary evidence still exists - jobs numbers aside - that the economy is not yet healthy enough to grow substantially - if at all - without the help of the Fed's stimulus measures that have been in place since the depths of the recession.  Look to 2012's fourth calendar quarter as evidence of such, when a pullback in defense spending caused GDP to roll flat for the quarter, only after being revised higher.

Although Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last week indicated that there were no immediate plans in place to lighten up on the stimulus measures that have been in place since the depths of the recession, Friday's enthusiastic jobs report has refueled talk from many analysts and pundits that it makes little sense to keep these measures in place while the economy looks to be gaining strength on its own accord, while February's jobs numbers speak for themselves.  A reversal from the Fed that indicates stimulus might be lightened could temper the market's early-year rally.

This week will be a light earnings week, with only a few major holdovers left to report.  Attention will be strictly paid to the debate that will likely rage over how much of an impact the pending sequestration will have on the new record highs. 

It's been a definitive year of rebound thus far, and many would agree that - in retrospect - the markets are flowing on a stronger foundation now than they were when the old record highs were set just before the crash, but we've likely not yet approached the light at the end of the tunnel.  Caution against going 'all in' at this point may still be advised, as any economic news that again creates uncertainty could quickly have an impact on the upwards momentum, as evidenced by the election news in Italy a few weeks ago that led to a DOW drop of more than two hundred points.

Enjoy the ride while it lasts.  As always, there will be plenty of individual stocks and stories to keep an eye on while the major news plays out. Here are just a few of them for the week of 11 March, 2013...

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Shares of Implant Sciences (IMSC) traded higher by nearly seven percent on Wednesday morning after dropping to as low as $1.05 earlier in the week. Although some recent events may hamper IMSC's immediate potential to excel, such as the fiscal cutbacks in DC resulting from the inability of our elected officials to efficiently run a government or a budget, others have taken shape that put the company on a more stable foundation moving forward. In a summary of this week's events thus far, VFC's Stock House examines the latest Implant Sciences credit extension with DMRJ and also takes a look at how the budgetary turmoil in Washington could effect the short term potential to land national-level contracts or sales.

Implant's Credit Extension Marks Potential Pivot Point

With the announcement last weak of Implant Sciences' (IMSC) deal to extend the terms of a debt agreement with its primary creditor - DMRJ Group - for a full year, investors and company officials can concentrate fully on the building of sales, revenue and - with a recent TSA approval in the bag - the path towards becoming a dominant player in the ETD and homeland defense markets. Implant had last year already extended this agreement through the current month. In retrospect, this move looked to be a temporary fix in order to allow for the TSA approval to come to fruition, but the year-long extension allows ample time for the business to grow and the for the company to gain the means and resources to pay the portion of its debt that has not been converted into the convertible notes outlined in the press releases associated with the said credit agreements.

In noting the recent IMSC share price dip, short term credit concerns and uncertainty may have prevailed and curtailed enough investor interest to cause the drop. The relatively light volume, however, also indicates that many investors continue to hold to see this story - which is still in its early chapters - play out...

 

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A new DOW record is in the books and world stocks were moving higher on Wednesday as a result.  As mentioned earlier this week, we're at a serious pivot point now as to whether the markets can sustain these or whether a pullback will materialize based on the developments of other general conditions and geopolitical events.  A positive private jobs report on Wednesday AM was key in determining the strength of the new record over the short term, but investors will now look towards the effects of sequestration and how budget cuts can have an impact over the coming weeks. 

Most of the expected cuts that were regarded as a doomsday scenario by many politicians leading into the March 1 deadline, however, are not due to be implemented until the April time frame, according to the most recent reports from Washington.  That allows more time for our elected officials to come up with something solid in terms of a budget for the first time in years, but it also leaves us in a position where investors could feel complacent with the bullish momentum just before the real impact could be seen.  Many government programs are slated to lose at least portions of their funding and - maybe even more important for the already sluggish recovery - federally paid workers could be in for a slate of pay cuts and furloughs.  Those cuts could offer the markets a look at the potential impacts of having an increasing portion of the population relying on government money, whether it be through government jobs or handouts. 

For the time being, investors are satisfied enough with what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had to say last week to keep the markets elevated, but now is also not the time for complacency.  With the uncertainty regarding budget cuts and federal furloughs, investors should prepare for multiple eventualities, which includes positioning for a pullback, should one - no matter how modest it may be - materialize.

Over the short term, the job numbers are the key indicator to watch, but in the absence of a budget deal - and the politicians don't look to be in a rush to push one through - watch for signs of how sequestration could impact consumer spending, consumer sentiment and overall growth.

As always, there will be plenty of individual stocks and stories to keep an eye on while the major news plays out. Here are just a few of them for Wednesday, 6 March 2013...

 

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AntriaBio, Inc. (ANTB) remains a stock to watch this week, as outlined in this week's 'Weekly Stock Watch,' due to a notable increase in trading volume over the past couple of the weeks and the advancement to human trials of a once-weekly basal insulin shot that has the potential to eventually replace the current standards of care, which includes once-or-twice daily shots.  Having fallen off the recent highs set at $2.50, investors may be taking advantage of the current pullback as volume has notiecably increased over the past week.  On Monday, in fact, ANTB shares registered their second-highest trading day of the year and were not too far off from seeing the most shares traded in one day since the symbol began trading in mid-January.  Investors taking note of potential 'volume precedes price' action may anticipate an eventual move higher based on the recent volume and interest paid to this stock.

Over the long term, AntriaBio has the potential to enter a multi-billion dollar industry with a next-generation product that could drastically increase the quality of life for diabetic patients needing daily basal insulin shots as a sustained treatment option.  Aside from this week's 'Weekly Stock Watch' report linked above, below is our original write-up on AntriaBio. 

ANTB trades in a highly volatile sector, so there are key points to consider, as outlined below, but this is an emerging story to monitor these days.

Stay tuned...

AntriaBio Potentially Positioned For Both Long And Short Term Gains

 

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This week could be a pivotal one.  Record market highs are well within sight and investors will look for evidence that last week's bullish momentum can continue into the new trading week, even as the effects of sequestration set in.  Comments before Congress last week by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke helped to reverse Monday's notable pullback and spark an overall move higher through the remainder of the week.  All the while our politicians in Washington failed - yet again - to reach a budget deal that would stave off a harsh round of budget cuts that will end up slashing tens of billions of dollars from the federal budget over the coming quarters. 

With the weekend under the belt and a few days for investors to digest the news and potential impacts of sequestration, we'll know fairly soon what the market makes of it all.  Significant cuts in defense spending, as we've noted before, led to a retraction in GDP numbers for the fourth calendar quarter of 2012, although those numbers were recently revised higher to demonstrate stagnant growth. 

The point was made, however, that the US economy is still hovering in a state that is heavily reliant on government spending - that's why at least some investors will consider the looming sequestration as dangerous for the short term, although many will also argue that drastic cuts are needed in federal spending for a healthy long term outlook.  Many would expect that those cuts would come responsibly, though, and not at the behest of another fiscal deadline imposed by the bureaucrats in DC who time and again prove the futility of their attempts to get the job done...

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After a quick tease to the upside on Monday morning, US markets dipped drastically as numerous factors converge this week to keep investors on edge, the most immediate of which - Italian elections - likely played a role in the afternoon drop.  Initial indications from Italy were that the party of economic reform would hold a large percentage of the government after the results were known, but later reports hinted at an impasse, evidence that the potential is there for Burlusconi's party of 'Bunga Bunga' could return to power.  Given the already unstable stance of Europe's economic recovery, investors world wide are hesitant to entertain any event that could grow that instability moving forward.  Regarding Italy, specifically, investors care because the economy there was not too far off from being as big a mess as Greece's before reforms were put into place, and a return to the ways of old could lead to even bigger concerns throughout Europe as a whole. 

That said, it's unlikely that Italian elections alone sparked Monday's broad market sell-off, but they certainly played a part.

More likely it's the gridlock in Washington that had investors anxious at the week's open, and this week could be a volatile one if a budget deal is not reached.  The prospects of drastic cutbacks and furloughs are real and investors - who are fully aware of the impact a slash in defense spending had on the fourth quarter GDP numbers - may be concerned over the impact another round of such cuts could have, especially given the ancillary signs that consumer spending may be on the decline, too.  As described over the weekend, however, those signs could be proven or dispelled once the notable group of retailers slated to report earnings over the coming days offer their own guidance...

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AntriaBio, Inc. (ANTB) is an emerging story in the developmental biopharmaceutical sector that may be worth keeping on the radar as volume has been picking up of late and the company's potential to alter the scope of the future insulin delivery market by creating a once-weekly injection of insulin to replace a once-or-twice daily version is starting to gain increased exposure from popular financial media outlets and from the investing community as a whole.  Relatively new to the trading scene, AntriaBio became public through a reverse merger earlier this year after having first purchased the assets of PR Pharmaceuticals from bankruptcy court.  PR Pharma had already invested tens of millions of dollars into the preclinical development of the above-mentioned once-weekly basal insulin shot, now known as AB101, but was unable to see its development through to fruition as the depths of the economic crisis dried up funding for many developmental biopharmas.  

Now controlling the AB101 assets, AntriaBio has positioned itself, pending successful trials, to eventually enter the multi-billion dollar market of basal insulin delivery that is now dominated by Sanofi-Aventis' Lantus and Novo Nordisk's (NVO) Levenir, each of which requires patients to receive at least one shot daily.  Those two products alone pull in over eight billion dollars annually, highlighting the potential of AB101 to to steal quick market share, should it reach the point of commercialization.  Emphasizing that once-weekly advantage, it's understandable why AB101 would be attracting the increased attention that it is right now, as some investors may consider this a ground floor opportunity of a potential next-generation technology...

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Stocks gave us a wild ride last week as numerous factors converged to incite more extreme market volatility that we had seen since the conclusion of the fiscal cliff drama at the beginning of the year. The DOW jumped over a hundred points on Friday, following two notable down days, and closed the week above the 14,000 mark again, albeit barely. The volatile trading action is likely to continue into the new trading week as budget negotiations in Washington will likely dominate headlines and keep investors on edge. Unlike the fiscal cliff talks that resulted in a last-minute deal during the dawning hours of 2013, both sides look more inclined this time around to hold their ground, which means that the potential is high that the much-discussed sequestration measures will come into effect on Friday morning. Such an even would translate into swift federal spending cuts that have the potential to negatively impact the overall economy, let alone stall the recovery.

Another event with market-moving implications to keep an eye on this week is Fed Chairman Ben Bernake's date with Congress. Much of last week's mid-week drop was attributed to statements from the Fed that stimulus measures long in place since the depths of the recession may be pulled back earlier than previously indicated and Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday will hear personally what Mr. Bernanke has to say in those regards. Friday's rebound provided some evidence last week that investors may have felt they overreacted by selling into the Fed comments last week, there's little doubt that Mr. Bernanke's comments this week will be heavily watched, especially in light of recent developments in Europe over the weekend.

Sooner or later those European concerns are likely to effect trading on this side of the pond again. With the enthusiasm of the January rally and the encouragement of this earnings season, investors easily brushed aside any concerns of a stalling global recovery, but analysts predicted last week that the European economy had at least another year of recession and turmoil on the table before reversing course and climbing into growth.

Warnings of slow growth were even apparent in the supposed powerhouse economies of Germany and England, but the light was dimmed even more when Moody's downgraded the UK's Triple-A credit rating. It's yet to be seen how much of an impact that move will have on the European or global markets, but it's an eye-opener heading into the new trading week.

Also this week, the Italian elections will be in the spotlight and it'll be a disappointing sign if Italy votes Berlusconi's 'Bunga Bunga' squad back into power, as it's time for the Italian economy to embrace the financial reforms that have been put into place since his ouster and not reverse course back into the all-too-recent past. That said, there's little doubt that the worst of the worst is in the rear view mirror for the Euro Zone (EZ) as a whole, but it's evident that the light at the end of the tunnel is still a ways off in the distance.

Bernanke's comments, US budget talks, looming sequestration and the EZ's continued strife could lead to a volatile week ahead. As is always the case, there will be plenty of individual stocks and stories to keep an eye on while the major news plays out. Here are just a few of them for the week of 25 February, 2013...

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The markets headed south on Wednesday as investors digested Fed comments, housing numbers and the potential negative impact on the economy that a political showdown in Washington could bring. Comments released from the Fed this week indicated that an easing of the stimulus measures that have been in place since the depths of the financial crisis may be forthcoming. As noted earlier this week, investors pretty much shrugged off similar comments in January, but a re-emphasis of those statements this week - coupled with the recent slowdown in housing numbers - caused enough concern among investors to spark the round of profit-taking that led to Wednesday's decline.

Budget negotiations in Washington also look to be at a standstill, another cause for alarm over the short term. Severe spending cuts could be in store come 1 March, should an agreement not be reached in D.C. As the politicians continue to draw lines in the sand, it's looking more likely every day that a deal might not be reached this time around, as was the case during the last 'fiscal cliff' scenario. Cautious investors predicting a stalemate in negotiations may be prepared to pull some money from the table now in anticipation of an broad market slip, as indicated by Wednesday's drop...

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Stocks head into this holiday-shortened week on a flat note after having traded mixed during most of last week. No news or key developments have been strong enough of late to launch another attack on the record highs set just prior to the global economic collapse in 2008 and many pundits and market analysts are starting to predict that a fairly significant pullback could be in store, even as the major markets hovered at or near their multi-year highs leading into this week's opening bell.

The earnings season also winds down this week, which means attention could quickly shift towards budget cuts and politics again, especially with a March 1st deadline still looming for politicians to finalize a full budget for the first time in years. Given recent indications that a breakdown in Washington's cooperative tone could be in the works, investors may be preparing for another period of volatility dominated by skittish investors. Such a scenario would likely provoke additional profit taking after January's rally and also help to support those recent theories that a pullback is in store...

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Markets in the U.S. closed flat on Wednesday as investors postured their positions in anticipation of a push towards record highs. International investors were also holding back for the day while awaiting comments from the European Central Bank (ECB), which is due to hold a policy meeting on Thursday. Positive comments from the ECB indicating that the eurozone looks to be on the road to recovery may reinvigorate the early-year rally, but a more cautious tone may have some investors inclined to pull profits from the table following the January run. Given recent insights into a few of the zone's individual economies, such as Germany's - which many report a quarter of retraction - and Spain's - still struggling to find solid footing - comments to the tune of "we're not quite there yet" should be expected.

The key to all the Europe talk lately is that the media is again paying attention to developments over there, while they haven't been during the opening weeks of the new year. Since the European recovery is still lagging behind that of the U.S.', investors tuning into the news may entertain the fact that the markets are not yet stable enough to sustain near-record highs. Any surprises from the ECB either to the up or downside could lead to the U.S. markets trading in-line with those comments on Thursday, but it's more likely that U.S. investors will be more interested in the budget talks in Washington and to the individual stocks and stories of their respective portfolios...

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Volatility is back. After a few weeks of stability and a methodical uptrend in the markets, this week brought us, so far, back-to-back one hundred point moves in the DOW as investors contemplated the probability of the markets sustaining levels at or near the record highs set before the crash of 2008-09. Big media started paying attention to Europe again, an eventuality we've discussed for a couple of weeks now, and as a result some of this week's volatility has been due to reports of the still-lagging economic recovery over on that side of the Atlantic. Moving forward, such concerns are still likely to play a role in the overall market action and spark some continued volatility, but for the immediate future investors look to want to shake off the European worries and trade on the momentum of this quarter's earnings reports, which have been solid all season long.

Still, as the influx of cash into the markets seen in early January subsides - and the cautionary tales from Europe continue - many will look to prepare their portfolios for the possibility that a pullback will take shape. The warning sign will be, in my opinion, when the media outlets start harping on European worries, which has already started to happen...

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At the start of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous week, and may also be positioned make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Investors liked what they saw last week from the major jobs reports, even though the overall unemployment number ticked modestly higher, and stocks surged yet again, allowing the DOW to breach - and then hold - the 14,000 mark. Other economic data released during the week and a 'status quo' approach by the Fed urged investors to shrug off a fourth quarter GDP pullback and continue the buying that allowed the January rally of 2013 to continue. This week, though, a pivot point should be met where investors decide whether to keep charging with the buying momentum or start banking some profits, given the sharp rise in stocks since the fiscal cliff deal was announced at the dawn of the new year. There's little doubt that the US economy has undertaken a solid recovery over the past couple of years, but the debate will rage as to whether or not the economy is on sound enough footing to justify the setting of new market highs.

On first glance, there's the argument that the markets are forward looking, and although the economy may not be at a point right now that justifies new record highs in the stock markets, that point may come in the not-so-distant future. Additionally, given the transparency seen today in the strength of the recovery, when compared to the false bubble of nearly five years ago, investors are apt to be more comfortable with continued buying now than they were at any other point in the last half decade...

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Stocks ended the day slightly lower on Wednesday as reports hit the wires noting a retraction in the US growth rate for the fourth calendar quarter of 2012. Analysts and experts had expected a one percent growth rate for the quarter, so the miss came as a bit of a surprise. The markets did not falter, however, and only modestly declined as the retraction came about largely due to a drop in federal defense spending, and not because of any other variables of weakness that would threaten the strength of the recovery.

In fact, other economic indicators behind the report looked strong, as outlined in a New York Times article on the subject. A stand-fast approach by the Fed, which concluded its meeting on Wednesday, also helped to reassure investors that no drastic changes to policies and procedures already in place are forthcoming. Barring any unforeseen news or a reversal in the trend of this quarter's earnings reports, it should be smooth sailing ahead for the remainder of the week.

Another day is upon us to keep an eye on some hot earnings stories and other stocks that could potentially move markets, individual sectors or personal portfolios. Here are just a few of them for Thursday, 31 January, 2013...

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The DOW and S&P closed up by half a percentage point each on Tuesday while the Nasdaq traded flat as concerns of slowing US growth during the fourth quarter of last year indicated a potential slowing growth rate for the first quarter of 2013, too. Reports also surfaced on Tuesday that consumer confidence dropped to its lowest level in over a year as consumers digested the fact that there's a little less spare cash available as the result of an increase in some tax rates this year. None of the above would justify any protracted broad market sell-off, in my opinion, but it emphasizes the fact that the consistent headlines of 'sunshine, rainbows and candy floss' that we've seen all year thus far are taking on a more cautionary and realistic tone, which will likely lead to some of the profit taking we discussed earlier in the week. That may lead to a near-term, but modest market decline.

On Wednesday attention will still be on the Fed meeting, which enters its second and final day. Early indications are that the key stimulus measures introduced after the crash of 2008 will remain in tact for the foreseeable future, or at least until a target unemployment rate of 6.5% is achieved, but other reports have also hinted that a divide in Washington is growing over how necessary it is to keep those measures in place, given the thus-far successful recovery and relative strength of the economy...

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Monday proved a flat trading day as early-week earnings reports were relatively in line with expectations and investors positioned their portfolios in anticipation of a potential "next move" by the Fed, which may be considering relaxing some of the stimulus measures that have been in place for a few years as a result of the global economic breakdown. The Fed is scheduled to meet for the first time this year on Tuesday.

The markets remain at multi-year highs right now and with political cooperation in Washington tag-teaming with encouraging economic indicators, it could be that the worst is behind us, although it's still smart, in my opinion, to entertain the fact that we're still not completely in the clear. Although the U.S. economy is gaining strength, others around the globe - mainly in Europe - remain on shaky footing and the media has chosen not to discuss such issues with any fervor of late, but it's only a matter of time before those headlines make rounds again and potentially compel investors to take a more cautious tone over the short term. Additionally, after such an impressive early-year run, some profit taking may set in and lead to a slight pullback.

International markets, which had already modestly pulled back after early-year rallies, picked up steam again on Tuesday, indicating that any broad-market pullback periods would only be temporary to allow for consolidation, barring any unforeseen breakdown in an otherwise impressive recovery. If anything, the incessant volatility of 2012 looks to have tapered off in 2013 and has the markets trading with more stability than we've seen in a while. That could be a good sign that things are returning to normal...

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Another week of encouraging earnings reports, positive economic indicators and political tranquility in Washington has the bulls running hard heading into the new trading week and many are even suggesting this latest run could approach the record market highs achieved before the economic free fall of 2008-09. Continued earnings reports this week from companies that may exceed expectations could further fuel the rally that has seen the markets close higher each week in the new year and positive jobs numbers due Friday would only put an exclamation point on the run, should they, too, exceed expectations.

While those lofty hopes may in fact pan out to be true, it may also be time for investors to consider some profit taking, or at least expect that others may take advantage of the early-year run and turn some of those paper gains into actual. There's a lot more certainty in the market right now than we have seen in the recent past, especially with the politicians seemingly playing nice and the global recovery looking pretty healthy, but there are still enough concerns out there that should help balance the equation in favor of a 'proceed with caution' strategy. Although not much has been heard from Europe lately in terms of economic plight, the economies of Greece, Spain and Portugal remain on unstable ground and could again pop into the spotlight as soon as the media outlets get bored of wasting time on the fake girlfriends of football players. Reports have it that England, too, could be on the verge of another recession while overall growth in China and India has slowed enough to make economic headlines...

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After an early stutter the markets picked up their pace on Tuesday and closed the day higher yet again. The early action indicates that investors are still maintaining a 'wait and see' approach in regards to the earnings season and volatile political climate, but the reports set forth on Tuesday - led by a nice earnings beat for Google (GOOG) - sparked enough late-day buying to give us some momentum leading into Wednesday's trading session where Apple (AAPL) will steal the spotlight. An earnings beat by Apple, or even enthusiastic guidance, could fuel investor optimism enough to land Wednesday in the green column, too. Barring any unforeseen developments, nothing should pop up politically that would stand in the way of a continued uptrend, given the White House's reported agreement with the Republican proposal of a short term debt ceiling extension. Since investors look satisfied with the pace and health of the global economic recovery, trading patterns should remain glued to earnings news, at least for the time being.

As always, as the major news play out, there's room for a few individual stocks and stories to keep an eye on...here are just a few of them for Wednesday, 23 January, 2013...

 

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, and may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Although earnings numbers have been mixed thus far for the season, trading ended last week on a relative high note and that trend could continue this week, too, after Republicans indicated their willingness to extend the debt ceiling limit for as much as three months while a full deal gets sorted out.  The debt ceiling had replaced the fiscal cliff as a political weight on the overall market action, but now looks to be a non-factor, at least for the short term, given last week's update.  That frees up stocks to trade in-line with earnings, expectations and economic indicators, positioning this holiday-shortened week as one of momentum-building - especially if Apple (AAPL) can impress with its much-anticipated report on Wednesday. 

This week the housing sector has a chance to steal the spotlight and potentially move the markets.  On Tuesday existing home sales numbers are expected to roll in with a modest upside trend while the new home sales numbers on Friday is also expected to indicate a healthy recovery.  Any better-than-expected surprises could not only effect housing stocks, but potentially rally the broad markets, too...

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Implant Sciences (IMSC) may have just announced the most significant and potentially market-moving news in company history on Wednesday when it was revealed in a spontaneous conference call that the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had approved Implant's Quantum Sniffer (QS)-B220 explosive trace detector for use in air cargo screening. This ruling could be considered the 'holy grail' of the validation process for Implant Sciences as it allows the QS technology to be listed in the next edition of the 'Air Cargo Screening Technology List' and opens up a new - and potentially very lucrative - avenue for revenue. It also offers a huge round of validation for the technology, as many government agencies - both in the US and around the globe - follow TSA validation guidelines in regards to their purchases. It's quite possible that now, with TSA approval in the bag, orders from these countries and agencies will start flowing in, providing a significant boost to the company's revenue stream and sparking a rally in the IMSC share price.

Already shares closed twenty three percent higher on Wednesday and - with volume well more than ten times the daily average - may be positioning to move even higher during the coming days and weeks. It was noted during Wednesday's call that the company expected to beat the revenue numbers of the latest guidance, which were in the range of seven million dollars, moving forward from this point. The TSA approval opens the path for government contracts to start rolling in, which often times come with bulk orders, and help the company meet the revised expectations. Of relevance the TSA has mandated that - as of 3 December - all cargo in-bound to the US on passenger aircraft will be screened for explosives. This is a market that Implant Sciences intends to exploit and given the benefits that the QS technology holds over the competitive standard currently on the market, there is reason to believe that market penetration could materialize quickly...

 

 

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In what may be considered a scenario where investors played the 'sell the news' game, Facebook (FB) shares retreated by nearly three percent on well more than double the normal trading average after the company announced at its much-anticipated media event that it would implement a 'Graph Search' to lead the way into the next stages of growth. As FB shares rolled through the thirty dollar mark with ease leading into this event, investors speculated on the possibilities of a Facebook phone entering the market. Initial indications following the announcement, however, are that investors are either outright unimpressed with the Graph Search announcement or are prepared to take a 'wait-and-see' approach to its impact on future earnings. A three percent drop does not indicate overall disappointment in the new search strategy, especially not after FB shares have risen swiftly from the twenty dollar mark without much of a pullback period on profit-taking, so investors may digest the news over the coming trading days, assess what it all means, and then trade accordingly...

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Implant Sciences (IMSC) may have just announced the most significant and potentially market-moving news in company history on Wednesday when it was revealed in a spontaneous conference call that the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had approved Implant's Quantum Sniffer (QS)-B220 explosive trace detector for use in air cargo screening. This ruling could be considered the 'holy grail' of the validation process for Implant Sciences as it allows the QS technology to be listed in the next edition of the 'Air Cargo Screening Technology List' and opens up a new - and potentially very lucrative - avenue for revenue. It also offers a huge round of validation for the technology, as many government agencies - both in the US and around the globe - follow TSA validation guidelines in regards to their purchases. It's quite possible that now, with TSA approval in the bag, orders from these countries and agencies will start flowing in.

 

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Markets traded modestly higher for the Day on Tuesday as retail sales numbers came in better than expected for the month of December, easing worries created late last year of a slowdown in consumer spending. While the numbers beat the street, per say, they weren't strong enough to spark a widespread rally as investors are still waiting on the earnings reports of the big banks to better gauge the overall health of the recovery. Additionally, reports also started to swirl late Tuesday that any delay in a debt ceiling agreement in Washington could lead to a US credit rating downgrade, a move that would likely lead to a market decline. Should an agreement not be reached, it would be a given that the US rating would be downgraded, but the Fitch warning also indicates that Washington's strategy of slowly running the budget tap just enough to keep the government running, without devising a de-facto solution, is finally starting to wear thin on all accounts.

Earnings picks up in earnest on Wednesday as hit the heart of the trading week and there could be plenty of catalysts still to come from the banks, US economic data and from Chinese data later in the week. Here are a few stocks and stories to keep an eye on for Wednesday, 16 January, 2013...ShareBuilder-Welcome page

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Following in line with market expectations leading into the new trading week, Monday opened with a bang as a flurry of economic, political and market-related news dominated the headlines all day.  As has been expected since the finalization of fiscal cliff talks at the new year, debt ceiling discussions hit full swing this week as US President Barack Obama fueled the debate with a surprise press conference emphasizing the need to get the ball rolling towards an agreement with the cooperation of both political parties.  Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner followed up with warnings of his own that the issue cannot wait and that the US economy cannot be held hostage to another round of bitter negotiations.  While the political speak intensified, the markets held relatively flat for the day. 

Tuesday will see the release of the first of a few economic data reports for the week, with retail sales numbers and the Empire State manufacturing index expected to hit the wires.  These data could set the tone for the day's trading as investors also anticipate a heavy earnings slate for later in the week.

The foundation was set on Monday for an exciting week ahead and some high-profile stories are positioning to jump to the forefront of market news.  Here are a few to keep an eye on for Tuesday, 15 January, 2013... 

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) shares have been in the spotlight during the early-goings of 2013 and are positioned to remain there as America's flu season continues to make headlines.  This year's flu outbreak has already hit well more than the majority of all fifty states and is expected to get worse as the season progresses.  As discussed earlier in the year, this development is likely to draw attention to companies with flu vaccines in development and Inovio has already gained early acclaim for its clinical-stage universal flu vaccine technology.  When such flu outbreaks occur - remember the swine flu - it's not unusual to see the share prices of these developmental flu vaccine companies run, based not only on the potential that the vaccine holds in itself, but because the government also steps in with grant money to hasten the development of a potential vaccine.  Investing in a company based on the potential for a short term trade to materialize on such developments is highly speculative, but the percentage gains that can be had with such moves are often significant.  Another benefit, though, is that attention can be drawn to pipelines that may otherwise be flying below the radar.  Inovio may be benefiting from both scenarios right now.     Already this year INO has traded for prices roughly twenty five percent higher then where they began the year as volume moved in heavy last week to support the move.  This trading action will again have the stock as a hot one to watch moving into the new trading week.

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

The trading year of 2013 kicks off in a big way this week.  Although the markets rallied for the first couple of weeks of the year, the noted price and mood fluctuations were based mainly on political factors, rather than on factors inherent to the markets themselves.  For example, a resolution to the fiscal cliff mess sparked more certainty than we'd seen for quite some time, while pessimism over the pending expiration of the US debt ceiling set in quickly and stalled the early-year run.  Renewed headlines of Europe's economic woes and expectations of another lackluster earnings season also didn't help keep the rally going, but with a slew of economic data due this week and with earnings entering the 'full swing' phase after a couple of 'teaser' reports last week by Alcoa (AA) and Wells Fargo and Company (WFC).  One way or another, things ought to get pretty exciting this week.

To gauge the health of the recovery, investors can digest this week retail sales numbers, housing starts data and consumer sentiment, in addition to some manufacturing data.  Earnings are likely to steal the overall spotlight, but any improvements - or not - in these data over the previous month or quarter can move the markets, too, especially if the data supports any trend set by the earnings reports. 

One item that can be put to rest is the silly talk surrounding this trillion-dollar coin that was so talked about over the last couple of weeks.  The amount of attention paid that coin served as a steady sideshow to real news, and was a testament to the lack of any relevant discussion going on in the meantime.  That will all change this week.

Plenty of action this week expected, but there's still always room for a few individual stocks and stories to keep an eye on...here are just a few of them...

 

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TrovaGene Inc (TROV) shares closed last week on another high note when double-the-average volume resulted in a ten percent gain for the stock.  Another spike earlier on Monday led to some modest profit taking, but shares have stabilized and consolidated this week and closed the day Wednesday at $7.23, after a two percent jump.  TROV has been steadily on the climb since last summer and has already returned a clean triple in price based on pipeline progress and the pending commercialization of some of its cancer-detecting diagnostics that have proven to detect some strands of cancer through simple urine samples.

This latest move higher is specifically related to an announcement last week that TROV will work in conjunction with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to detect transrenal BRAF mutations in the urine of patients with advanced or metastatic cancers.  This particular announcement is significant, as already noted, because it could drastically broaden the scope of the cancers detected by TROV's diagnostics, and also because it provides a huge validation of the company's diagnostic technology from the medical community...

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Alcoa (AA) kicked off the earnings season on a positive note on Tuesday and global stock markets rallied on Wednesday as a result. The upbeat Alcoa report helped to offset reports earlier on Tuesday that the Euro Zone (EZ) unemployment rate is still inching higher, bringing to light again previous worries that Europe is still far behind the United States along the road to recovery. That report from Europe led to a drop in oil prices, but did little to quell the overall upbeat mood in the markets. On Tuesday, before the Alcoa report was out, US markets closed down, but some of that could be attributed to continued profit taking after the post-fiscal cliff rally last week. While few expect this earnings season to provide anything more than the occasional modestly-surprising report, Wednesday could turn into a nice up day thanks to Alcoa. Overall enthusiasm may be tempered, however, especially with the debt ceiling negotiations still set to kick off over the near term while also considering the fact that one positive earnings report does not yet indicate a trend.

With that said, there's always a few stocks and stories to keep an eye on as the major news of the day dominates the headlines ... here are a few for Wednesday, 9 January, 2013...

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MRI Interventions Looks To Set The Tone For 2013

Although not attending the JP Morgan event this week, MRI Interventions will be presenting at the 2013 Biotech Showcase on the 9th, an event also held in San Fransisco.  With this presentation MRIC will look to set the tone for 2013, following the demonstrated swift developmental progress and revenue growth of 2012.  MRIC is positioned to take full advantage of the current trends in healthcare, which have medical professionals looking for less-intrusive and more accurate (which together means less-costly) methods of conducting complicated procedures. 

In combining those qualities, MRIC has developed the ClearPoint and ClearTrace MRI-enhancing systems that provide real-time imagery during complicated procedures on the brain and heart, respectively. With the assistance of partners such as Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX) and Brainlab, MRIC has successfully infiltrated the market for Brain surgery and a recent boost in the sales force, as announced during the last quarter of 2012, positions the company to infiltrate that market even further this year.  Already MRI is registering notable growth.

Accordingly to the latest-filed quarterly report, revenue generated by the "disposable items" associated with the use of ClearPoint roughly tripled, when compared to the same quarter of the previous year, a key indication that the technology is catching on, or at least is being used more often...

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A week of rallying came to an end on Monday as international and domestic markets dropped in anticipation of earnings season and another round of intense negotiations in Washington, this time in regards to the debt ceiling that will soon need increasing. The DOW fell fifty points while the S&P dropped from its five-year highs in another demonstration of the day-to-day fickle and volatile mood on Wall Street. Given the political landscape what it is and an earnings season that is not expected to only minimally look better than the previous quarter, there's no reason to believe that this volatile market period will come to an end any time soon.

With that said, there's always a few stocks and stories to keep an eye on as the major news of the day dominates the headlines ... here are a few for Tuesday, 8 January, 2013...

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) has already been discussed discussed as a hot, but still speculative stock to watch for 2013 based on its growing trading volume and a deep pipeline of synthetic vaccines derived from the company's proprietary SynCon platform.  Through SynCon Inovio has produced numerous synthetic vaccines intended to treat or prevent various infectious diseases and cancer types.  Maybe most notably - at least for the time being - the company has developed a universal flu vaccine that is currently being tested in clinical trials. This flu vaccine may have the company positioned to receive a significant amount of attention over the near term due to factors external of the market. 

For those following the news these days, a widespread flu outbreak has hit forty one states and the number of those affected is growing rapidly.  This year's outbreak has already surpassed last year's numbers and - as can always be expected in these instances - the CDC, government leaders and the general public are calling for a vaccine.  Every few years (remember H1N1) or so an outbreak becomes large and widespread enough that any company developing a universal flu vaccine - or even one that treats the individual strand in question - gets thrust to into the spotlight, not only because a potential marketable solution could turn into a very lucrative proposition for a given company, but also because government money often starts flowing in the form of grants to help find a cure.  This grant money can be hugely beneficial to still-developmental companies and it's quite possible that Inovio may be primed to receive a boost in investor and/or financial media interest, given the early successes of its universal flu technology and the speculation that often follows these outbreaks... 

 

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A week of solid gains held up well into Friday's close last week as a last minute deal averted the implementation of the 'fiscal cliff' that could have put the US economy into another recession, according to many analysts.  With those fears behind us, investors took advantage of recently-depressed stock prices to position for the new trading year.  The good mood may not last long, however, as numerous headlines from over the weekend tell a cautionary tale regarding the earnings season that kicks off this week, not to mention the fact that political negotiations regarding the debt ceiling are also likely to start gaining steam during the coming days.  Even President Barack Obama has warned that the US cannot afford any more of the heated battles that surrounded the cliff talks, but to expect anything less may be wishful thinking as the crew in Washington is having difficulties just agreeing on an aid package for the battered northeastern states following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  On the other hand, most in the Congress and Senate have shown that a deal can get done when their respective backs are against the wall, so it's highly likely that a deal will get done on this one, too, as anything else could leave the US credit rating at risk.

We're likely to start experiencing some volatility regarding those talks over the near term as the media plays the headlines game on a daily basis.  As always, taking emotion out of the equation and sticking to pre-conceived entry and exit strategy could help return traders and investors hefty rewards as the peaks and valleys are played.  Adding to the volatility is earnings season.  No one expects blockbuster numbers for the just-completed fourth quarter, but as we saw last quarter's reporting season when Google (GOOG) missed, one surprise report can send the markets south in a hurry - while a few better-than-expected reports could accomplish the reverse.  In these uncertain times, it's best to be prepared for either eventuality.  Of note, Alcoa (AA) and Wells Fargo and Company (WFC), among others, are slated to report this week, but neither is likely to set the tone for the season one way or the other.

Jobs and unemployment numbers for last month were in-line with expectations, so that should be considered a non-factor for the coming week, especially with so much other news priming to heat up.

With all that going on, here's a few stocks and stories to keep an eye on this week...

s a few stocks and stories to keep an eye on Thursday...CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT.

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The new year started with a bang. International markets rallied early, then the US markets followed suit with the DOW posting a gain of over three hundred points before closing strong into the bell. Green was the theme for 2013 thus far and Wednesday's strong finish could indicate that another push higher is in the works for Thursday's trading, barring any unforeseen news, although the armchair quarterbacks are out in force during the early hours Thursday addressing the deal's shortcomings. For now, however, the markets are clear from controversy, aside from the sideline criticisms. Other political issues may steal the spotlight for Congress over the short term, freeing the markets to rally and pull back on individual stories for the time being, rather than trading along with the daily banterings of Washington.

Before long, too, we'll have another round of earnings to digest. We could also see some market fluctuations at that point, once the season picks up steam, especially since many retailers have already warned of weaker-than-expected fourth quarter numbers.

For now, though, we'll enjoy the show.

Here's a few stocks and stories to keep an eye on Thursday...CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT.

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Happy 2013.  By the looks of it, this year could be one of compromise and progress.  For the first time in recent memory, representatives of the US government worked through the holidays, accomplished something major, and sorted out a deal to avert the fiscal cliff that would have been imposed in the absence of such an agreement.  Both sides can claim victory as each was able to hang onto some key provisions and standing points, although some post-vote bickering will still point out that there are also some bitter divides remaining.  It's also impressive that the deal was done with much of the government operating in a lame-duck status, but it's also that the consequences of not coming up with solution to the cliff crisis could have been devastating for a recovering economy and for the People's perception of Washington.  Our elected leaders knew this all too well, so any true celebrations of bi-partisanship and compromise may be premature for the time being, but at least we know if the folks in DC have their backs up against the wall that something could actually get done.

The prospects of a cliff deal sent the markets north during the last trading day of 2012, although they had dropped during the week prior.  With the deal complete, stocks could be set for an early-2013 rise.  Asian markets traded up to five-month highs on Wednesday and the outlook was encouraging that US stocks would react the same, but some caution is still likely to persist as the new talk of the day will revolve around an increase in the debt ceiling.  Politicians will be right back at it and the stability of the markets may again be threatened as Republicans and Democrats look to use this latest round of negotiations to make up for any ground they feel they may lost in the cliff negotiations.

As with the cliff negotiations, expect the ceiling drama to play out until the last minute and volatility may again be a part of this game because the results of not increasing the debt ceiling will likely lead to another round of spending cuts that the media will play up to have as devastating an effect on the economy as those included in the fiscal cliff.

The new year is now in full effect, but although one major catastrophe looks to have been averted, the new year is still bringing more of the same - unless this new found spirit of compromise and cooperation actually holds true.

As the stories and the drama continue to play out, here are a few stocks and stories to keep an eye on... 

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Here we go - a reversal of tone in the fiscal cliff negotiations.  The spirit of compromise can last only so long in Washington before shifting into another political stalemate that holds the short term economic balance of the country at stake.  After encouraging face to face meetings and talk of cooperation between US President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner earlier this week, the tide has quickly turned and comments made by the President on Wednesday indicated that Republicans were not playing nice and making the negotiations personal, without taking into account what's best for the country.  It was only a matter of time before the talks headed south and now - with only a handful of working days left before the end of the year - it gets interesting. 

Fitch Ratings warned on Wednesday that if a deal is not reached by year-end, the agency was prepared to downgrade the US credit rating from its current "AAA" standing.  Should such an eventuality take place, it would likely add to any downward pressure created by the combination of swift tax increases and spending cuts that would result from the lack of a cliff deal anyway and potentially bring some pain to the portfolios of investors large and small.  With those thoughts in mind the markets, which had been trading green for the better part of the day, slipped into red territory as investors digested the latest headlines.

The pressure is on to get a deal done and the politicians know this, so the end game is likely to be a deal, or at the very least an agreement to extend the deadline for a short time while the final touches are put on an agreement.  This time there's too much at stake to let it go on for too long.

In addition to developments surrounding the cliff negotiations, Wednesday was a pretty big news day for some popular stocks and stories.  There are also a few more heating up for the remainder of the week -  Here are just a few of them...

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Tuesday registered another solid up day for the markets as investors embraced positive discussions taking place between Democrats and Republicans during the opening days of the week, but an about face of media coverage Tuesday evening could spark a little bit more uncertainty into the markets regarding the outcome of negotiations.  Concessions were made by both sides this week as they played a game of 'offer, counter-offer,' but indications on Wednesday morning were that Republicans were preparing a 'Plan B,' which was to adopt their own tax bill, should President Obama not budge on his latest proposal.  Since everyone in the knows that anything the Republicans put forth will not make it through the Senate, there is reason to believe - again - that we may end up going over the cliff at the end of the year.  Even the leaders of the two parties cannot muster enough support from within to rally behind what is on the table now, so we may not be as close to the end of this thing as previously thought.  Should make for a nail-biting couple of weeks for those keeping track.

All that aside, the markets have prevailed and December has looked pretty green so far.  With each of the DOW's hundred point swings higher, however, one can't help to believe that what we may be seeing is a case of 'buy the rumor, sell the news.' With that in mind, it's quite possible that a case of 'sell the news' can materialize whether a fiscal cliff deal is announced or not, just like the markets rallied into the elections in November, but tanked afterwards.  The lack of a deal would likely lead to a more pronounced drop than should one be agreed upon, but we could be setting up for a fall either way.  After all, even with a deal, some taxes will be going up anyway, which will make some investors a tad more apprehensive about holding into the new year.

Trading strategies should not be altered, in my opinion.  Having some cash on the sidelines prepares one for any eventuality, while individual entry and exit strategies can still be adhered to - especially for catalyst-based trades - regardless of what is going on in the surrounding market.  

As those stories all play out, here are a few stocks and stories to keep an eye on...

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The markets loved the fact that US President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met face to face on Monday to discuss their respective proposals over how to avert the fiscal cliff, as the DOW jumped by one hundred points and the Nasdaq and S&P were also up by over a percentage point each.  More than just the fact that two met, however, was that the meeting came with a counter-offer by the President to what was proposed by Mr. Boehner last week.  Funny how that bipartisan and cooperation stuff works when the two sides are willing - it's refreshing to see such strategies return to Washington. 

There's still much to be done, though, but the tone looks to be set that it will all get done.  Cooperation does not mean instant agreement, so the two sides still need to come closer on the limit for who will receive tax hikes next year; the President's new proposal calls for increases on those earning more than $400,000 per year while Mr. Boehner's latest offer stood at a cool million/per.  It's likely that the two will agree to a number in between ($500-$600k would be my guess), while they also need to agree on when to raise the next debt ceiling.

No longer does it look like that the two cannot negotiate a deal before the end of the year, but where things still might get tense is when each has to convince their respective parties to buy off on whatever it is the President and Mr. Boehner bring forward.  With less than two weeks left to the year - and with the Christmas holidays taking some working days out of the mix next week - there will be little time for collective negotiations from the Democrat and Republican bodies of the Government, once a preliminary deal is proposed. 

So while Monday's tone is encouraging, this story is far from over.

As negotiations continue to play out, here are a few stocks and stories to keep an eye on...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Ordinarily the only significant trading investors see during the closing couple of weeks of December is some tax-loss selling, but given that we're now in serious 'crunch time' in terms of possibly averting a fiscal cliff calamity, the coming week or two could be full of volatile moves based on the headlines and updates of the day.  The markets edged lower on Thursday and Friday of last week, indicating that investors may be losing faith that a deal can get done - even one that would postpone a final decision and temporarily halt the tax cuts and spending hikes that would be implemented come 1 January.

Another factor that could come into play for the remainder of the year is capital gains selling.  Because capital gains taxes could be slated for a significant bump, investors may take advantage of bailing out under the 2012 rate, rather than take an additional tax hit next year.  Many analysts, especially those that favor higher taxes, argue that investors would not sell for that reason alone, but others speculate that capital gains considerations are a large part of why Apple (AAPL) shares have been on the rapid decline over the past couple of weeks.  Looking at it objectively, however, Apple is also facing much stiffer competition in the smartphone market that is about to also introduce Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry 10.

So, it's all eyes on Washington, with few distractions...

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Wednesday was a prime example of the finicky trading environment that we're dealing with these days.  The markets spiked at the mid-day point when comments from the Fed indicated that interest rates would remain low until unemployment numbers hit 6.5%, but stocks quickly gave back their gains and traded relatively flat by the market close when projected GDP growth numbers were modestly revised to the lower.  Adding to the reversal of the mid-day spike were headlines that started circulating painting another picture of a stark divide between the White House and Congress regarding budget negotiations - as if the daily flip-flop of tone wasn't getting old yet.

The Fed meeting provided a couple of days of distraction, but for the remainder of the year - or until a fiscal cliff deal is reached (whichever comes first) - the markets are likely to trade in tune with whatever the headlines are telling us that day.  As the cliff deadline approaches without a deal being reached, however, investors could start bailing out into cash, which could coincide with tax-loss selling and lead to a pronounced drop.  If the talks result in a budget deal over the short term, then predictions of a December rally may actually come to fruition.

It's best, in my opinion, to prepare for both eventualities by still playing the trades and keeping a nice chunk of free cash on hand to take advantage of a potential all-out drop.  As we await resolution on the cliff, days like Wednesday will make the traders happy.

As those stories continue to play out, here are a few stocks to keep an eye on for the day, if not for remainder of the week...

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Fiscal cliff talks continued on Tuesday as the US President and House Speaker appeared to be inching closer to an agreement that would avert a fiscal calamity at the new year, but all eyes on were on the Fed meeting Tuesday and will likely remain there on Wednesday, too.  Investors keyed in on the possibilities of new stimulus following the meeting and liked what they saw, as the DOW rose by nearly eighty points.  Whatever merry mood may prevail following the meeting, however, could disappear quickly if cliff negotiations start to become tense again.  Current trading patterns indicate that investors who were flying in a holding pattern awaiting a cliff outcome may now be judging the situation a little more positively than before.  Again, that could all change in a heartbeat as there are few working days left inside the beltway before the new year will be upon us - with or without a deal.

As those stories continue to play out, here are a few stocks to keep an eye on for the day, if not for remainder of the week...

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Stocks traded relatively sideways during the opening day of the new trading week as investors continued a holding pattern while fiscal cliff negotiations progress behind closed doors in Washington.  Some took it as an encouraging sign that US President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were sitting at the same table, but most are taking an "I'll believe it when I see approach" to the situation and holding fast since both sides still looking to be standing fast on some key issues.  What complicates matters, too, is not just the uncertainty of the negotiations, but that a political game of chess is also being played, with each side consistently trying to gain the upper hand in the court of public opinion.  With that in mind, it's still a good idea to expect volatility and hold some cash on the sidelines in case things go south as we approach the cliff deadline.

Other than that there were no significant economic data released on Monday on which to dwell, so all eyes will be on the Fed meeting, starting today and heading into Wednesday. 

As those stories continue to play out, here's a few stocks to keep an eye on for the day, if not for remainder of the week...

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"Readers Respond" is a forum where readers add and input to ongoing discussions regarding events or companies that have either been covered by VFC's Stock House or are worth bringing to the attention of readers.  Remember, you don't have to agree with VFC to contribute - the best discussions are the ones where all angles are covered. All comments are welcome via email: vfc@vfcsstockhouse.com, Twitter (@VFCsStockHouse), Facebook or the VFC's Stock House Seeking Alpha page.

A comment from 'Celsius Fan' in response to this week's 'Weekly Stock Watch' where we mentioned that revenue for the company's most recently reported quarter was down to $1.4 million, a 43% decrease from the same quarter of the previous year:

VFC, I would take note that the $1.4 million revenue figure was adjusted downward by a 2010 return reserve adjustment realized in 2011 of $508,000. Putting that number back in would register sales of $1.9 million; a truer indicator of steady consumer demand in their niche market. The past two quarters showed tough comparisons, but I'm hoping for steady improvement in 2013...

 

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Progress was minimal last week regarding fiscal cliff negotiations but the market shrugged it off and used an encouraging jobs report to close strong, with the DOW sitting at over 13,150 heading into the new trading week. Given the 'crunch time' time status of cliff negotiations, and also given the increasing likelihood that politicians are preparing to actually go over the cliff in an effort to blame each other for any economic catastrophe that might strike, volatility could increase this week as investors look to move away from any investments that could be most hard-hit by the stark tax increases and spending cuts that would result if a deal is not reached in time. It's also about that time of year where many investor start to effectuate tax-loss selling, which could also apply downward pressure to the markets between now and the end of the year, especially in the absence of a cliff deal...

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On the heels of an announcement last week that Implant Sciences (IMSC) had shipped the largest order in company history to India's Ministry of Defense for a total value of six million dollars worth of product, Implant again made noise this week by announcing that it had secured contracts to provide its Quantum Sniffer (QS) explosives trace detector units to various agencies of the US Government.  The full order entails a total of twelve units, a combination consisting of both the handheld H-150 and the desktop B-220 units.  The significance of this order should not be ignored as many skeptical investors had questioned the company's ability to infiltrate the US homeland defense market, even as sales continued to grow overseas. 

Maybe of even more significant is the inclusion of the B-220 in this order.  That unit in particular has been under review for quite some time by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for testing and validation and Implant officials have noted in recent conference calls that the process is nearly complete.  The fact that US government agencies are already jumping on board could boost the already confident opinion of many long-sided investors that the validation will soon turn into an all-out approval. 

Regardless, Monday's announcement is a sign that Implant's strategy of building an experienced sales and management force with numerous government connections - some of whom bailed from competing companies - could be starting to pay off in a big way...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

It's all about the fiscal cliff.  While some of the ongoing market uncertainty came off the table last week as European leaders were finally able to come up with a deal that would free up the next round of bailout money for cash-strapped Greece, but negotiations in the United States between Republicans and Democrats took center stage with the fiscal cliff looming.  Talks initially looked quite promising in the immediate days following last month's election, but the two sides look to have dug in their heels in an effort to protect their respective bargaining chips.  That means the markets are most likely going to be edgy as negotiations intensify. 

The rapidly-issued news headlines have thus far detailed every trivial (or not so trivial) update regarding these political negotiations and stocks traded in kind, moving up and down on a whim, as demonstrated by Friday's volatile intra-day moves as multiple updates were offered from both sides in Washington.  In the end, though, the markets managed to hold their gains from the previous week and the DOW closed again at the north side of the 13,000 mark...

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A significant portion of the market worry for the week was resolved when European fiscal leaders were finally able to hash together a deal that would open the doors to Greece receiving another round of bailout cash, but that wasn't enough to satisfy US investors as the markets dropped amid increasing concerns of a political impasse surrounding the fiscal cliff.  Rhetoric was rosy immediately following US elections earlier this month that Republicans and Democrats would be able to come to the table and reach a compromise on the pending tax hikes and spending cuts that would result from enactment of the cliff, but each side looks again to have dug in its heels leading many investors to doubt that an outcome could be reached before the new year. 

As previously discussed, it's more likely that politicians will be able to reach an agreement on extending the deadline for reaching a new deal, which would temporarily ward off the tax hikes and spending cuts that investors and political pundits alike believe would lead to another US recession, but do little to quell the uneasy nerves of investors who grow continuously impatient with Washington's inaction.  That means nothing has changed for us on a day to day basis - we can still expect a volatile market as negotiations continue and it's likely that a few trading/accumulation opportunities may arise through the volatility.

There's a few opportunities that have already played out, and there are still more to keep an eye on moving forward.  Here's just a few of them...

 

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

After a week of celebrating family, friends, turkeys and stuffing, there'll be plenty to keep us occupied on the markets during the coming trading week.

A festive holiday mood, a cease fire in the Middle East and the perception of bipartisanship in Washington sent the markets well into the green last week, allowing for the DOW to reclaim the 13,000 throne for the first time since election day.  The S&P and Nasdaq followed suit, too, as did many of the international markets, creating a level of enthusiasm leading into the new trading week.  In all actuality, investors should not entirely expect the run to continue.  Many key concerns - many of which have resulted in the market decline of the past few weeks - still exist, most notably the pending 'fiscal cliff' in the United States and the inability of European leaders to finalize a plan for the next round of bailout money for Greece... 

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How quickly the tide can change.  Barely a day after the markets rose in force on encouraging signs of cooperation in Washington and in the European Union regarding the 'fiscal cliff' and Greek bailout, respectively, the mood changed by Wednesday morning and investors are again skittish - at least according to some headlines - because of reinvigorated concerns over the same subject matter.  While there are no indications that talks in the US over the fiscal cliff have been derailed, there may be something to the European concerns as ministers over there failed to come up with a united plan on Tuesday to continue the flow of bailout cash to Greece in order to keep that country from going bankruptcy.  If you want to talk about cliffs, Greece is teetering on the economic edge of one now, sparking fear among investors and economists alike as the euro hit multi-month lows Tuesday... 

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

An up day on Friday wasn't quite enough to eliminate another overall down week for the markets as flare-ups in the Middle East and concerns over the pending fiscal cliff in the United States continued to play on the minds of investors, but an unusually cooperative tone in Washington over the past few days could ease worries of a protracted market dip as the cliff negotiations play out.  Some may take a "wait and see" approach, however, because it's truly been years since the words "cooperative" and "Washington" could be associated in the same sentence - and just because Republicans and Democrats are talking, it doesn't mean that a deal is going to get done before the 11th hour.  After all, American politics are so divided and polarized right now that neither side wants to be viewed as cohorting with the enemy, and too much cooperation may kill the cable news channel ratings, so there's likely much more drama to come regarding these negotiations - whether invented by the media types or not - meaning there should still be plenty of market volatility until the day a deal is announced...

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Stocks continued their recent slide on Wednesday as negotiations over the pending 'fiscal cliff' in the United States took center stage when US President Barack Obama indicated that he would be unwilling to waver when it came to imposing tax increases on the wealthiest Americans.  Republicans in the House have also indicated that their position of no tax hikes without significant budget cuts is also unwavering, setting the tone for what could be a very tense and politically bloody period of discussions.

Tensions also flared in various flash points around the globe, which only added to the bearish investor mood and sparked a sell-off that intensified as the trading day progressed.  Europe has been riddled with mass protests and strikes by citizens unhappy with the drastic measures of austerity having to be implemented due to sputtering economies over there and new violence in the Middle East also has investors nervous...

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Investor caution could dominate mid-week trading as debates over the pending 'fiscal cliff' in the United States intensify as European leaders across the Atlantic decide to pay for another round of bailout financing to ward off a Greek bankruptcy.  The Greek government ignored the molotov cocktails and angry protesters last week to come up with additional measures of austerity - the first step towards securing this additional round of bailout money - and European fiscal representatives granted the country another two years to get its fiscal act together, but concerns of how these bailouts will be paid for transparent to European taxpayers will still weigh heavily on the markets. 

European shares suffered as a result on Tuesday, as did the Euro, which hit multi-month lows.

Any talk of European or international fiscal entities leaving the Greeks to fend for themselves is slim at this point, so the markets may take any concerns of a return to the drachma with a grain of salt, given that the bailout money has already started to flow into the country and it doesn't look like the tap is going to be shut off.  That said, if the rest of Europe gets tired of bearing the brunt of Greece's woes and uncertainty again creeps into the markets, all bets may be off...

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"Readers Respond" is a forum where readers run the show by commenting on or adding to ongoing discussions regarding events or companies that have either been covered by VFC's Stock House or are worth bringing to the attention of readers.  Remember, you don't have to agree with VFC to contribute - the best discussions are the ones where all angles are covered. All comments are welcome via email: vfc@vfcsstockhouse.com, Twitter (@VFCsStockHouse), Facebook or the VFC's Stock House Seeking Alpha page.

A comment from Seeking Alpha reader 'tpim' in response to the November 5th 'Weekly Stock Watch', which included discussions of Implant Sciences (IMSC)

I see you are long imsc.pk. What do you think of Ben Sharvy's article? ...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. 

With the election season now behind us and the prospects of a 'fiscal cliff' facing the US economy, concentration this week will be focused on whether or not last week's broad market drop will continue into an all-out market correction, as some have predicted.  The markets started tanking on Wednesday -following the re-election of US President Barack Obama - but to be completely fair to the President, the pullback cannot solely be attributed to investor reaction to the election results - there were many other factors at play last week that likely led to the market drop...

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Shares of Organovo Holdings (ONVO) have traded all over the map during the month of October, surging from just below the two dollar mark to well over three on strong volume when the company and its sector received high-profile coverage from reputable media outlets at the mid-month mark.  The volatility has subsided, however, and shares have simmered down again as the day, swing and momentum traders moved on with profits following the run.  Remaining investors - and potential new ones - will be investigating for themselves whether or not Organovo has what it takes to become a winner again, whether it be over the the speculative short or the validated long term.  The key - as is usually the case with still-developmental companies - lies with the technology, and it's the technology that may have this company riding the wave of the future in medical research and development...

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Vote, America

Posted by Posted by VFC on Nov 06, 2012
Vote, America.
 
It’s a freedom and a privilege that gets taken for granted and goes unappreciated by way too many. Around the globe there are hundreds of millions of people who would give anything just to be heard without the threat of backlash, violence or death. Many have come before us to ensure that our voting rights became and remain a mainstay in our society – to give us a voice in choosing the course of our future and our country so that we may leave the world a better place for our children.

Vote.

And then Go Giants.

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. First thoughts again go to those who are still pulling themselves or their loved ones together after the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

Finally...the politics may be winding down. Undoubtedly, Tuesday's US presidential election results will be the story of the week after an extremely long campaign season that has over-saturated the news media outlets and Facebook discussions for the better part of a year. Once the results are in on Tuesday, hopefully everyone can take a deep breath, lose some bitterness and all move forward together because - after all - we all play for the same team...

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Hurricane Sandy ensured that this week's trading week would be a shortened one and all thoughts and prayers are with those suffering and still dealing with the aftermath of that terrible storm. Around us, however, the world is still moving forward; the politicians are still politicking, world economies are still slowing, and - most importantly to those following VFC's Stock House - our favorite (or not so favorite) stocks and stories are again trading along and moving forward.

Again, the bulk of our thoughts go to those who need the strength right now - in all of the world's flashpoints and flood zones - but here's a look at some of our much-watched stories right now...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

The market demise that began with Google's (GOOG) surprisingly weak earnings report about ten days ago - which was then followed by additional salvos of dismal earnings from other industry leaders in multiple sectors - continued last week with an early-week drop that saw the DOW sitting at just above the 13,000 mark by the close on Friday. Few signs of economic strength and improving earnings were offered to help keep enthusiasm afloat and pessimism at bay, although the two percent growth in the US GDP reported last week beat most analyst estimates and has warded off any immediate concerns of a return to recessionary times. The news was played down by many pundits, however, and the markets failed to react with any conviction as earnings reports continued to disappoint...

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Sunshine (SSH) shares were moving higher on Monday, trading up by five percent after having dropped to near the six dollar mark late last week following the airing of funding concerns on the Seeking Alpha website by an individual investor who held no position in the stock.  The concerns, as it turns out, may have been a tad bit overblown as they did not address the fact that the C-Pulse Heart Assist system had already received a CE Mark approval in Europe and is on track to start registering commercial sales as soon as within the current quarter.  Additional concerns were raised - and then debunked - regarding competition from other heart-assist devices on the market, specifically those marketed by Heartware International (HTWR) and Thoratec (THOR), for example, given that the C-Pulse is implanted outside of a patient's bloodstream, a huge advantage over any purported competition...

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A little over a month ago Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) announced that it had filed an Investigational New Drug (IND) with the FDA for a second GI pipeline candidate, SP-333, an announcement that piqued investor interest in this company's ability to potential become a big player in the GI field later on down the road.  Until that time Synergy had mainly attracted investor interest for the potential of its lead drug candidate, Plecanatide, which is currently being investigated in a Phase IIb/III trial for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC), with further trials planned for Plecanatide in the treatment of constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C), too.  Shares ran to the seven dollar mark earlier this year as the potential of Plecanatide became appreciated by the speculative investors of the sector and another push over five materialized following the approval of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals' (IRWD) Linzess early last month.  Linzess, as previously discussed, shares the same origins and mechanism-of-action as Plecanatide and analysts believe that the two will perform comparably on the market, with a potential edge going to Plecanatide for a more favorable side effect profile...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Always an innovator and market-place leader, Google (GOOG) once again managed to do something that no other company had yet been able to do. The current earnings season was long-expected to be a disappointing one, but as report after lackluster report rolled in - along with some revised guidance to the downside - the markets traded relatively unscathed, remaining above the disappointing fray and leaving many with the impression that the few earnings surprises that did emerge provided enough juice so that the season would come and go without any major market shift transpiring...until Google reported...

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Shares of Sunshine Heart (SSH) were hit fairly hard this week, dropping to lows over the mid-week period that had not been seen for months. Given that the share price dip was sparked by investor concerns that may be quite unjustified, the potential for a rebound exists for the near term, and maybe even more so for the long term. Leading the charge to the downside may have been investor questions that surfaced this week regarding the company's cash position and potential competition that Sunshine's C-Pulse Heart Assist system, a device that has thus far proven to not only halt the progression of heart failure in patients with Class III and ambulatory Class IV heart failure, may face on the open market. Additional concerns were raised at the fact that C-Pulse would not even be slated to reach market in the United States until 2015, before which time the company could be susceptible to multiple rounds of financing that could result in severe dilution for retail investors...

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Just as easily as the markets drop, they too can rebound - as proven this week with the DOW's recovery back to the 13,500 mark on not-so-disappointing earnings reports by some key players in multiple sectors and continued encouraging economic indicators, including a boost in housing starts to four-year highs that reinvigorates enthusiasm in the sector that has arguably taken the worst hit since economic crisis of a few years ago.  The positive mood spread globally as Asian and European shares also enjoyed early-week market stability.

Back in the US, a huge shakeup in the banking sector overshadowed the earnings talk as Citigroup Inc (C) CEO Vikram Pandit surprisingly stepped down, automatically leading investors to concentrate more on the future direction of that company than on the present day earnings.  Bank of America Corp (BAC) emerged from its own earnings report relatively unscathed, beating estimates on one account, but missing on another.  The mixed report detracted little from what's looks to be rebounding housing and earnings numbers and financial headlines following the report indicated that the sector could be in for an overall upswing, with eyes again towards the future...

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Investors may be wondering if Dendreon (DNDN) can ever catch a break.  A few years ago positive Phase III results for the company's immunotherapeutic prostate cancer treatment defied the critics and set the stage for an historic approval by the FDA in May, 2010, which sent shares soaring towards the forty dollar mark, but since that time the company has been plagued by slumping Provenge sales, questionable reporting practices, and continued attacks from what some would consider the 'peanut gallery.' 

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Weeks of speculation regarding an earnings season market meltdown started to play out to form last week as each of the first four trading days resulted in significant drops before a luke-warm Friday halted the skid and prevented an all-out panic.  September's multi-year highs could soon be forgotten moving into the new trading week as investors remain unconvinced that there are enough earnings surprises in store to support a continued move higher, or even to fend off a further drop.  Some companies are out there 'beating the street,' per say, and guiding higher - Sirius XM Radio Inc. (SIRI) upped its subscriber forecast for the year last week, for example - while both JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) beat profit expectations this past Friday.  Stark warnings from both Alcoa (AA) and Chevron (CVX), however, significantly impacted mid-week trading and even while the somewhat encouraging aspects of the JPM and WFC impressed on one account, slowing revenue numbers from the two banking giants concerned investors enough to leave shares of each company trading in the red for the day...

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It's a general rule of thumb that when it starts to look like the markets may be in for a downturn, investors start looking to take profits and their positions to cash in anticipation of more attractive entry points later on down the road.  Another strategy, however, is a move towards gold and other precious metals, as the value of such properties has only grown substantially over the past decades, especially given the widespread uncertainty surrounding the global equity markets in the midst of the global economic meltdown.  Nevada is currently a experiencing a now-generation 'Gold Rush' that is not only creating new jobs in the State, but is also offering smaller companies and speculative investors an opportunity to capitalize on the trend. While the big players in the sector may provide stability and notable growth over the long haul, more speculative investors may dabble with the start-ups and those companies that may still be in the earlier stages of drilling and/or exploration...

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The DOW experienced another triple digit drop on Wednesday as weak earnings expectations and continued concerns expressed by the IMF about slowing global growth weighed heavily on trading during the mid-week period. Alcoa (AA) received the earnings spotlight on Tuesday evening and the company's results didn't exactly disappoint, but it was a tame revision of guidance that contributed to Wednesday's drop, as did Chevron's (CVX) stark revision of expectations. It wasn't expected to be a stellar earnings season by any means, so a few surprises here and there along the way could spark a broad-market rebound, but as long as the economic trends continue in line with the IMF forecasts, investors may be more apt to jump ship with cash in hand and wait for a re-entry point than to ride out the days of triple digit drops on hopes of a quick rebound.

Although the color of the markets may have been painted red so far during the week, there are still plenty of mid-week upside and downside movers to keep an eye on - here's just a few of them...

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Shares of AEterna Zentaris (AEZS) received a boost last month when Roth Capital Partners initiated coverage of the company with an enthusiastic 'Buy' rating and a price target that was nearly triple where shares were trading at the time, but the announcement and implementation of a six-for-one reverse split (RS) quickly sent shares spiraling south and reversed what had quickly become the best positive trend enjoyed by AEterna shareholders since before the Phase III Perifisone failure of earlier this year.  Shares received another spark this week, however, when the Maxim Group issued a similarly encouraging forecast on the company when it, too, initiated coverage with a 'Buy' rating and a price target nearly triple the current prices...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

The markets opened the week relatively flat again this week as pundits more forcibly predicted that a broad market downturn may ultimately take effect, citing some high-profile profit warnings as the earnings season kicks off.  In addition to the expected earnings weakness, recent comments from the International Monetary Fund have also emphasized the growing risk of another all-out global recession, words strong enough to see European shares sputter early this week.  Other causes of concern revolve around increasing tensions in the Middle East and the threat of the Syrian civil war stretching to other nations in the region, such as Turkey...

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The volatile trend continues in the markets, but the DOW has done a pretty good job at remaining in the range of 13,500 as the mood was merry at the mid-week point, given the somewhat-encouraging economic indicators and comments from the Fed earlier in the week.  Barring any European developments that may influence trading trends beforehand, all eyes will now be on Friday's employment numbers.

Amid the overall market movement this week, there were also some individual mid-week movers (both to the up and downside) that might be worth keeping an eye on...

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Last week we identified Sunshine Heart (SSH) as one of five share price dips that were worth paying attention to for the potential of each stock to experience a quick rebound, given their respective pending catalysts.  Although not all of those picks has yet to rebound, it didn't take long for Sunshine shares to bounce back as the company released another round of milestone news this week announcing the conditional approval for an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) of the C-Pulse Heart Assist system by the FDA.  C-Pulse is a medical device that has thus far in development proven to halt - and possibly reverse - the effects and progression of heart failure in patients with Class III and ambulatory Class IV heart failure and the conditional approval allows the company to move forward with its planned US trial later this year.  Already this year the company has received an approval in Europe for its flagship product and positive results from a North American feasibility study have paved the way for the upcoming US trial that will be geared towards receiving an FDA approval. 

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

A new quarter kicks off with a bang this week as new jobs and manufacturing data are slated for release while the US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will issue new comments relating to the economy on Monday. It's also expected that Spain will officially request a bailout this week and the first of three US Presidential debates will take place on Wednesday, positioning the coming week as one that could be filled with high trading volume, excitement and volatility. Trading patterns have remained relatively sideways over the past couple of weeks as the markets remain the range of their multi-year highs and any earnings or economic surprises could, in theory, spark a further move higher while any worse-than-expected numbers would likely provide the downward pressure that many media outlets were predicting would materialize over the past few weeks...

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It's been a sideways trading week for the markets thus far, although the modest dip by the DOW on Wednesday could be an indication that many are consolidating positions in anticipation of a possible broad market downturn. Some stocks have taken a harder hit than others so far this week and here's just a few of them to keep an eye on as the dips experienced by these companies may be more the result of trading patterns and only be temporary...

Amarin Corporation (AMRN):  Amarin shares dropped at the week's open on Monday and have continued with their downward trend ever since, closing Wednesday at just under the twelve dollar mark.  Shares were flying earlier this summer, however, just before the company's flagship product, Vascepa, received an FDA approval for the treatment of very high triglycerides.  Concerns over whether or not the FDA will eventually grant a new chemical entity (NCE) status to Vascepa has weighed heavily on the share price, especially after the second delay was announced earlier this month.  Although Amarin is building a solid foundation of patents to protect its technology, NCE status would provide more rock-solid protection for the period covered by NCE and this fact is being played up heavily by numerous investors and financial media outlets.

 

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) is another of quite a few developmental companies in the healthcare sector that has experienced a boost in both volume and price since the summer months and could be worth keeping an eye on as an advancing pipeline and a novel technology moves into the latter stages of Phase II development. Inovio has pushed forward - through the development of its SynCon vaccine design process - a full pipeline of synthetic vaccines that are designed to universally treat multiple and emerging strains of a virus - instead of just focusing on treating a single strain, as is the standard of today's vaccine development. In addition to developing this technology to treat just various virus strains, however, Inovio has also applied the SynCon technology to treating multiple cancers, too...

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Already a hot stock to watch based on an early-September move higher, AEterna Zentaris (AEZS) shares really caught fire late last week after Roth Capital Partners initiated coverage on the company with a rating of 'Buy' and a price target of $1.75, which values AEZS shares at more than double that of last Friday's close and more than triple the share price of just a few weeks ago.  As previously discussed, AEZS took a dive earlier this year after the high-profile failure of AEterna's Perifsone - then partnered with Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) - in a Phase III trials testing its effectiveness in fighting metastatic colorectal cancer made headlines... 

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Earlier this summer Cytosorbents Corp (CTSO) announced the official launch of CytoSorb in Europe. 

CytoSorb had been approved last year in Europe for the treatment of conditions where high cytokines are present and the company has been taking a methodical and patient approach towards full commercialization in order to keep expenditures under control.  In conjunction with the launch, CytoSorb also appointed Dr. Christian Steiner, MD, to its European sales subsidiary as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Managing Director of CytoSorbents Europe GmbH.  The official launch was an highly-anticipated event by investors who believe that CytoSorb could become the new standard of care for severe sepsis and other indications of high ctyokines once momentum into the intensive care market builds...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Although last week was one of sideways trading as the markets held their multi-year highs, this week and beyond could give investors some short term cause for concern. The the third quarter earnings season is predicted to be soft and there are no real economic motivators expected to catalyst markets any higher than their current levels. Stimulus talk and promises from the Fed in the US and from the European Central Bank across the pond fuelled much of the recent market run, but while stimulus is nice, the facts are that investors may key more on the sluggish economies as many believe - including this guy - that there is more potential for market downside than up.

Regardless, there's always going to be plenty of hot stocks and stories to watch. Here's just a few of them...

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Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation (ADMD) has - through key partnerships, expanding distribution channels and the acquisition of a license to a novel cancer-fighting technology - well positioned itself to become a growth player in the field of nuclear medicine, specifically in the field of the production and distribution of medical isotopes.  Medical isotopes are used in molecular imaging, therapy, and nuclear medicine to diagnose, manage and treat diseases and are deemed a hot item whenever discussed because of the geopolitical implications of non-nuclear nations attempt to enrich uranium for - ahem - solely medical purposes...

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Shares of Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP) have traded in a relative range between sixty five and eighty cents since mid-April of this year, but a nice bump in volume over the past four trading sessions has once again helped the stock bash through the dollar barrier. Investors who had been counting on the company landing a partner for Probuphine - a subcutaneous treatment for opioid addiction that utilizes Titan's proprietary ProNeura drug delivery system - were time and again disappointed by no news, leading to the share price slip to the sixties earlier this year...

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Shares of Sunshine Heart (SSH) have been trading with increased volatility over the past couple of weeks as investors reacted to a report of new - and bullish - analyst coverage from Canaccord Genuity.  Canaccord slapped a rating of 'buy' and a price target of eleven dollars on Sunshine shares, citing encouraging results of a North American feasibility trial for the C-Pulse Heart Assist system and a firmed-up financial position as key reasons to retain a positive outlook on the company's future.  C-Pulse is a medical device that has thus far proven to halt - and possibly reverse - the progression of heart failure in patients with Class III and ambulatory Class IV heart failure.  It's also considered less-intrusive than other heart-implantable devices since it is implanted outside of the blood stream and was approved in Europe just months ago...

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Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP), with a key trial catalyst pending, remains a hot stock to watch heading into the final quarter of the year. As confirmed last month, Synergy's Phase IIb/III trial testing Plecanatide in the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) has completed enrollment and is on track for a December results release. Investor sentiment regarding this trial is positive, as evidenced by a price run of nearly a dollar since the beginning of August, especially since Ironwood Pharmaceuticals' (IRWD) recently received an FDAapproval for Linzess - a product previously known as Linaclotide which shares origins and a similar mechanism-of-action with Plecanatide...

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AEterna Zentaris (AEZS) was cruising along earlier this year with a share price four times the current levels, a pipeline full of potential and results from a Phase III trial testing the company's lead product candidate, Perifisone, in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer soon to be released.  Investor confidence was also building as shares of both AEterna and partner Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) were quickly heading higher leading into the trial catalyst.  All that changed overnight, however, when it was announced that Perifisone failed the Phase III trial.  AEterna shares plunged, as did those of Keryx, and neither company has yet to return to the pre-results highs.  AEterna, actually, remained stagnant over the course of the summer, trading at well below the dollar mark as investors demonstrated a loss of confidence in Perifisone, which was (and still is) being investigated in a Phase III trial for multiple myeloma (MM)...

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OncoSec Medical (ONCS) - with a market cap of right around twenty million and a share price of just over twenty cents - is still chugging along as a potentially attractive risk/reward play for investors looking to take a chance on a new method of cancer treatment based on a novel technology. OncoSec, as previously noted, has developed the proprietary OncoSec Medical System (OMS), which uses a process known as electroporation to more accurately and efficiently deliver therapeutic agents directly into cancerous cells without disturbing the surrounding tissue. Such a technology, should it prove successful through development, could help ease the cost burdens associated with cancer treatment today as existing treatments could become more effective and side effects could be minimized...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

The markets flew last Thursday afternoon and Friday morning after much-anticipated comments from the US Federal Reserve indicated that stimulus for the ailing economy would continue to be forthcoming until the economy picks up steam on its own.  Investors liked the news and sparked the run that built on momentum created the previous week when the European Central Bank (ECB) issued similar comments of its own...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

The economic news wasn't all encouraging last week, not from Europe nor from the United States, but the markets didn't mind so much as stocks jumped on both Thursday and Friday and soared to new four year highs. What the markets liked - and grabbed on to for momentum - was that the European Central Bank (ECB) pledged last week to offer stimulus to the European economy by buying up some debt of the most troubled Eurozone countries. The Euro rebounded on that news and the US markets also jumped as investors became increasingly optimistic that the US economic authorities would follow suite and initiate another round of stimulus bond-buying during a two-day meeting this week...

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Shares of Amarin Corporation (AMRN) opened the new trading week with a bang, jumping by over a buck on Tuesday - good for a seven percent gain - before giving back half of those gains on Wednesday as traders likely parlayed the quick spike into some opportune profits.  Amarin has been one of the more-watched stories in the healthcare sector over the summer, especially since the late-July approval of Vascepa for the treatment of very high trigylcerides sent shares into a dramatic tailspin that resulted in a twenty percent drop in price.  Although shares did begin to rebound rather quickly, investors - and potential buyers of the company - were still awaiting the outcome of pending catalysts that could confirm the true overall value of Vascepa over both the short and long terms.  One of those catalysts developed this week and led to Tuesday's share price spike of seven percent...

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It all looks to be coming together for Implant Sciences (IMSC).  With probably the most significant key catalyst in the company's history expected to unfold this month - that being the potential TSA approval of the Quantum Sniffer (QS) B220 benchtop explosive trace detection (ETD) device, which has already completed certification readiness testing and moved on into the final phase of the approval process - Implant is also making strides in its global sales division while taking care of some financial house cleaning, as well. 

Both developments bode well for the short and long term future of this company...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

The summer play period is over and even though the coming week will be shortened due to the Labor Day holiday, it'll back to work for the masses come Tuesday morning - meaning investors can look for a sharp uptick in overall trading volume during the next four trading days. Generally susceptible to a summer swoon, the markets held relatively strong during the beach season this year and ended last week on high note after US Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted that additional actions to strengthen the US economy would be undertaken, should it not continue regain continued momentum on its own...

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There may be a silent period in effect for Implant Sciences (IMSC) in relation to a potential approval by the the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the Quantum Sniffer (QS) B220 benchtop explosive trace detection (ETD) device, but that doesn't mean 'business as usual' also has to remain silent.

As discussed last week, the B220 has already "successfully completed the certification readiness testing" with the Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL) - the testing body of the TSA - and has moved on to the "final independent validation testing for TSA qualification for air cargo screening" - hence the quiet period. While the approval and validation process is moving on behind the scenes, however, the B220 is still making a name for itself with entities not associated with the US government...

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With a relatively low market cap - when considering eventual potential - and with a technology that could drastically increase the effectiveness of modern day cancer treatments, OncoSec Medical Incorporated (ONCS) may be worth watching as a growth and catalyst play that may still be trading under the speculative radar.

For developmental companies bringing new technologies, procedures and products to market in today's health care climate, a key element to success revolves around cost. Governments, companies and average people are going broke trying to keep up with their healthcare bills and the concerns behind the costs of the sector are literally crippling economies, or threatening to do so...

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On August 13th, shares of Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) hit an intra-day low of $3.66 before closing the day at $3.74. Now, just two weeks later, shares routinely trade for a buck higher while volume has modestly increased, too. The quick price spike in itself could certainly attract the attention of investors looking for a nice momentum play or trading opportunity, but the company has enough pending catalysts and developing stories in play to justify the recent price increases, and potentially more...

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Through molecular imaging, therapy, and nuclear medicine, medical isotopes - a form of chemical element with the same atomic number as another element but with a different atomic mass (for the chemistry buffs out there) - are used to diagnose, manage and treat a wide variety of diseases, most notably of which may be cancer. While the precise definition of the science behind a technology is noteworthy, the average investor ideally needs to know what a technology does and how much potential it could have on the market at certain points in the future. It also helps to know the demand for a particular product or technology...

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The dust has settled for shares of Sunshine Heart (SSH), and what may be left is a prime buying opportunity for investors searching the sector for another 'ground floor' technology that could potentially dominate the market for which it is intended to treat.

Earlier this summer, Sunshine shares exploded on heavy volume from three to seventeen dollars, but a pullback in price quickly ensued and a stock offering announced for seven dollars brought shares even further back to earth. Having settled below the offering price, however, and with the hype surrounding some key catalysts also having died down, this company may be worth another look...

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Shares of Lpath Inc (LPTN) were moving on Monday as a key catalyst that had been expected to unfold for months finally did. The LPTN share price dropped to below the dollar mark earlier this year after the company announced that iSONEP trials would be halted due to a non-compliance issue with the FDA by the company's fill/finish contractor. There were no safety or other concerns regarding iSONEP itself, but the potential months-long trial halt created enough uncertainty in the minds of traders to spark enough of an exodus for shares to dip to below seventy cents from January's highs of well over a buck. It also didn't help, however, that a stock offering was announced right around the time of the trail halt...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

The markets finished last week on a strong note, even if a six week streak of gains was broken thanks to some mid-week downside volatility. Friday's spike was born thanks to encouraging comments from Europe indicating possibilities of additional stimulus to sure-up banks in the weaker economies, such as Spain and Portugal and further commentary from European officials that were aimed at ensuring investors that Greece will certainly remain in the euro zone (EZ). Such statements boosted the confidence of investors who have yet to become whole-heartedly convinced that a solution to the woes of the EZ will exclude the possibility of a Greek exit...

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For months investors had speculated upon a key catalyst for Implant Sciences (IMSC) that could potentially launch the company into the mainstream of homeland defense and global security, but a notable update from the company on Tuesday helped turn that speculation into a swift dose of reality. It had been previously known that the Implant Sciences Quantum Sniffer (QS) B220 benchtop explosive trace detection (ETD) device was being tested by the Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL), the testing body of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as part of an ongoing process to gain "approval" by the TSA for use in the arena of homeland defense in the United States...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

During one of the climatic scenes of 1989's baseball hit 'Field of Dreams,' Shoeless Joe Jackson offered the kid rookie - Archie "Moonlight" Graham - some advice as he took the plate at a pivotal point in his first ballgame. "He's not gonna wanna load the bases, so look low and away," noted Joe before then warning, "but watch out for in your ear," as Moonlight had just winked at the pitcher.

The markets this week are at a similar point in the summer trading season as investors have been winking at the market for months, in a mocking manner, while watching prices rise and rise on questionable fundamentals. The bullish trends that culminated in the S&P achieving highs not witnessed in years were duly noted, but it was also noted, in a deeper look, that the DOW reported two of its lowest-volumed days of the year last week. How many times can we wink at the market before potentially seeing that late-summer swoon materialize?

Investors are likely preparing for two different scenarios, just like Moonlight Graham did...

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NeoStem, Inc. (NBS) reported last Wednesday that the company had received approval from a data monitoring committee to continue moving forward with its Phase II PreSERVE trial. Such an approval is a nice sign of validation for any developmental company as it looks to bring a new treatment or product to market. Regenerative medicine is predicted by many to be THE big next-generation medical breakthrough and any signs of progress in the field are heavily watched by investors...

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Although the broad markets were trending lower to start the new trading week as European economic data continued to look weak, there were - as always - some exciting and encouraging stories making headlines in the markets that are worth investor interest.

While the current market dip has been modest thus far and has not caused any widespread panic that would lead to a mass exodus of investors, any decline usually offers investors the opportunity to 'average down' on their investments and pick up a few shares of companies that they are following for sometimes 'discounted' prices.

The healthcare sector in particular - given its speculative nature - is prone to more dramatic moves than most others and that volatility creates an environment that traders love. With that said, the 'buy and hold' crowd could also do quite well, if they've got the stomach to ride out the volatility and wait for the potential to play out.

With those thoughts in mind, here's a few still-developing companies that are attracting their share of interest in the healthcare sector worth keeping an eye on.....

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MRI Interventions (MRIC) has been gaining traction with investors and medical professionals through the first part of 2012 with the advancement of the ClearPoint and ClearTrace MRI-enhancing technology that has thus far enabled surgeons - by providing real-time imagery during complicated procedures - to conduct less-invasive and more precise operations on the brain and heart, respectively. The technology has proven successful enough in development that Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX) has already invested an up-front payment of $13 million in a partnership with MRIC while Siemens AG (SI) and Brainlab AG have also joined on to advance the technology...

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Shares of Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) were already sliding to below the four dollar mark when a recently-announced merger with Callisto Pharmaceuticals (CLSP) looked to have paved the way for a larger and more committed investor base to take up positions in the company. While that slide continued at the open of the current trading week, a Tuesday morning trial update by the company reinforces the potential of the company's flagship product, Plecanatide, in preparing to enter a multi billion dollar market...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

The US markets ended the week on a high note with the DOW having closed the week above the 13,200 mark after trading lower for most of the day on Friday. The international markets also received a nice boost this week as signs that the European economy would respond well to stimulus packages were noted while US productivity numbers were up more than expected for the most recently-completed quarter. Some sub-par Chinese export numbers threatened to kill the feel-good mood late in the trading week, but the bulls again took charge and US stocks posted their sixth day in a row of gains on Friday...

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The international markets received a nice boost this week as signs that the European economy would respond well to stimulus packages were noted while US productivity numbers were up more than expected for the most recently-completed quarter. While the outlooks again look swell, however, some stocks were not faring so well as the week progressed.

Here's a look at some stocks and stories making news thus far in the week...

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It has all been coming together for Sunshine Heart (SSH) over the past couple of months as some serious milestones have been met and essentially put the company on the map as a potential big player in the medical device arena, specifically in the treatment of heart failure. Already, Sunshine has received CE Mark approval in Europe for its C-Pulse Heart Assist system that treats patients of Class III and ambulatory Class IV heart failure. Additionally, the US FDA just this week authorized for use the next-generation C-Pulse device that was designed based on patient feedback from the original device and will be used in an upcoming pivotal trial in the United States that is due to commence later this year with an FDA approval in mind...

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Shares of Cytosorbents Corporation (CTSO) were on the move to open the new trading week after an announcement that the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded the small company nearly four millions dollars from the Dialysis-Like Therapeutics (DLT) program to treat sepsis. The award is pending satisfactory achievement of key milestones, according to information contained within the press release...

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After offering investors a solid second chance to take a look at the company during a recent share price pullback, news of a European CE Mark approval sent shares of Sunshine Heart (SSH) flying once again to close out the month of July as the company was newly positioned to capitalize on commercial sales while a North American trial geared towards an eventual FDA approval could initiate later this year in the United States. While that trial milestone is still in place and the CE Mark approval allows the company to commence registering commercial sales of its product, Sunshine received another round of milestone news to open the new trading week...

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Last week's volume spike makes shares of Celsius Holdings (CELH) again a stock watch. Earlier this year the stock was bouncing between twenty and thirty cents, but recently the range has mainly been betweent thirty and forty. Although still limping along in terms of investor interest and stock exposure, the company has made some recent strides at stabilizing the cash flow and solidifying the next PR push. The logical next step would be to capitalize on that renewed PR push while looking to expand sales beyond the $2.5 million number registered last quarter...

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Shares of Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) have slipped over the past couple of weeks and are again trading at levels under the four dollar mark, prices not seen in many months beforehand. With key catalysts pending for this company later in the year and with a product in the late stages of development that could be worth billions over the long run on the open market, SGYP could be trading for quite the relative bargain at the current time. As the year progresses and the significant trial catalyst draws nearer, Synergy could be gearing up for a reversal from the current downtrend...

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It's crunch time for Implant Sciences (IMSC). After months of gaining momentum on the open market with the company's Quantum Sniffer (QS) explosive trace detection (ETD) technology, the time may now be upon us to see what the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has to say in regards to an approval of the QS technology that would allow the technology to become a part of government purchases and contracts in order to boost America's ETD capabilities at home and abroad...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Sometimes all it takes is a spark. In the global economic climate, there are still concerns about the viability of the Euro Zone, the price of oil still hinges on the outcome of numerous geopolitical situations in the Middle East and the signs are few that the US economy is healthy enough to move forward without facing the threat of recession again...

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Although the DOW remains trading strong at over 13,000 this week - pending the outcome of some key economic data releases that could change everything - extreme volatility still exists in some areas of the market, namely the healthcare and biotech sectors where FDA approvals for some companies and substandard earnings reports by others have largely effected the trading patterns rolling into the new month of August.

Here's a look at some of the more active movers with catalysts pending that could be worth keeping an eye on moving forward...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

During the trading week beginning on July 9, the markets were suffering from reinvigorated talk about how Europe's economic storm could again hamper any recovery of the global markets. That wasn't the case last week, however, as repeated days of rallying markets launched the DOW back over the 13,000 mark again as headlines from Europe reinforced the worlds of top officials that have declared that the European Union is committed to solving the problems of Spain, Greece and others without threatening the viability of the Euro Zone...

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Increased media coverage and a rising share price are two factors that may indicate the perfect storm is brewing around Implant Sciences (IMSC) heading into an expected critical catalyst that could prove to be the most significant event in the company's history, while also launching it into the mainstream of homeland defense and airport security...

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Cytosorbents Corp (CTSO) warrants an analyst rating of 'Buy', according to Brean Murray who initiated coverage this week on CTSO as the company undertakes the commercial launch of its potentially breakthrough blood purification product, CytoSorb. Cytosorb shars were up by over twelve percent on Tuesday following the announcement of the new coverage...

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Shares of Sunshine Heart (SSH) were flying during the morning hours on Wednesday after the company announced pre-market news that it had received CE Mark approval in Europe for the C-Pulse Heart Assist system in the treatment of Class III and ambulatory Class IV heart failure. Earlier this week the company had reached another milestone, announcing that it had conducted a two-year review of the first patient treated with C-Pulse in the North American feasibility trial.

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The broad markets have taken an early-week swan dive, chiefly due to concern about the health and future of the European economy, but there are still some hot companies to keep an eye on as they make headlines this week.

Here's just a few of them...

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The DOW dropped by over a hundred points on Monday as the broad markets failed to ward off jitters of a weakening global economy and additional economic chaos in Europe sparked by the threat of Spain and Greece each needing additional bailouts. These fears were already lingering in the minds of investors for weeks, but a weak quarterly report by McDonald's (MCD) on Monday brought these concerns to the forefront and sparked a widespread sell-off...

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After recognizing a rough triple in share price in just months, shares of Implant Sciences (IMSC) had recently given up some of those gains as the traders and profit takers exited the stock, but shares rebounded by five percent on Monday morning after the company's a news reportby WCVB in Boston highlighted the company's ongoing developments and the potential for the company to launch to the forefront of the explosive trace detection (ETD) arena, notably in terms of airport security...

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Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP), a company with major catalysts pending and a potential billion dollar product in the pipeline, and Callisto Pharmaceuticals (CLSP) announced on Friday that the two companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Callisto had previously held over twenty two million shares of SGYP stock and under the terms of the agreement those shares will be cancelled and Callisto shareholders, in turn, will be granted 0.17 shares of Synergy common stock for each outstanding share of Callisto common stock...

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Here we go again. After laying off Europe's debt troubles and weak overall economic situation for a week or two, the headlines this weekend are again warning investors in the United States that the woes across the pond are likely to weigh down the US markets and have a negative impact on earnings. There's no debating the validity of such headlines, but it's the somewhat erratic nature of the news media that ignores such news one week only to have it become a factor the next....

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Shares of Amarin Corp (AMRN) were setting new 52-week highs during early trading on Thursday as investors jumped in to take positions before next week's key date when the FDA is set to render a decision on the approval of AMR-101 for the treatment of high triglycerides. As noted earlier in the week, approval is all but assured - at least according to most investors and analysts who believe in the very strong Phase III data registered by AMR-101 - especially after a curious "gaffe" on Thursday morning, seemingly by Amarin itself, that sparked a rally and led to the setting of the new 52-week high...

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Agenus Inc. (AGEN) was launched back into the spotlight late last year when news circulated the wires that the company's QS-21-Stimulon vaccine adjuvant was being used by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in a high-profile malaria vaccine that, at the time, was receiving a huge amount of media coverage thanks to some positive late stage trial results...

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It had been thirteen years since the FDA approved a new weight-loss drug before Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) received the nod of approval a few weeks ago for Belviq, but it was barely thirteen minutes before the next such approval came. Vivus, Inc. (VVUS) just announced that it, too, had received approval for Qsymia, its own version of a once-daily weight-loss pill, making the weight-loss sector a very hot one right now...

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With some historic news and impressive price runs recognized over the past week or so, it's apparent that the healthcare sector is the place to be right now for the more speculative, adrenaline-fueled investor. The excitement of the sector is centered around the fact that on any given day a radiant rally or dramatic drop can materialize with an expected (or sometimes not) market-moving event providing the catalyst. Generally, FDA approvals, clinical trial updates and buyouts or large partnerships are the most likely suspects behind the event-based catalysts of the sector...

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Far East Energy Corp (FEEC) may be a company to keep an eye on right now. Its shares have moved higher by more than 50% over the past few weeks, propelled by volume well over the norm and backed by news that indicates additional growth and maybe bigger news may be pending.

The management team for Far East Energy is based in the United States, but the company holds very significant interests and has product sharing agreements relating to three of China’s largest coalbed methane (CBM) fields. Coalbed methane is a type of natural gas that is extracted from - you guessed it - coalbeds and burns significantly cleaner than coal, an important factor to consider as Far East looks to take advantage of the huge - and still growing - energy demands of the Chinese population...

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Hot Healthcare Stocks To Watch

Posted by Posted by VFC on Jul 17, 2012

Always one of the more exciting sectors to play for the speculative potential or raking in huge gains based on catalyst and event-driven spikes, it's already been a big week for the healthcare sector.

Here's some of the highlights and a few stocks to keep an eye on...

The drama surrounding the long-expected and much-anticipated GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) buyout of Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) is finally coming to a close. After months of posturing by both companies, Glaxo finally upped its bid to three billion dollars for HGSI, up from the original $2.6 bid of earlier this year. As a result of the revised offer, Human Genome shares were up by nearly five percent at the open of the new trading week to come in line with the valuation of the new offer...

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Over the past 52 weeks shares of Capstone Turbine (CPST) have traded in a range of between eighty five cents and a buck sixty nine. Shortly before that high was set, CPST traded as high as over two bucks but retreated quickly as short interest mounted just as fast as the share price drove to two. Aside from a brief trip back towards $1.50 earlier this year, Capstone shares have been stuck at or near the one dollar mark...

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Still - and again - trading for under ten cents, it's worth keeping shares of Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC) on the radar. The trading history of this stock has demonstrated to us that buys below the dime level eventually turn into decent trades, while still holding the potential to materialize into long term gains, too, as the clinical trials develop...

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Much has been of late about the potential of Implant Sciences (IMSC) to quickly infiltrate the US homeland defense market with its next-generation Quantum Sniffer explosive trace detection (ETD) technology, assuming a TSA approval this summer, but not much has been discussed about the overseas possibilities for expansion, especially in regions of the world where terrorist attacks on commercial and private infrastructure loom as a daily threat - notably Africa...

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Shares of Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP) had been trading with increased volume all month long thus far, and late last week that volume boost solidified into share price gains, too. Titan's stock opened the month of July trading at sixty five cents, but barely two weeks later shares closed last week at seventy nine cents, a significant percentage increase for those that took advantage of the dip...

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Investors will be anxious during to the coming week to see if Friday's money gains will follow through into a nice early-week boost for the upcoming trading week, starting on 16 July. This week will also be a huge week for earnings, with a lot of big players potentially setting the tone for not just the week, but possibly for the rest of the summer, as well...

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A new addition to the Teletouch Communications (TLLE) team announced on Tuesday is another sign that the company may be ready to 'pick up its' game and make another splash in the distribution of wireless and telecom hardware products and accessories.

Recently-settled litigation with AT&T (T) filled the company's war chest with a settlement sum of $18 million and also led to a new multi-year agreement between the two companies that should keep the partnership in tact for years to come. Following the settlement, Teletouch quickly redirected its primary business model to the sale and distribution of telecom-related hardware...

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Trial results, trial initiations, FDA approval filings, peer-reviewed validation and FDA approvals are all factors that play heavily into the trading patterns of biotech and healthcare companies looking to make a mark in the sector. This is especially true for the relatively small cap, developmental companies that are dependant upon catalyst event that could propel to the 'next level,' so to say, which would launch them into the mainstream of the investing community and also potentially throw them on the radar as a possible buyout or partnership target of a larger pharmaceutical company...

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By posting a share price triple since the opening months of the year on volume that has been significantly increasing along the way, Implant Sciences (IMSC) has already been labeled as a hot stock to watch, but with the most relevant potential catalysts still yet to materialize, there may be more run left in the tank...

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Trading volume has been picking up quite noticeably over the past week or so for Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP), often a sign that news is pending or another catalyst is starting to materialize behind the scenes. In the case of Titan, the volume boost may have been attributed to an appearance in the Wall Street Journal last week, although it's debatable whether such an appearance would spark the continued run of buying we have seen...

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Shares of Sunshine Heart (SSH) were on fire to open the new trading week, more than doubling in price at points during the day on monumental volume. Sunshine had been quite the lightly-traded stock before the recent outburst in trading volume, but investor attention started increasing noticeably as the company's potentially breakthrough medical device to treat heart failure, the C-Pulse Heart Assist System, advanced in development...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

The news flow eased somewhat from Europe last week, forcing investors to key mainly on indications pertaining solely to the state of the US economy and its respective recovery. Jobs and unemployment numbers disappointed on that front, however, and Friday's 100-plus point drop on the DOW could be an indicator that investors also expect lackluster numbers to start pouring in from the new earnings season. Those same investors may also be taking a 'wait and see' approach regarding additional economic indicators, which should be forthcoming on Wednesday when the Fed releases its minutes...

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Sunshine Heart (SSH) had been a stock to watch anyway over the past trading week thanks to growing trading volume and increased awareness about the company's novel medical device that could make a huge impact in the future treatment of Class III heart failure. Sunshine's C-Pulse Heart Assist System, as described earlier this week, is a small device that is implanted in a patient's heart, but because it is implanted outside of the bloodstream it allows quality-of-life conveniences - such as the ability to be disconnected (for showering, for example) - that could quickly make it the market leader in meeting the unmet medical need of Class III and ambulatory Class IV heart failure...

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Investors impatient with the lack of information flowing from Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP) likely bailed out as the stock slipped below the dollar mark on large volume a couple of months ago, but there are reasons to believe that the company may again be coming back to life and may make an attempt to push the share price back above the buck barometer...

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Still a potential growth story based on a few recently realized developments, Teletouch Communications (TLLE) continues to trade under the radar while solidifying its redirected business plan that heavily emphasizes distribution and hardware sales, mainly through the company's primary subsidiary.

The refocused plan was met with early success...

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Shares of MRI Interventions (MRIC) have provided the fireworks for the Fourth of July holiday. Propelled by a late week jump last week, volume and price are both on fire and shares have nearly tripled in just seven trading days. The quick influx of volume could be a loud indicator that investors have become clued in to the real potential of MRIC's technology to move into the mainstream of less-invasive surgeries of the brain and heart...

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Earnings and revenue have been significantly on the rise over the past few quarters for Capstone Turbine (CPST), the maker of green and clean, low-emission microturbine units, and margins have also improved as the company eats its way through a large backlog of orders, but the share price has hardly budged from the dollar mark as investors still wait for more sure signs that profitability is in the bag...

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Speculation had it that Celsius Holdings (CELH) - maker of the Celsius calorie-burning, pre-workout beverage - would look to reignite its image and marketing campaign when the company landed 5WPR to conduct its public relations moving forward. Little was heard from either entity since the 5WPR announcement, but Celsius did provide evidence that its revenue flow had stabilized - although not grown much - over the past few quarters, giving investors more of an indication that the volatile and unpredictable sales reports of old might be in the rear view mirror...

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Sunshine Heart Inc (SSH) is another little company that has positioned itself to make a monumental difference in the world of medicine. Having developed the C-Pulse Heart Assist System, a device small enough to be implanted in the heart with minimally-invasive surgery, Sunshine may have made a breakthrough is controlling - if not outright reversing - the effects of Class III and Ambulatory Class IV heart failure...

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MRI Interventions, Inc (MRIC) has become a hot stock to watch lately as investors have clued in on the company's potential to become a major player in the trend towards more non-invasive surgical procedures. The company already has a foothold in the sector with an FDA-cleared medical device, ClearPoint, which is already "used to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures in the brain guided by intraoperative MR imaging," according to the company website and other publicly-available information...

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Having soared to heights that made shares of Implant Sciences (IMSC) a triple in quick time, the stock experienced a pullback on Friday as the day, momentum and swing traders likely pulled some profits from the table and went looking for the next quick runner. The retracement continued on Monday with shares dropping another eight percent to close the day at $1.32, still up significantly from just a few weeks ago...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Another quarter is in the books, and boy did this one end with flair. After weeks of fluctuation and volatility thanks to the ups-and-downs of the European debt crisis, the US markets soared by over two percent on Friday as some definitive plans look to have been formulated at last week's European Summit that should all but erase any remaining uncertainty that the Euro Zone (EZ) can - and will - be saved...

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The sensational surge in share price continues for Implant Sciences (IMSC). Shares broke through the $1.50 barrier on Thursday after a flow of solid news over the past couple of weeks ignited a run that started out at well below a dollar. In fact, those looking back just a few months will realize that IMSC has well more than doubled during that time frame...

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Shares of Lpath, Inc. (LPTN) were cruising along earlier this year at prices over the dollar mark and supported by volume fluid enough to sustain those levels. Investors were keyed into this small company's status as a recognized leader in the field of lipid-based therapeutics and were also quick to notice the interest of Pfizer, Inc (PFE), which jumped on board early on in development when it became apparent that Lpath was, at least to date, the only company to have successfully developed monoclonal antibodies against bioactive lipids...

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Although shares of Prolor Biotech (PBTH) have dipped below the five dollar mark during the month of June, they jumped again by five percent on Tuesday after the company released news that it had re-presented data from an already-completed Phase II trial for hGH-CTP at ENDO 2012, the 94th Annual Meeting and Expo of the Endocrine Society.

The event was held in Houston, Texas from June 23-26, and provided Prolor with another grand stage to circulate the potential of hGH-CTP as a once-weekly injection for hormone-deficient adults, replacing the current standard of care that includes daily injections, seven days per week...

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Last week was a pivotal one for Implant Sciences (IMSC), as a slew of impressive new hires validated the fact that the company's Quantum Sniffer (QS) explosive trace detection (ETD) technology may be on the verge of receiving a key qualification approval form the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that would vault Implant to the forefront of the homeland security industry.

Investors considered the impact that such an approval from the TSA would have on the small and lightly-traded Implant Sciences and started buying shares in droves, which also might have compelled the shorts - which were slowly increasing their positions as well - to start covering...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Last week was one full of elections, and as a result, new governments are now sitting in key positions around the globe, most notably in Greece, France and Egypt. The elections in Greece that were eyed so heavily leading into last weekend failed to impact the global stock markets much since it was generally believed that the newly-elected government of the New Democracy party, headed by Antonis Samaras, would favor the already-imposed measures of austerity that would position the country to remain within the Euro Zone (EZ)...

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Already a hot item over the past couple of weeks - thanks to some releases of essential information that are solid indicators that Implant Sciences (IMSC) is ready to take its game to the next level - Implant is certainly an even hotter item on Wednesday as shares traded up by seven percent on volume that approached 400,000 - all before the clock ticked 11 AM...

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Implant Sciences (IMSC), a company with game-changing technology that is quickly gaining traction in the explosives trace detection (ETD) industry, announced another major move on Monday that brings with it another layer of validation and foretells the probability that the company is ready to make a major move into the arena of defending the United States homeland...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

The positive market action seen during the week of June 4 continued last week as well and the DOW posted another gain of 300-plus points, including a rise of 115 points on Friday that set a positive tone through the markets heading into Sunday's Greek elections. Undoubtedly, the results of those elections will shape the trading action during the upcoming week, too...

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Earlier this week it was noted that shares of NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY) - a potential bargain that the market may not be adequately valuing  - had started to move higher following a recent trip to below the dollar mark.  That move continued on Wednesday as an eight percent jump resulted in a close of just under a buck-thirty, a level not reached seen in over a month...

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Keep an eye on shares of Capstone Turbine (CPST) on Thursday.  The company is set to report with analysts predictin, on average, a loss of two cents per share, better numbers than during the same period of last year, but still under the ultimate goal of profitability, which has thus far eluded this company.

More important than the actual losses, however, will be the recognized trend.  Investors will want more evidence of improved margins and realized progress in moving heftily through the backlog that has been growing in size and scope, thanks to some large orders over the past few quarters...

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Late last year shares of Siga Technologies (SIGA) started taking a dive as news of a lawsuit filed by rival PharmAthene (PIP) circulated the wires.  Having traded for over ten dollars for some time, shares quickly found a home at below four bucks when a judge essentially ruled in favor of PharmAthene and awarded the company 50% of Siga's profits for the smallpox antiviral ST-246, for which Siga landed a huge contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (BARDA) last year. ..

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A solid day of trading for NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY) on Tuesday placed the share price back at the $1.20 mark, barely two weeks after the stock was hitting intra-day lows of ninety cents.  A modest mid-week runup that began last week fueled the move to the one-twenty mark, a significant move in terms of percentages.

Volume of more than double the daily average drove the most recent leg of the runup, an encouraging sign that investors may still be taking notice of the fact that the potential of NovaBay's technology may not be accurately portrayed by the current share price and market cap...

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Teletouch Commications (TLLE) has been making a play as a growth story of late, following the settled resolution of litigation with AT&T (T) that filled the cash coffers with a few bucks, and that trend continued this week as the company announced that Cellphone-Mate, Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of high quality wireless signal amplifiers and repeater systems, has signed a multi-year contract with Teletouch subsidiar, Progressive Concepts, Inc. dba PCI Wholesale, who will now become an exclusive "Master Distributor" of Cellphone-Mate products...

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A key catalyst that is just months away could launch Implant Sciences (IMSC) into the mainstream of homeland defense and global security. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is currently reviewing Implant's explosives and narcotics trace detection technology for approval for use in the United States and a potential positive approval ruling would not only provide a key catalyst for the IMSC share price, but it would open the doors for Implant to quickly become a global leader in providing airport and air cargo security, among other security-related services...

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Volume has been steadily on the rise for shares of Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP), and as a result, the share price has been inching higher as well. SGYP closed Monday having traded just about double the daily norm after a mid-day volume spike that led to a closing price a couple of percentage points higher than the open. The strong-volumed trend continued into Tuesday's trading, another day where SGYP shares registered a gain of a few percentage points....

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The Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) pipeline is still trucking along.

Shares were up by over ten percent during the pre-market hours on Monday after the company announced positive trial results for the orally-administered Optina in the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). The DME trial was conducted in Canada and based on the positive results Ampio has planned a pre-IND meeting with the US FDA as part of preparations to bring Optina through the approval process in the United States...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. Last week opened with a pure focus on the tumultuous dive experienced by the market during the previous trading week, but encouraging headlines and positive signs from Europe reversed the downfall and the stock market as a whole ended up enjoying its best week of the year.

The question for the upcoming trading week is...will the 'rebound run' continue?

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Since deciding to focus on its core distribution business earlier this year, Teletouch Communications (TLLE) has announced a flurry of new deals that have potentially positioned the company to realize significant growth over the coming quarters. Just last month alone Teletouch's wholly-owned subsidiary, Progressive Concepts, Inc. dba PCI Wholesale, has landed multiple distribution agreements with key players in the industry, including Wilson Electronics, Parrot, Inc., Aerovoice, Inc., and PureGear, among others...

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Shares of NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY) looked like quite the attractive speculative buy just days ago when company shares saw the stock trade for right around ninety cents, but a rebound over the past couple of trading days on increased volume indicates that investors may still consider NovaBay as an undervalued growth story, based mainly on the potential of the company's potential blockbuster technology.

As the broad markets rebounded heavily on Wednesday as concerns eased of an economic catastrophe in Europe (funny how opinions change so remarkably from day to day), NBY also rebounded, opening the day significantly higher - in terms of percentages - than the previous day's close with volume that was roughly four times the daily norm barely a couple of hours into the trading day...

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A modest up day for the DOW on Tuesday - although an encouraging sign that a protracted stock market decline might have been warded off, at least temporarily - did little to alleviate the fact that a lot of big money is leaving the market in a hurry, possibly as a result of fears eminating from Europe over a debt crisis, or even just because the big boys like to pull their money out of the market to enjoy some summer European holidays.

Either way, now is the time to be looking for steals and deals in the market, whether those deals have been created by this and last week's respective pullbacks, or whether there are other factors that have contributed to a particular company's share price decline that have positioned it for a potential rebound...

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A few weeks ago Cytosorbents Corp (CTSO) rebounded quickly after a post-earnings drop, indicating continued investor confidence as the commercial roll-out in Germany got underway, but a down market has returned shares right back to the dime level. Consequently, the dime level has proven to provide investors of all types with opportunities to jump in and take up a position in the company, whether it be for a long term hold or short term trade.

This trip to ten cents may be no different.

After flat lining for a couple of weeks prior, volume picked up on Monday to open the new trading week, providing an indication that investors may yet again be ready to take advantage of a CTSO pullback...

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As the market tumbled lower this past Friday, shares of Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) held strong and jumped by six percent. Shares jumped another two percent during after hours trading that day and then held strong through Monday's trading, even with the markets experiencing another down day.

Trading volume over the past few trading sessions has come in at well over twice the daily norm, indicating that big money may be starting to buy in, even at a time when money is flowing out of the market in droves due to concerns of another global economic meltdown that could threaten a thus-far solid recovery in the United States...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. This week is all about Friday's market drop and the prospects of a continued decline moving forward. Given the new bear market, we'll also take a look at some evolving deals, bargains and potential steals that may be taking shape with eyes towards an eventual rebound.

For the better part of the last six months the analysts, pundits and investors have all wondered if, or more aptly - when - the next market correction would take shape after seeing the DOW soar to levels approaching previously-established record highs during a nice period of rebound.  Most of the pullbacks experienced over the past few quarters were easily halted, only to be followed by another push higher, but all that changed last week when the DOW dropped by more than two percent on Friday to put an exclamation point on the end of a tumultuous week.

When the closing bell rang, all of the early-year gains were effectively erased and already-jittery investors were wondering what's next to come...

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Wednesday brought a whole lot of pain to the broad markets, and although there were a few hot runners out there like Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) and FuelCell Energy (FCEL), the color of blood dominated the big boards for the duration of the day thanks to continued worrisome news from Europe where Spain has replaced Greece as the target of negative financial press.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook (FB) continued its post-IPO decline and dropped another two percent on the day as shares tumble down to levels where many investors (aside from the insiders who made bank on the initial offering) would consider to be fair value.

Aside from the aforementioned stocks to watch and the falling knives that investors may be smart to stay away from, like Facebook and Research In Motion (RIMM), for example, there are some other potential opportunities in various sectors opening up with the recent decline that investors might want to jump on, or at least keep on the radar screen...

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A late day price and volume spike placed shares of Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) ten percent higher than where they opened on Wednesday, a notable feat on a day dominated by bleeding red in the markets as the DOW, Nasdaq and S&P were all down by over a percentage point. No news accompanied AMPE's impressive trading action, but speculation would have it that something may be cooking in terms of pipeline news, given the already solid progress demonstrated by the company's pipeline over the past few quarters...

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Shares of FuelCell Energy (FCEL) were on the move to open the new - albeit shortened - trading week, spiking by eight percent on Tuesday after the company received some positive coverage by a couple of popular financial media outlets which are predicting that profitability may be a possibility for the company over the short term.

Concerns of profitability have weighed down the FCEL share price each time the stock has ran on encouraging news.  Earlier this year news of a large cash infusion from a South Korean partner allowed FCEL to run towards the two dollar mark, but the push faded and shares subsequently dropped to well below the price of a recent stock offering...

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Through recent acquisitions and the landing of numerous business contracts over the past few months, Premier Alliance Group (PIMO) is looking to make a significant move in the advisory and consulting arena.  

As such, Premier has secured the foundations of swift growth, having already signed deals with high-profile clients that include the US Department of Defense (DOD), multiple municipalities in Southern California, and, according to a recent company presentation, blue chips such as Exxon (XOM), Coca-Cola (KO), AIG (AIG) and Bank of America (BAC)...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. Although focusing intently on the biotech and healthcare sectors, due attention is also given to potential market-moving or game-changing companies in a broad variety of sectors and industries. The 'Weekly Stock Watch' will also introduce new companies for coverage and identify some stocks that may have entered 'buy territory'.

On this Memorial Day here's a shout out to the men and women of our military, who day in and day out go out and get the job done without the luxuries and lifestyles enjoyed by those back on the homeland. Let's not forget the sacrifices made, the time away from families, friends and loved ones, and let's not forget the ultimate sacrifices made by far too many. When all the BBQs, beers and pool parties are over, remember to honor the fallen, the ones that would fall, and the ones that have given it their all for a grateful - and sometimes ungrateful - nation. A particular shout out goes to the World War II generation, who have proven time and again that it may have been the best generation; when the world knew all too well what was at stake if the good guys lost.

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Barely a week ago shares of Cytosorbents Corporation (CTSO) looked to be in the midst of collapse after an earnings report indicated that the company was still working at a methodical pace to advance CytoSorb onto the European market - a pace, as we've seen, that the more impatient investors do not feel is quick enough.

On the other hand, many believe that, for a company its size, Cytosorbents has made steady, if not remarkable progress in bringing attention to the company and its blood purification technology since receiving a European marketing approval just over a year ago. It's those investors that likely took advantage of last week's price drop that saw shares slip to seven cents again for a short period of time during intra-day trading on the 16th...

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What should have turned into an historic day for the post-recession IPO market has turned into a calamity. Facebook (FB) is a business based on leaving its users "feeling good." Feeling good about interacting with family, friends and colleagues, and feeling good about finding products, services and stories that may interest them and therefore enabling the company to bank some advertising money.

It's a business model built on loyalty - where users of the website and service come back day after day, sometimes minute after minute - because it "feels good" to be a part of what's going on in the worlds of those listed in the 'friends' and 'family' sections of their Facebook page.

That all changed overnight...

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Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) ran to over seven dollars last month on increasing volume as the company's billion dollar potential took shape and numerous analysts jumped on board with encouraging write-ups and bold price predictions.

Synergy also received a boost when its chief competitor, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD) received a setback at the FDA that allows SGYP an extra three months to play catch up in the race to commercialization for each company's respective product candidate, both of which target the same indication. Synergy's product Plecanatide, however, has a much more favorable side effect profile, making the Ironwood setback that much more of a key factor when discussing future market potential...

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After a five percent drop on Friday, shares of Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) started to rebound along with the broad markets on Monday, posting a three percent increase on the day. Ampio's drop over the past couple of months could be attributed to the dramatic increase in the number of shares short on a month-over-month basis, but as the market settles and Ampio continues to release encouraging pipeline results, then a quick rebound could take full effect.

Last year shares ran to nearly ten dollars as the potential of Ampio's "re-purposed" pipeline became attracted the attention to the investing community. The spark of new interest was so quick, however, that it also attracted the attention of the shorts, however, which led to a decline in price to the current trading levels...

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Premier Alliance Group (PIMO) pushed the dollar mark late last year after a flurry of encouraging company events and news announcements circulated the wires, and another round of interest may be forming again after a Monday press release announced that the Orange County, California municipality had requested the services of Premier to assist in implementing Southern California Edison's (SCE) Automated Demand Response program (Auto-DR).

Premier - and its GreenHouse division - have become recognized experts in regards to the program's implementation and the company has already successfully assisted other municipalities in Southern California putting Auto-DR into effect...

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Shares of NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY) were cruising along for months in a price range pretty much centered at right around the $1.30 mark until a sudden slide took shape along as the general market started to experience an overall downturn. No news hit the streets to justify the share price drop and volume, while above the norm, did not indicate a mass exodus of any sort.

Once the short term dust settled, however, NovaBay shares were quick to regain the one dollar foothold when news hit the wires last week announcing that the company had enrolled its first patient in a Phase IIb study that will evaluate the Company's lead compound, NVC-422, in the treatment of adenoviral conjunctivitis, a highly contagious form of "pink eye."

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. Although focusing intently on the biotech and healthcare sectors, due attention is also given to potential market-moving or game-changing companies in a broad variety of sectors and industries. The 'Weekly Stock Watch' will also introduce new companies for coverage and identify some stocks that may have entered 'buy territory'.

As expected, all eyes were on the historic Facebook (FB) IPO last week, although continued economic trouble in Europe probably deserved more attention and should prove to be a whole lot more relevant to the markets from here on out.

Although having only one full day of trading in the history books, Facebook is already starting to look like a dud to any investor not already on the inside leading into the IPO. Emotion and investing don't mix, and those that excitedly predicted swift increases in the FB share price when they flooded the Nasdaq market were thoroughly disappointed on Friday as the closing price was not even a percentage point higher than the open...

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No doubt Friday's Facebook (FB) IPO marks an historical moment in the history of the tech and financial sectors, but that's all that this much-anticipated event might turn out to be - a moment in time that, at the end of the day, means little in the grand scheme of things, other than that a great campaign of hype can spark enough emotional momentum to create an insane amount of wealth for those involved in the hype campaign.

Remember when shares of Sirius (SIRI) ran to over nine bucks solely because Howard Stern agreed to join the company for half a billion dollars? That hype made a whole lot of investors rich - while the numbers were never there to support the price - but when reality came crashing down on those that believed the hype, the share price followed south...

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Another stable earnings report may have once again positioned Celsius Holdings (CELH) as a solid growth play to consider as the company's calorie burning, pre-workout beverage gains traction in its niche market.

The reported sales of $2.5 million for the first quarter of 2012 were up from a number of $2.2 million during the same quarter last year, but more significantly was the increase of 41% over the fourth quarter of 2011. Returns and stockpile write-off has hampered the numbers at times during the past year, but the numbers announced last week may have provided a turning point that the company can use to build momentum...

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An analyst upgrade last week and renewed investor interest in Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) had shares heavily on the move over the past week, a move initially sparked, in part, by positive Phase III data for Zerenex in Japan. The KERX run culminated in a renewed push through the two dollar mark before a mid-week stall left shares sitting just below that mark.

The disappointing announcement of a Perifisone Phase III failure in early April sent shares plummeting from near the five dollar mark to below $1.50 as the short term catalyst traders bailed out and created an air of panic around the potential of the Keryx story moving forward, but the upgrade last week by Ladenburg Thalmann to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' reinvigorated some new life into the KERX share price and allowed investors - who by now have well digested the Perifisone news - to take a fresh look at the potential of Zerenex...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. Although focusing intently on the biotech and healthcare sectors, due attention is also given to potential market-moving or game-changing companies in a broad variety of sectors and industries. The 'Weekly Stock Watch' will also introduce new companies for coverage and identify some stocks that may have entered 'buy territory'.

Huge trading losses at JP Morgan Chase (JPM) that sent company shares spiraling by 10% on Friday accentuated an already lackluster trading week in the broad markets and left the door wide open for another volatile week ahead. Combine that sentiment with growing uncertainty in Europe, where recent Greek and French elections have the potential to reshape the look of austerity and other measures undertaken by European governments in an attempt to maintain control over the Euro Zone's teetering economy, and investors may see even more of a reason to sell out and hold on the sidelines until some normalcy returns to the sinking global sentiment - a sentiment that has some predicting will bring parity between the euro and the dollar.

There could, however, be a savior in the works...

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Some hot stocks and stories to watch mid-week...

Human Genome Sciences (HGSI):

Long on potential but short on results has been the name of the game for the lupus-treating drug Benlysta since its commercial launch last year, but an offer last month by Human Genome's partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to purchase the company has not only reinvigorated investor interest in the company's pipeline, but it also sparked a quick rally in the HGSI share price that returned investors about a double overnight.

The swift rally placed HGSI right in line with the valuation of Glaxo's offer, which stood at $2.6 billion and a $13 share price...

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On the heels of Dendreon's (DNDN) first quarter earnings announcement on Monday that was - for the most part - in line with expectations, DNDN shares spiraled downward throughout the trading day on Tuesday and closed twenty five percent lower than the previous day's closing price.  The quick drop returned shares right back to near the bottom of the stock's trading range over the past few quarters and dampered the expectations of investors looking for a revival of the 'Golden Age' of Dendreon that would ignite another price run and possibly challenge the $40 levels seen shortly after the FDA's approval of Provenge a couple of years back...

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It has been a rough couple of days for the markets as huge uncertainty in Europe and a stalling US recovery send shockwaves through the investing world, but there are still a few companies out there making news that are worth keeping an eye on. The broad downturn could also open up some solid buying opportunities that have the potential to turn into quick rebound stories once the markets recover.

Here's a little bit of the good, the bad and the ugly from the week so far, and some possible good deals there for the grabbing...

Prolor Biotech (PBTH): Prolor Biotech (PBTH) opened the week as a stock on the move and continued that pattern on Tuesday with an early seven percent price rise on heavier-than-usual volume sparked by a Monday news report announcing positive top-line results from a Phase II four-month treatment extension study of hGH-CTP growth hormone deficient adults...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. Although focusing intently on the biotech and healthcare sectors, due attention is also given to potential market-moving or game-changing companies in a broad variety of sectors and industries. The 'Weekly Stock Watch' will also introduce new companies for coverage and identify some stocks that may have entered 'buy territory'.

European elections, the people's protests of Putin in Russia and Disney's (DIS) 'The Avengers' dominated headlines over the weekend.  As the Russian people displayed their dismay with the re-election of Vladimir Putin in Russia, France's Nicolas Sarkozy was the latest European politician to receive the boot from voters still feeling the pain of the global economic meltdown a few years ago - and incumbents in Greece didn't fare much better...

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Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) has been a stock on the move over the past few weeks based on the the billion-dollar potential of its pipeline and increasing analyst coverage that has attracted a significant amount of new trading volume. Synergy's short and long term prospects have also been strengthened by a recent news development of a competitor setback that may help the company play catch up to the developmental edge held by rival Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD). Ironwood's competing product is slated to make it to market first, although Synergy's product has thus far not caused any side effects, while Ironwood's has...

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Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC) has already posted some significant gains since the opening days of 2012 - easily blowing through the two dollar mark before hitting three for a time - and although the stock has held strong through recent bouts of broad market volatility, shares experienced a mild pullback over the past few trading sessions.  Any such moves in line with Monday's four percent dip, however, may be viewed as nothing more than a potential opportunity to accumulate as IMUC may posess enough early-year momentum to not only sustain the current higher prices, but also to propel shares higher as numerous still-pending developments play out...

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Monday proved to be a ho-hum day for the broad markets, with not much excitements as the major markers trading slightly in the red for the duration of trading. There were, however, some stocks on the move making noise while a few nice volume plays were worth noting because, as they say, many times volume precedes price...

Premier Alliance Group (PIMO) was a stock to watch last week as trading volume started to pick up, and that volume boost carried into the new trading week, too, as PIMO shares traded on well more than triple the daily average to open the new trading week. As previously discussed, Premier has been growing its customer base over the past few years and increasing its revenues and earnings, as well, all while completing some key acquisitions and mergers that have thrust the company into the heart of one of the most rapidly growing sectors - energy efficiency and devising methods and programs to maximize that efficiency...

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Shares of Cel-Sci Corp (CVM) were up by roughly eight percent for most of the day on Monday, with no news being released in conjunction with the price rise and not much more than the average volume trading throughout the day. Cel-Sci did receive mention on a couple of popular news and finance related websites, however, as Fox Business and Forbes.com noted the gap up and early price action of the company's stock and highlighted the performance as one of the best in biotech.

Another recent high-flyer made the Forbes report as well, as shares of Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) opened the week with a fourteen percent price spike...

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At the conclusion of each week,VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. Although focusing intently on the biotech and healthcare sectors, due attention is also given to potential market-moving or game-changing companies in a broad variety of sectors and industries. The 'Weekly Stock Watch' will also introduce new companies for coverage and identify some stocks that may have entered 'buy territory'.

Another strong week was recognized by the markets, with a slew of positive earnings reports boosting stocks higher every day and into the close on Friday.

The most notable report may have come fromApple (AAPL). Although AAPL shares had slipped over theprevious weeks, another strong round of earnings that again confirmed the company's dominance in the tech arena quickly sent shares back to over the six hundred dollar mark....

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Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP), a company developing a potential billion-dollar drug, Plecanatide, according to numerous analyst predictions, may have received quite a boost on the news front at the open of this new trading week.

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD) and partner Forest Laboratories, Inc. (FRX) informed investors on Monday that the FDA will take an additional three months to review data for Linaclotide, which is before the FDA for review in the indications of chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) and constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C)...

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Although trading near its 52-week high these days, and boasting a significant cash influx through the sale of its non-core businesses, Pfizer Inc. (PFE) still has the task ahead of rebuilding the company's drug development program with a slew of big-name drugs coming off label, including the blockbuster Lipitor that lost its patent protection last year.

Although it's been mentioned that Pfizer will initiate some share buybacks and utilize the new found spare cash to boost investor value in other ways, it's fair to speculate that the pharmaceutical powerhouse might look to complete a key acquisition or two - and the season for such a move is ripe...

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As the buyout offers for new technologies and drugs heats up in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors, it's the patent games - which have turned into all-out legal wars at times, that are heating up in the tech sector. While Facebook (FB) and Yahoo! (YHOO) took to the courtrooms to battle over patents, Microsoft (MSFT) and AOL (AOL) played nice and secured a billion dollar patent deal earlier this month, which now looks to have been just a preparatory move before negotiating a three team trade.

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Last week we wondered whether or not shares of Keryx Pharmaceuticals (KERX) were heading for the dollar mark. This week it's a whole new ballgame as a Monday morning press release issued by Keryx informed investors that Japanese partner, Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) and Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Torii), had announced positive top line results of a Phase III trial for Zerenex in the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in end-stage renal disease patients on hemodialysis.

As a result of the news KERX shares were up by more than 25% on volume of well more than double the daily norm - all before lunch time on Monday...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. Although focusing intently on the biotech and healthcare sectors, due attention is also given to potential market-moving or game-changing companies in a broad variety of sectors and industries. The 'Weekly Stock Watch' will also introduce new companies for coverage and identify some stocks that may have entered 'buy territory'.

Some solid earnings reports last week by a few key players made for an overall decent week for the markets last week, and with earnings again set to dominate the scene during the coming week, it's likely that the markets will once again follow the results.

On the heels of a strong earnings report and more than double the average volume, shares ofMicrosoft (MSFT)soared by nearly five percent on Friday and have positioned the stock as one to watch during the coming week following the exciting close of Friday...

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Thursday afternoon VFC's Stock House informed readers that Capstone Turbine (CPST) had issued a press release stating that the company's President and CEO, Mr. Darren Jamison, would appear for a brief a segment on CNBC's "Fast Money" after the market close.

Shares of Capstone closed the day up by nine percent, while after-hours trading pushed shares even higher, after the CNBC segment aired.

Mr. Jamison did not announce anything that was not already public knowledge, as expected, but the company was highlighted as one that is able to take well advantage of the current low prices of gas - the fuel of choice to power its low-emission microturbine units...

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Last year shares of Capstone Turbine (CPST) broke through the two dollar mark for a period time, in part due to a boost provided by US President Barak Obama when he gave the company a mention during a speech about energy policy in Brazil. Although CPST has since retreated - and even fell below a buck for a period of time over recent trading sessions - the point was made; this company has the potential to play a key role in the fueling the transition to a green energy future...

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Sometimes the patience pays off.

For months now, if not years, discussions of a possible GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) buyout of Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) have been discussed among the speculative - and sometimes not so speculative - circles, given that the two companies were essentially married already through a partnership deal for Benlysta, Human Genome's lupus-treating drug that became the first such treatment approved by the FDA in over fifty years.

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After opening this week on a lackluster trading volume note, shares of Premier Alliance Group (PIMO) saw a bit more action on Wednesday with over 17,000 shares trading hands - about a third higher than the norm. As discussed earlier in the week, Premier is primed to take advantage of the growing regulation from state and federal governments regarding energy consumption. The company has already banked multiple clients in Southern California related to finding energy efficiencies, tax incentives and cost savings for companies and local governments through its GreenHouse division, a recognized expert in the region for its energy-related advisory and consulting services...

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Shares of Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC) have been on the fly since the opening days of 2012, even having tripled at one point before settling down to a trading range of just below the three dollar mark.

With numerous catalysts still pending this year, including a possible move to the AMEX and the presentation of interim results for the ongoing ICT-107 trial - which could come as early as late 2012 - this is still a company and a stock to watch...

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The dust has settled, the skies have cleared and the skies have calmed - at least for now.

When Kerxy Pharmaceuticals (KERX) announced earlier this month that Phase III trials failed for its lead cancer-fighting product, Perifisone, it brought a stark reminder and a swift dose of reality to investors of the biotech and small pharmaceutical sector who can often make out like bandits by riding the waves, but can just as easily see the paper gains disappear by holding on for just a little bit too long...

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It's been a nice week for the rebounding markets. Here's a few stocks to watch as the week goes on...

Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC): Shares of Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC) have been on the fly since the opening days of 2012, even having tripled at one point before settling down to a trading range of just below the three dollar mark.

With numerous catalysts still pending this year, including a possible move to the AMEX and the presentation of interim results for the ongoing ICT-107 trial - which could come as early as late 2012 - this is still a company and a stock to watch.

According to a PR from the company released a couple of months ago, full enrollment for the trial is expected to reached within the current quarter and an interim analysis will be conducted "when 50% of events (32 deaths) have been observed."

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Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) has numerous catalysts pending for the remainder of 2012 and could be gearing up to make a splash in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors as those catalysts unfold. Proof positive may be the fact that - within just the past month - three analysts have issued enthusiastic 'Buy' ratings on the company, with each posting price targets of well more than double that of where SGYP trades today.

Summer Street initiated coverage with a price target of $9, Brean Murray's rating was accompanied by a price tag of $13, and just a couple of weeks ago Roth Capital threw its own prediction into the mix with a target of $12.

As of Tuesday afternoon, SGYP was trading for just a tad above the four dollar mark on below average volume, so what are the analysts seeing right now that investors have not yet caught on to?

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Building on the solid growth momentum established through internal expansion and with the inking of some key mergers and acquisitions over the past few quarters, Premier Alliance Group (PIMO) is a company positioned to make a significant move in the consulting, advisory and energy sustainability markets at a time when increased regulation from Washington and local municipalities is providing a boost for firms working in Premier's arena.

Most notably, the company acquired GreenHouse Holdings last month in a move that pushes Premier head-first into the energy and sustainability sector that is quickly growing into a multi-billion dollar market of its own. Businesses of all sizes, including most municipal, state and federal agencies, are consistently looking for means and methods to trim their energy costs while also meeting the stringent environmental standards being imposed by the environmental branches of the federal government in today's age...

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With the market expected to continue on its southward journey this week, it might be worth keeping an eye on Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) as a potential 'rebound buy' to hang onto until after the market settles and the downward momentum is eased.

HGSI shares traded down by over three percent on Friday, although volume was relatively light when compared to the daily norm. The market as a whole was heading lower, too, so many speculative plays such as HGSI were also heading lower and will continue to be vulnerable to accentuated price drops as long as big money is rolling out of the market, and not in...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. Although focusing intently on the biotech and healthcare sectors, due attention is also given to potential market-moving or game-changing companies in a broad variety of sectors and industries. The 'Weekly Stock Watch' will also introduce new companies for coverage and identify some stocks that may have entered 'buy territory'.

Last week was one that belonged to the traders, with quite a bit of downwards action in the markets peppered with a couple of big up days, too. Friday's fall, however - when the DOW dropped over one hundred and thirty points - could have set the tone for Monday's open.

In today's age of volatility, quick-breaking news and intense media hype all playing on the markets, we never really know what's coming next until we get there - which makes it a great trading environment, and also allows those who like to hold for the long term to average down on quite a few instances...

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Mets fans, it was a heck of a four game stretch. Now it's time for us to start looking forward to spring training next year.

The markets halted a five day skid on Wednesday, and early indicators are that Thursday could bring some additional rebound. It's my opinion that we haven't seen the last of the downswing, that the declines of today's era will be more slow and gradual than the falling-off-the-cliff phenomena of years past that attracted too much regulator and political attention than Wall Street liked.

But at the end of the day, I'm just a guy with an opinion, so we'll see how it plays out.

Here's a brief recap of some stories and events from the markets over the past twenty-four hours...

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With the Facebook (FB) IPO quickly approaching on the horizon you'd think that all attention in Cyberworld would be focused on that historic event, which is being touted as the biggest IPO in its sector since Google (GOOG) stormed onto the scene years ago. Unfortunately for those that are monitoring this key situation as a pivot point for the exponential growth of Facebook's online dominance, some sideshows are playing out that are hardly irrelevant and are stealing some of the thunder from the main event, which is the Facebook IPO...

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Biovest International (BVTI), a majority-owned subsidiary of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (ABPI), announced on Tuesday that the company will file with the Canadian health authorities for the approval of BiovaxID for the treatment of follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, an incurable cancer of the immune system.

The filing in Canada is part of an international strategy for seeking marketing approvals, which includes the planned filing with the US FDA later this year, and also follows a formal pre-filing advisory meeting with Health Canada's Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate (BGTD).

According to comments made in a Tuesday press release, discussions with the BGTD regarding the BiovaxID submission for approval ...

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With a market downturn currently in effect, at least by the looks of it since the new quarter started, we'll take a look at some companies that may be able to buck the trend and outperform the markets over the short term. Tuesday morning we presented Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC) as one such company and now we bring you an update on Implant Sciences (IMSC).

In Tuesday morning's stock market roundup it was noted that growing volume in shares of Implant Sciences had finally materialized into a significant stock move, with shares closing the day Monday twenty percent higher than the previous close.

High volume continued into the open on Tuesday and IMSC's new found $1 share price held steady through mid-day trading.

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With a new trading quarter upon us, the broad markets as a whole look ready to take a downswing after a strong first quarter and months of running higher as the global economy demonstrated a strength and resiliency not seen for years. Although a downswing - or "correction", as some might term it - could be in the works, there are some companies and stocks out there with enough pending news, catalysts and developments that may allow them to weather the storm and outperform the near-term market trends.

Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC) is one that has already well-outperformed the market this year and could maintain strength into any general downswing...

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The DOW started the new trading week on a down note, trading lower for the fourth trading day in a row and settling in at below the 13,000 mark. News headlines have gone negative on the hopes of continued economic momentum, as predicted, with both sides of the political spectrum playing up the March jobs report to benefit their own respective interests.

This week we'll take a look at some falling stocks that may trade down with the market for the time being, but could quickly rebound when the downward momentum is finished thanks to expectations of solid news developments or pending catalysts that could help reverse the trend.

With the market dipping, there were also some solid new bytes hitting the wires. We'll also take a look at some companies that may be bucking the downward trend and moving higher based on key developments...

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Over the past few months Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) has issued positive updates regarding all of its pipeline fronts, and as a result shares temporarily returned to the four dollar mark before subsiding back to the south of $3.50.

The most recent news update came last week when it was announced that Ampio would move forward with plans to seek an approval for Zertane in Australia. Zertane is a treatment for premature ejaculation for which the company is seeking regional partners globally to bring the product to market. One such deal was announced last year. Newly-signed commercial partner Daewoong Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd will market the product in South Korea - and seek to combine it with another sexual dysfunction drug - while an update from Brazil last month revealed that FBM Industria Farmaceutica Ltda will look to bring Zertane to market in that country...

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Shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI) were dropping fast late last week, with Thursday's trading day culminating in a near-ten percent price dip after the company announced that apaziquone - a late-stage treatment for bladder cancer for which the company planned to file for approval later this year - failed to meet individual Phase III trial endpoints. According to a company press release, however, pooled data from the trials looked to show efficacy, compelling the company to discuss bringing that information before the FDA for a look-see before moving forward, but there's little hope that the FDA would approve on the pooled data alone...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. Although focusing intently on the biotech and healthcare sectors, due attention is also given to potential market-moving or game-changing companies in a broad variety of markets and industries. The 'Weekly Stock Watch' will also introduce new companies for coverage and identify some stocks that may have entered 'buy territory'.

The first trading week of the new quarter is in the books, and while the DOW stood firm above the 13,000 mark last week, a quick scan of the headlines shows us that sentiment has quickly turned towards expectations of a broad market downturn...

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"Readers Respond" is a forum where readers run the show by commenting or adding to ongoing discussions regarding events or companies that have either been covered by VFC's Stock House or are worth bringing to the attention of readers. Remember, you don't have to agree with VFC to contribute - the best discussions are the ones where all angles are covered. All comments are welcome via email: vfc@vfcsstockhouse.com, Twitter (@VFCsStockHouse), Facebook or the VFC's Stock House Seeking Alpha page.

From kb5233 in response to Thursday's 'Stock Market Roundup' which highlighted Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE), a company that was the target of a harsh review by TheStreet.com's biotech blog that morning:

What is your opinion on the "biotech blogger's" comments on CVM? He has written some previous articles that outline a number of, if not falsehoods, what appears to be some questionable data. Thanks.

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Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE): TheStreet.com's biotech blogger graced readers with an early edition of the Biotech Stock Mailbag this week, releasing it on Thursday vice its normal Friday publishing. In this week's edition he criticized Ampio Pharmaceuticals for taking its treatment for premature ejaculation (PE), Zertane, overseas. Ampio has been seeking regional partners to commercialize Zertane, with one agreement being announced last year to bring the product to market in South Korea, and another commercialization plan announced for Brazil last month.

Ampio then announced in report from earlier this week that the company would next seek an approval for the product in Australia.

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Carrying a heavy short interest of nearly 20% and the move towards profitability still a little bit of ways away, shares of Capstone Turbine (CPST) have been beaten back to the dollar level, a place where recent history has proven to be a decent buy-in level. At times shares have briefly dipped below the dollar mark, but rebounded in fairly quick fashion. Last year, in fact, shares even breached the two dollar level after a mention by US President Barak Obama during an energy speech in Brazil.

Still, as the world turns towards greener energy alternatives, Capstone is positioned to take advantage of that trend...

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Some news, notes and stories wrapping-up Tuesday and trending towards Wednesday...

Weak Moves of the Week:

These events may or may not have occurred this week, but they've been identified as 'weak' this week...

President Barak Obama: Attempting to intimidate members of the Supreme Court and questioning their powers was a weak move by the President. His argument for doing so was even weaker. The people may not have elected the Justices, but the people didn't have a vote on the health care bill either...

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A roundup of news to watch for Tuesday's trading...

Illumina Inc. (ILMN): Volume has been impressive for Illumina (ILMN) over the past few trading days after Illumina's board rejected a buyout offer from Roche Holding AG (RHHBY) for $51 per share. The rejection was unanimous and followed a previous offer of $44.50 per share, a far cry from where ILMN shares traded late last year after an earnings miss sent them tumbling.

The bid is a hostile one, meaning it was unsolicited, but it looks like Illumina intends to stand firm.

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In continuing with the swift progress that Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) has been making on all pipeline fronts over the past months, the company announced this week that it has reached an agreement with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Canberra, Australia, on a plan of drug manufacture and quality control for Zertane.

Zertane is a treatment for premature ejaculation (PE) for which Ampio is seeking regional partners to commercialize. An agreement was announced last year to bring the product to market in South Korea, and a similar commercialization plan for Brazil was announced last month...

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It may have been a rough day for Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) on Monday after a late stage trial for the cancer drug Perifisone didn't quite pan out, but it was a money day for Agenus, Inc. (AGEN) investors after the company announced that it would be presenting some positive trial data of its own at an upcoming conference.

Monday's announcement highlighted and followed-up on data presented at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting which showed that 93% of the patients from a Phase II Prophage trial were alive at the 26 week mark after surgery with a median overall survival of 11 months.

Progphage is AGEN's developmental stage immunotherapeutic cancer treatment for glioma...

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With great reward, comes great risk, and vice-versa, especially in the biotech/small pharma sector.

For months Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) was drawing increased investor attention, and as is usually the case in this sector, much of it was speculative attention based on pending results from a Phase III trial for Perifisone, which Keryx in-licensed from Aeterna Zentaris (AEZS) as a potential first-in-class oral anti-cancer drug.

The rewards came along with all the attention...

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Given the company's fall from grace and the potential for investors to view its share price drop as a potential rebound play, Research In Motion (RIMM) is going to be a hot stock to watch for quite a while. Investors looking for a quick turnaround, however, were disappointed last week when losses of over $100 million sent many of RIM's board members running for the doors as the company opened up a new strategy of appealing to its enterprise business while - at least for the time being - not trying to compete with Apple's (AAPL) iPhone or Google's (GOOG) Android on the consumer market...

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Last year was a pivotal year for Coronado Biosciences (CNDO), and with multiple pipeline catalysts set to evolve over the coming months, 2012 is taking shape as a milestone year as well.

Coronado began 2011 as a private company, and after a brief period of trading on the OTC market, the company ended the year on the Nasdaq - without having conducted an IPO. A Form 10 filing with the SEC to convert the company's shares to common stock and become a public company was an unorthodox method of going public, but it did the trick. The quick move to the Nasdaq also ensured that Coronado could appeal to a wider scope of potential investors, as many funds and institutions will not touch a bulletin board stock, and neither will the more conservative of investors.

That said, trading on the Nasdaq also brings with it a responsibility to demonstrate a strength in the pipeline that would compel investors to buy in, and then to stick around as that pipeline developed. Investors will often find themselves asking, "What makes this pipeline or product unique, and what is the potential return should it (they) make it to market?"

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. Although focusing intently on the biotech and healthcare sectors, due attention is also given to potential market-moving or game-changing companies in a broad variety of markets and industries. The 'Weekly Stock Watch' will also introduce new companies for coverage and identify some stocks that may have entered 'buy territory'.

Here's a toast to the first quarter of 2012, one that returned quite a bit of green to the portfolios of many an investor, renewed confidence in the markets and also had many forget the dog days of early 2009 when everybody and their brother was telling you to sell everything.

Those that might have bucked the selling trend and used the dip to buy are sitting pretty right about now, but that doesn't mean another market correction isn't in the works...

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With the quarter coming to a close on Friday, the broad markets all traded relatively flat for the week and some economic numbers in the United States hinted at a prolonged recovery while concerns in Europe continue to quell any all-out euphoria.

Spanish workers took to the streets in protest and strike over the government's plans to cut spending, reform labor laws and get a grip on the country's spiraling economy that boasts unemployment of over 20%.

Although the DOW is trading close to its all time highs, it's hardly likely that the markets can sustain such vigor while Europe as a whole is still straddling the lines of economic collapse, and it doesn't help that the general population across the pond is not on board with reform. But you can't blame the people for being unhappy that the already extremely high tax rates they pay are going even higher, at least for those with jobs...

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Shares of Oncothyreon (ONTY) starting slipping earlier this month after it became apparent that results from an going Phase III trial testing the company's immunotherapeutic treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, Stimuvax, would not be released until early 2013.

Previous expectations had those results coming at some point this year, while some investors expected the ongoing trial would have even been halted after independent review, if results looked encouraging enough to move forward with approval based on the data compiled so far...

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The DOW is still teetering over 13,000, not giving much of an indication either way as to whether or not the long-speculated correction is coming, but headlines in support of both sides of the argument are still running across the wires, making traders edgy and throwing continued volatility into the mix.

It's my opinion that it's best to prepare for both scenarios, which compels me to sell some recent-runners in order to have a few bucks on the sideline if a correction does take shape, especially with the weather warming up and the summer generally being vacation time for Wall Street...

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Shares of Siga Technologies (SIGA) opened the new trading week on quite the run.

Volume of nearly five times the norm sparked a thirty percent price spike as SIGA closed near the high of the day.

As recently as last week we noted at VFC's Stock House that shares of Siga Technologies (SIGA) may have been entering buy territory. Siga had opened 2012 strong, with a run in February run pushing shares close to the four dollar mark, a price level that was predicted by some media outlets at the time.

The four dollar level never was breached, while SIGA quietly and quickly slipped back to previously-traded levels of under three bucks...

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The DOW, S&P and Nasdaq all jumped by well over one percent on Monday, opening the week on a strong note following the worst week of 2012 thus far. Bernanke gave investors the warm/fuzzy, but economic concerns in Europe, rising oil prices and threats from the Middle East are all factors that we're going to hear about again, so it's tough to get euphoric about the market strength right now.

But boy does all the green look good.

You've got to love politics. Rick Santorum has spent the better part of the past six months (although it seems like years) tearing apart Mitt Romney on his policies and politics, and even got downright personal at times. But when asked if he'd join the Romney choo-choo train as Vice President if asked, of course he said he'd jump on board...

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"VFC's Take" is a forum where readers can comment or add to ongoing discussions regarding events or companies covered by VFC's Stock House. Remember, you don't have to agree with VFC to contribute - the best discussions are the ones where all angles are covered. All comments are welcome via email: vfc@vfcsstockhouse.com, Twitter (@VFCsStockHouse), Facebook or the VFC's Stock House Seeking Alpha page.

A question from Mark regarding Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) and the potential of the company if we take a potential buyout from the equation:

I wonder if you still have any warm feelings for the stock [HGSI] if it is not a prospect for takeover.

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. With and emphasis on the biotech and healthcare sectors, VFC's Stock House also takes a glance at potential market-moving stocks in a broad spectrum of sectors, while also providing insight into the major news items of the week.

This week attention is going to be on the strength of the markets, with many pundits predicting a market correction is imminent while others believe that continuously-improving economic numbers will be enough to sustain the positive recent trends, although the DOW did just experience its worst week of the year.

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It was a slow news day Thursday as our most popular politicians and news pundits were distracted playing Etch-A-Sketch, but a few stories caught my eye...

Robert DiNero has taken a whole lot of slack for his "First Lady" comment, and surprisingly enough for a Hollywood great, he apologized for it.

That doesn't happen every day.

But in all honesty, the guy was just poking a little fun at those who believed that America wasn't ready for Michelle Obama in the White House during the last Presidential campaign. While poking fun, he was also giving her some credit, since she's done a pretty remarkable job moving her own causes forward while staying on the relative sidelines.

The fact that those comments caused so much controversy is just another example of how this country has far lost its sense of humor...

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Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) released positive trial news for Optina in the treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) earlier this week and shares quickly spiked to over the four dollar mark as a result. Although shares have since retreated to under that price, the results solidify a trend that has the company's pipeline of repositioned products on a roll.

Before the positive Optina results, Ampio also informed investors and the medical community that its potential blockbuster product, Ampion, had been successful in multiple trials as an anti-inflammatory. Given the side effects that are carried with today's standard anti-inflammatory treatments, Ampion could come along just at the right time when medical professionals are looking for alternatives...

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Shares of Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC) were flying fast on Thursday.

A strong close pushed the share price to over the three dollar mark, effectively setting a new 52-week high at $3.22. Thursday's trading action tagged IMUC with the 'triple' stamp since early January when a financing deal sent shares south, only to quickly rebound when new institutional interest was discovered to have taken up a significant position in the company.

Needless to say, the quick triple marks some very significant gains and underlines the attention that this company's pipeline is receiving...

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Last week VFC's Stock House outlined some potential catalysts that Prolor Biotech (PBTH) had pending that would have high-powered implications on the validation and potential success of the company's Carboxyl Terminal Peptide (CTP) based technology.

It was argued that should Prolor receive approval for and initiate a Phase II trial in children for hGH-CTP, a longer-lasting treatment for hormone deficiency, that it would hugely validate the trials conducted thus far and increase the chances that the company would receive the green light later this year to initiate a Phase III trial in adults...

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It was a big day in sports on Wednesday.

As a result of the "bounty-gate" scandal that has engulfed the NFL's off season, Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down the harshest fines in NFL history when he suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton without pay for the entire 2012 season. The Commish also suspended former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams indefinitely and canned General Manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight regular-season games of next season.

And he wasn't done yet.

Assistant coach Joe Vitt will also sit out the first six games of next season; and the Saints have to pay a half-million dollar fine; and the team loses their second round draft picks for the next two seasons.

Wow. How do you really feel, Rog? ...

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NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY) released news this week that offers to broaden the scope and reach of the company's Aganocide compounds, which are being positioned as anti-infectives and could potentially replace modern day antibiotics as resistance to such treatment grows.

On Tuesday NovaBay announced a deal with Virbac Animal Health to bring its technology to the veterinary market. According to the agreement, NovaBay will receive an upfront payment - and some additional support for research and development - while Virbac will retain the option to license any of the Aganocide compounds that are successfully applied to treating veterinary indications...

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After a decisive victory in Illinois, it's about time for Republicans and the other Republican Presidential hopefuls to come to close up shop and realize that Mitt is going to be their man come November.

Although Rick Santorum will use the fact that he got outspent "21-1" as the excuse for racking up another "L" in the loss column, it's also a big reason as to why there's little chance he'll make up ground in any states following Illinois...

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Investors were smelling news at the end of last week when shares of Amarin Corp (AMRN) started to rise on the back of a big volume boost, as call options also went crazy. Shares opened the new trading week relatively flat, but on Tuesday news hit the wires that looks to have justified Amarin's rapid price run.

During the morning hours of the trading day the announcement came that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had finally published notification of the awarding of the patent that Amarin had been seeking to protect its AMR-101 treatment for high triglycerides, which currently stands before the FDA in search of a market approval...

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The new week started off with a bang.

Tim Tebow's era looks to be coming to an end in Denver as Peyton Manning reportedly picked the Mile High City as his new home, but I still thought Peyton would have been better off backing up his kid brother in New York - better known as "ELI, the Two-Time Super Bowl Champ."

Speaking of New York, the owners of the New York Mets have settled with a trustee for Bernie Maddoff's victims in a case of alleged "willful blindness". For just $162 million - or $60 million more than what Jose Reyes would have cost for six or so years - the Wilpons can wipe their hands of the Madoff spectacle and get back to destroying National League Baseball in NYC...

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Heavy volume carried shares of Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) to well over the four dollar mark during early trading on Monday after the company announced that interim results from a trial testing Optina as a treatment for Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) were strong enough to justify halting the trial early and moving forward with the FDA's regulatory process.

The early trial halt, according to Dr. Vaughan Clift, Chief Regulatory Officer of Ampio in statements released Monday morning, allows the company to prepare a "consultation package" for the FDA, the next step in setting up for a pivotal trial that would ultimately bring the product before the FDA for approval...

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Updated report from this weekend:

Celsius Holdings (CELH) has hired the public relations agency 5W, according to reports circulating the wires on Monday morning.

5W is a highly-reputable PR agency, representing some very big-named clients. The addition of Celsius to the firm's client list could have contributed to last week's boost in volume...

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Volume and price were both rising for shares of Celsius Holdings (CELH.PK) last week, and shares closed Friday at the high of the day on significant volume for the lightly-traded stock. Although two days of solid trading patterns does not mark a turnaround just yet, there is reason to believe that interest may again be growing for the Celsius calorie-burning pre-workout drink.

The company reported another round of earnings earlier this month, and although the report had little initial impact on the share price, it may have provided a starting point for new investors to start taking interest in this potential rebound story...

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Lpath, Inc. (LPTN.OB) settled some uncertainty last week when an expected date was announced to restart the halted iSONEP trials.

The announcement failed to initially spark any move in the share price, but on Friday volume was twice the daily average and LPTN jumped by four percent before the day was done.

Lpath is the recognized leader of lipid-based therapeutics and the company's pipeline products are based on the proprietary ImmuneY2 platform, which contains the ability to generate therapeutic antibodies that bind to and inhibit bioactive lipids that contribute to the spreading and growth of various diseases and inflammatory/auto-immune disorders...

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Amarin Corporation will be attracting its share of attention this week.

The company started making headlines about mid-week last week when volume started coming in strong, igniting a price run that culminated in an 18% spike on Friday. Volume remained strong as well, with the 18% rise being accompanied by five times the daily trading norm...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines some news items, stocks and stories that made headlines during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well. With and emphasis on the biotech and healthcare sectors, VFC's Stock House also takes a glance at potential market-movers in a broad spectrum of sectors, while also providing insight into the major news items of the week.

This week, in honor of St. Patrick's Day (now known as "O'Green Day" in one Massachusetts school), we'll take a look at some hot-movers of the past week that added a fair amount of "green" to investors portfolios and may continue to do the same into the next trading week.

Another strong week for the markets is in the books, but many still predict that a correction is inevitable, adding to the already volatile nature of today's financial outlook. The prospects of a pullback also make it a trader's game, as many of one week's hot-runners can quickly turn into the next week's pullback stories as traders get in and out quicker than the Mets can add another bat to the disabled list...

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The potential of Prolor Biotech's (PBTH) pipeline is quickly coming to fruition.

Prolor possesses world wide rights to the naturally-occurring Carboxyl Terminal Peptide (CTP), which can be attached to already-existing therapeutic proteins in order to slow the process by which the protein is removed from the human body, thereby creating an extended life span for an already-existing treatment and significantly reducing the amount of injections or applications a patient would need to endure during the course of treatment...

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A few companies making headlines on Wednesday:

Amarain Corp (AMRN): Shares of Amarin (AMRN) jumped by well over a dollar during intra-day trading on Wednesday, on volume nearly four times the daily norm. No news was released in conjunction with the price increase and call options were also being bought up by the boat load.

The push to over eight dollars comes amid a couple of volatile weeks for this once high-flying stock, and judging by the burst of interest on Wednesday, investors may feel that news is imminent...

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Agenus, Inc. (AGEN) spiked another 10% during intra-day trading on Wednesday, continuing a run that was ignited by the expanding of an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) earlier this month that had the buyout rumors swirling.

In the agreement, geared around Agenus' vaccine adjuvant QS-21 Stimulon, Glaxo was granted a 'first right of refusal' for any buyout offers Agenus may receive in relation to the company as a whole or any of its pipeline products.

The protracted movement in share price has put this company on the map again...

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As has been discussed and predicted on numerous occasions before, Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC.OB) is taking the logical next step in its development and looking to conduct a reverse split in order to bring down the share count and raise the price enough to meet the minimum requirements for a listing on the big boards.

Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) has already left an imprint in the field of regenerative medicine when the FDA granted the company permission to conduct a human clinical trial using its stem-cell based retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) program to treat severe vision loss. At the time of the FDA green light ACT was only the second company to have received such an approval, with Geron (GERN) having been the first.

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This morning, VFC's Stock House highlighted some important developments for BioDelivery Sciences, both on the legal and pipeline fronts.

Since then, however, the company has released follow-up news that bodes well for the resolution of patent-infringement litigation brought before BDSI by Monosol Rx, LLC...

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BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI) shares about tripled earlier this year when the company signed a worldwide licensing and development agreement with Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) to bring BEMA Buprenorphine to market as a treatment for chronic pain.

BEMA Bup, as its known for short, failed to meet the primary endpoint of a Phase III trial completed earlier this year, although company CEO Dr. Mark Sirgo said at the time that some data from the trial was compelling enough to warrant additional studies...

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Last week shares of Lpath, Inc. (LPTN) took a twenty percent dive after news circulated of a financing agreement that priced shares well below the price for which they were trading on the open market.

Just a short time before that shares had already taken a hit following news that two ongoing proof-of-concept trials for iSONEP were halted in January. The trials were not halted due to concerns about iSONEP's safety profile, however, rather it was concerns from FDA that the company's fill/finish contractor, Formatech, Inc., was not in compliance with FDA's current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements that led to the trial stop...

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Shares of Agenus (AGEN) were up by as much as ten percent to open the trading week on Monday, with volume surpassing the daily norm by mid-day. The spark to this latest run flared last week when an announcement of an expansion of a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) ignited buyout talks in regards to the two companies. In the expansion of the partnership deal, it was included that GSK would receive a 'first right of refusal' in the event of an Agenus buyout, or if certain of Agenus properties were to be on the bidding block, namely QS-21 and/or Prophage...

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Oncothyreon (ONTY) 40% haircut last week after the company released its latest earnings report. It's not likely the report, however that disappointed investors as much as it was the indication that Phase III Stimuvax trial results would not be available until early in 2013.

Many investors had expected a much earlier release, while others even counted on an independent monitoring committee being satisfied enough with the results thus far to halt the trial in order tally results early. When that scenario did not pan out, the traders bailed, hence the sharp drop in ONTY share price...

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A week after cautionary statements from company officials regarding first quarter Provenge numbers sent Dendreon (DNDN) shares slipping, the company faced a new challenge last week - competition.

According to reports that circulated last week, Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) prostate cancer drug, Zytiga, was primed to mount a huge challenge to Provenge on the open market, based on late stage study results...

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Shares of Sirius XM Radio, Inc. (SIRI) were thrust into the spotlight late last week as an interview by CNBC's stock pundit and 'Mad Money' host Jim Cramer with Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin aired on Thursday evening.

The two discussed the recent successes of the company and keyed in on the bright future expected for Sirius XM, given the vast increase of free cash flow, which - they both argued - will significantly enhance the value of the company moving forward. The swift increase in the satellite radio service's subscriber base was also noted, as was the rebound in new car sales that is expected to continue to bring in new subscriptions, which translated into more free cash flow and, consequently, more value for investors...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines the stocks and stories that made news through various sectors during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Encouraging job numbers last week supported the recent sustained higher prices in the markets, while the DOW still hovers right around the 13,000 mark. Many analysts and economists, however, still predict that a market correction is in store at some point over the coming months which will only add to the continued volatility in the markets that - while making some of the long term investors nervous - has led to plenty of ample trading opportunities.

The prospect of a correction is also supported by the continued civil, geo-political and economic unrest around the globe that dominates today's headlines.

European leaders agreed last week on a plan to set the Greece economy straight, but many investors had to swallow huge losses and few are convinced that the economic woes of other large players in the European economy, namely Spain and Italy, won't also have to be dealt with.

The threat of eventual military action in Iran over its nuclear program is still contributing to inflated oil prices, while the potential for air strikes in Syria, as proposed by US Senator John McCain, reinforces the fact that the Middle East is still far from stable - a full year after the Arab Spring sprang into action.

Vladimir Putin has returned to his position as President in Russia - as if he ever really left - and as long as oil prices are high, expect him to feel emboldened enough to continue to launch Russia to the forefront of international affairs, often times in opposition to what may be good for the US economy and policies.

In sports, Peyton Manning was announced as a free agent last week, and maybe it's time he comes to New York to join his brother Eli - as a backup to the TWO-time Super Bowl champ. We need something to talk about this summer since the best the Mets will have to offer is the trade talk that'll surround David Wright and Johan Santana (if he even makes a start).

Another exciting trading week lies ahead, here's a few stories to watch...

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Cel-Sci Corp (CVM) has put some bad news in the rear view mirror.

An announcement on Tuesday informed the public that the company has paid off the full outstanding convertible debenture, having paid it down $1 million per month. The debenture was the result of settled litigation and frees up Cel-Sci to concentrate additional resources towards what's most important - the ongoing, world wide Phase III Multikine trial, said to be the largest ever conducted for head and neck cancer...

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In a day that saw the DOW drop by just about 200 points, these companies were falling as a result of factors not associated with the broad market downturn...

Lpath, Inc. (LPTN.OB): Shares of Lpath, Inc. (LPTN.OB) were on the dive on Tuesday as the result of a agreement that priced shares at $.75, roughly twenty percent below where they had been trading leading into the announcement.

The drop was accompanied by volume of more than ten times the daily norm.

VFC's Stock House identified this company as a prime buyout candidate not too long ago, and also emphasized the potential opportunity that was opening up for long term minded investors during the recent price decline...

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Add Agenus, Inc. (AGEN) to the growing list of small biotech companies that are quickly becoming prime buyout candidates.

Agenus announced on Monday, in conjunction with releasing its fourth quarter earnings report, that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has upped the ante in its partnership with Agenus for the vaccine adjuvant QS-21, an additive that prolongs the life of the standard vaccine. Glaxo is using QS-21, also known as Stimulon, in multiple of its late stage vaccine candidates, including in a malaria vaccine that gained a large amount of international coverage for both AGEN and GSK late last year after proving to be effective in late stage study results...

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VFC's Stock House has been monitoring the progress of OncoVista Innovative Therapies (OVIT.OB) over the past couple of weeks, as the company's share price has moved by over 100% since mid February on relatively huge volume for the lightly-traded stock.

The trend continued on Monday when a new short term high of over sixty cents was reached, a level not seen for OVIT shares since last summer...

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The pre-announcement KERX runup is in full effect.

Shares of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) have been in the spotlight since late last year when investors starting taking notice of the company's expected release of Phase III trial results for the cancer treatment Perifisone, partnered with AEterna Zentaris (AEZS).

This week KERX shares blew past the five dollar mark, before closing just under that mark, on huge volume...

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In keeping with the unofficial theme of the week - watching companies such as Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) and Amarin Corporation (AMRN) whose stock prices have provided ample trading opportunities over the last few months - let's take a look at Siga Technologies (SIGA).

This one just about has it all right now to keep the headlines moving, legal issues, political drama, a huge government contract award and a product that could be worth billions someday. Siga's ST-246 is potentially the only orally administered antiviral targeting orthopox viruses that works, and the company has already tagged the product with an orphan drug designation and "fast track" status...

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Generally, as goes Dendreon (DNDN), goes the cancer immunotherapy sector as a whole.

Such was the case last summer when the Dendreon juggernaut was stopped dead in its tracks after all of the Provenge sales woes came to light, and it was the case yet again when a rebound in those Provenge sales numbers led to a brief, but notable surge earlier this year.

The tide may be changing, though, as some in the sector are starting to move on without DNDN leading the way...

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Shares of Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) quickly returned to the ten dollar level earlier this year after having slipped to below seven bucks during the closing weeks of 2011. The rebound was short-lived, however, as the latest earnings report did not demonstrate enough established growth in Benlysta sales to satisfy those investors that have a closer eye on the short term, rather than the long...

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Keep an eye on shares of OnvoVista Innovative Therapies (OVIT.OB) this week.

A noticable boost in volume has started to result in a price boost, too, and Friday's late day trading action could be an indicator that speculative investors may be starting to take notice. In fact, Friday's volume was nearly twenty times the daily norm for this lightly traded, below-the-radar company, and the achieved intra-day highs made the stock more than a double in just seven trading sessions...

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"Amarin Falls 10% Amid Patent Concerns," read one headline from Friday after trading volume of nearly ten million sent shares of Amarin Corporation (AMRN) tumbling.

To the contrary, however, headlines from the day before read to the tune of, "Amarin Shares Rebound 12%."

The "rebound" materialized after news on Wednesday hit the wires that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had rejected Amarin's patent application for AMR-101, its treatment for very high triglycerides that is currently before the FDA for approval review, and sent shares south by ten percent...

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Celsius Holdings (CELH.PK), maker of the pre-workout calorie burning beverage Celsius, reported another round of earnings last week, although the report had little impact on the share price and sparked only modest, if any, new investor interest.

After a volatile year in 2010 that saw huge expenditures thrown at a nationwide advertising campaign that ultimately did not pay off as planned, Celsius spent the better part of 2011 regaining its foothold in the healthy and pre-workout beverage markets...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines the stocks and stories that made news through various sectors during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

Last week, Investors continued to look for signs that the global economy was on the rebound. The DOW flirted with 13,000, but was unable to hold that mark even as US unemployment numbers looked to be improving. Continued concerns of debt and unemployment in Europe, specifically in Greece and Spain, still weigh heavily on the prospects of overall recovery.

Ongoing tough talk from Iran and a potential closing of the Straits of Hormuz has oil prices surging to levels not seen for years and the US consumer is forced to pay nearly five dollars a gallon for gas, not a high level compared to European prices, for example, but high enough to pull a significant amount of free cash flow from the pockets of the retail investor. Last week was also one of numerous high-profile earnings reports from various sectors. Those reports, as outlined below, led to some expected and unexpected volatility, which sets up another exciting trading week.

In Sports, the New York Mets published photos of Johan Santana pitching batting practice to Ike Davis during the opening days of Spring Training - which will likely end up being the highlight of the New York Mets' season for 2012. Too bad the Rangers and the Knicks can't carry us through the summer.

The next five trading sessions are sure to register a fair amount of continued economic volatility, and there are sure to be some exciting stories to watch. Here's just a few of them:

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Shares of Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC.OB) have stormed through the two dollar mark this week, with strong volume on Wednesday pushing shares as high as $2.43 before closing the day at a respectable $2.37. Both highs are well more than double the January lows and indicate that investors may be jumping on board in anticipation of a possible move one of the larger trading boards, one of a few short to mid term catalysts that could propel IMUC shares higher...

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Shares of OncoVista Innovative Therapies (OVIT.OB) had dipped into the mid twenty cent range during the early goings of 2012, but a nice spurt of volume over the past week had shares trading for as high as forty cents. In fact, more shares have traded hands over the past seven trading sessions than all previous sessions this year combined, capped by Tuesday's volume of 215,000 shares traded and Wednesdays showing of over 160,000 shares...

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Armed with a high profile licensing deal involving Pfizer (PFE), Lpath, Inc. (LPTN.OB) and its share price were gaining momentum late last year and into the early stages of 2012 before a temporary halt in the company's iSONEP trial was announced in January, an event that sent shares back to the sub-one dollar mark.

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Already a swift mover and big winner for investors this year, Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC.OB) may still have enough short to mid term catalysts on the horizon to propel shares even higher. A financing deal announced early in the year restocked the company's war chest with cash and exposed the fact that institutional interest in the company is growing, just as the Phase II glioblastoma trial for ICT-107 progresses on schedule.

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The recent run of Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC.OB) nearly reached the two dollar mark on a few occasions last week, and eyes will be on the stock this week to see if that barrier can again be taken down.

IMUC has just about doubled in a short period time and the quick rise was fueled by new institutional interest as well as attention being put on the company's pipeline, led by ICT-107, an immunotherapeutic treatment for glioblastoma...

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Manhattan Pharmaceuticals (TGTX.OB) was making some noise last year at around this time, and it looks like the company is ready to roll again, now armed with a new ticker symbol (previously MHAN.OB) and a fresh licensing agreement.

The company had been dead for the better part of last year, aside from some short term moves, but last week its stock registered a 600% gain one day and also showed some life on Friday with a 15% pop...

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Capstone Turbine (CPST) announced earnings for the company's fiscal third quarter last week, and although the company took another solid step forward on the path towards profitability, the general consensus on the street, according to numerous headlines from various sources, is that Capstone's report was an earnings "miss."

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On the heels of an earnings report that had Pharmacyclics, Inc. (PCYC) raking in nearly sixty million dollars during the company's fiscal second quarter - a quarter that ended with over $240 million in the PCYC bank account - shares spiked pretty significantly, surging by nearly twenty percent on Friday to close the day at the $23.23 mark. That's a monumental number for a stock that traded for just around a buck four years ago...

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InVivo Therapeutics (NVIV.OB) is moving again.

Shares flew to nearly three dollars late last year, from well under the dollar mark as news circulated regarding the company's revolutionary treatment for treating and potentially curing the devastating effects of spinal cord injuries (SCI) and paralysis, but have since dropped back towards two dollars as the traders went looking for the next immediate-term payday.

That said, NVIV could be positioned for another move higher with multiple catalysts pending - including the initiation of human trials - and might also be shaping up to be quite the buyout candidate...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines the stocks and stories that made news through various sectors during the previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

A modest pullback on Friday capped off a solid run that had been fueled by encouraging jobs data, but some still argue that the new job growth is not enough to justify a general turnaround in economic indicators. Global tensions are also still in full swing, with the threat of an Israeli strike on Iran being openly discussed, along with talk of a total meltdown in Syria.

That's on top of continued turmoil in Europe, with Greece again dominating the international economic headlines as the country faces mass cuts or default. The turmoil led to a few high-profile resignations over the weekend.

All in all, it should be another exciting - and possibly volatile - week for the traders. With all the excitement, keep an eye on some of these stocks...

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With Super Bowl week nearing an end, here's a few stocks that have looked as sweet as a Manning to Manningham pass lately...

GelTech Solutions (GLTC): Trading volume and share price have been on the move for GelTech Solutions (GLTC.OB) for a few weeks now, and after a brief period of consolidation at around the one dollar mark, GLTC has continued to trade at nearly ten times the daily average with a continued push higher...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines the stocks and stories that made news through various sectors during previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

This week could be a good one, in just about all sectors, given the positive economic indicators released last week that had the markets hitting highs not seen in years. Although the big news that everyone is talking about is the Facebook IPO, there's going to be some other stocks and stories to watch once the hangovers wear off from the Super Bowl.

Here's just a few of those stories to watch...

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Although trading in much different sectors, shares of Capstone Turbine (CPST) have had a similar trading pattern as Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP.OB) - another company long followed by VFC's Stock House - over the past couple of years, and just on the heels of TTNP's most recent price run, shares of CPST are again starting to roll...

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One of this week's hot movers, GelTech Solutions (GLTC.OB), bursted through a dollar on Thursday afternoon, supported by trading volume that was more than ten times the normal average. Volume had been increasing over the past week on anticipation that distribution for FireIce, GelTech's flagship product that could quickly revolutionize the firefighting industry, would quickly boom now that governments around the globe have started taking notice of the potential revenue and resource savings that FireIce could provide...

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IMUC: A recent financing deal brought shares of Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC.OB) crashing down towards a dollar earlier this year, but encouraging pipeline news, high volume and new institutional interest has quickly revived the share price and the stock closed Wednesday seventy percent higher than is January lows.

A surge in the Dendreon (DNDN) share price has led to a sector-wide rebound, thanks to...

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MNKD: Mannkind Corporation (MNKD) looked to be on a rebound as shares surpassed the three dollar mark recently and some media outlets began predicting a short squeeze, give the huge short interest in the stock over the past months.

Heavy insider ownership also added intrigue to the Mannkind story, which could quickly regain traction once it starts to look as if the latest round of trials requested by the FDA for Afrezza approval will be enough to justify an FDA approval...

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With another five percent price increase in the bags on a day that saw the second highest trading volume of the new year, it could be time to start considering GelTech Solutions (GLTC.OB) for a continued move towards a dollar - if not higher - as the company looks to revolutionize firefighting as we know it...

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For a few years now Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP.OB) has been one of those companies whose share price has continuously provided many opportune times to play a quick trade, after having traded for just a couple of pennies back in 2009 before riding high to two dollars at some points, and then slipping back to a buck at others.

Decent gains could be had by all ...

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Positive updates from the Ampio Pharmaceuticals' (AMPE) pipeline sparked a run to nearly ten dollars last year, before the share price started trickling back down to earth and hit lows of under four bucks in December following a round of negative articles posted on various Internet media outlets that questioned the company's practices, procedures and accuracy of reporting.

Some looked at the late-year slide as a buying opportunity, given the fact that there were still multiple potential catalysts pending on the pipeline front...

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Fueled by news that the ongoing Phase II trial for ICT-107 in the treatment of glioblastoma is enrolling patients ahead of schedule, shares of Immunocellular Therapeuticas (IMUC.OB) have already become a documented rebound story early this year after temporarily dropping to below a buck earlier this month after the announcement of a financing deal.

IMUC has long been a stock to watch in the cancer immunotherapy sector, given the impressive Phase I trial results for ICT-107 that had 100% of the 16 patients treated still alive after one year, and 80% after two, but it's the technology behind this company's products that could very well usher in the next generation of cancer immunotherapy treatments...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines the stocks and stories that made news through various sectors during previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

This week - in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl that'll see the Giants repeat their previous big game success against the Pats - we'll focus on some of the high runners from last week, which also might be ready to make some noise during the upcoming trading week as well.

Like money placed on the Giants in San Fransisco, money placed on the following stocks could also be a good move, judging by recent events and price action...

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It could be shaping up to become a big year for GelTech Solutions (OTCBB: GLTC).  Holding a revolutionary technology with global implications, this company could go to the next level in quick time.

As introduced to readers of VFC's Stock House late last year, and the fuel behind what could become a boom in growth for the company, GelTech's 'FireIce' is a revolutionary dry powder that, when combined with water, has proven to be a far more effective tool for extinguishing fires than water alone...

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While Dendreon (DNDN) made history by being the first company to receive an FDA approval for an immunotherapeutic cancer treatment with Provenge, Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC.OB) looks to usher in the next generation of such treatments.  Immunocellular may even be able to do the technology behind Provenge one better, as the process behind administering IMUC's treatment holds some logistical advantages over Dendreon's...

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With all the big runners that have already left their mark during the opening weeks of 2012, Mannkind Corporation (MNKD) has remained relatively silent.

That could all change in a hurry, however, as very heavy short interest and a fair amount of insider ownership have many looking at this one as a potential short squeeze candidate.  We'll keep in mind, though, that it'll take relevant news to turn what has been slow and steady short covering into a big-money squeeze.  The normal, "maybe this, maybe that" probably won't cut it...

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It's been a little more than two years now since CVM made some real noise on the market, but recent events may be creating another perfect storm of news and attention that could spark new life into this potential big game play...

Whether it was related to trading under the radar or due to a general lack of investor interest since the Multikine Phase III trial was still in its earlier stages, shares of Cel-Sci Corp. (CVM) spent the better part of last year stuck in a rut that did little to inspire confidence or enthusiasm for what might be in store...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines the stocks and stories that made news through various sectors during previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.

This week the focus is on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, where many stocks have already experienced significant runs over the past few weeks, while others have not - but might be primed to do so.  A special emphasis is placed on the cancer immunotherapy sector, where Dendreon's revival has attracted new interest to the sector as a whole.

Here's just a few of the stories to watch, as if the Giants laying it down in Lambeau wasn't enough...

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BDSI: A Pipeline Rejuvenated

Posted by Posted by VFC on Jan 13, 2012

The resolution of the REMS issues for Onsolis, BioDelivery Science's (BDSI) treatment for breakthrough pain in cancer patients, and a money new partnership with Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) to bring BEMA Buprenorphine to market had BDSI trading higher by over 100% earlier this month, but the stock received another huge boost this week when a two-million-share trading day on Thursday launched BDSI right through two dollars again for a 20% gain on the day...

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Our notes on Thursday highlighted the 2012 potential of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals (ABPI) and its majority-owned subsidiary Biovest International (BVTI) based on the progression of BVTI's late stage immunotherapeutic treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, BiovaxID. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is an incurable form of blood cancer and it's expected that Biovest will officially file for approval with the FDA later this year.

Another press release hit the wires on Thursday...

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Biovest International (BVTI.pk) and Accentia Biopharmaceuticals (ABPI.pk) have both been enjoying increased exposure, even if their respective share prices have not shown it yet.  Biovest, a majority-owned subsidiary of Accentia, has been developing BiovaxID for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, an incurable form of blood cancer.

It's been a rough going for both companies over ...

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Earlier this week we discussed the rising price trends of both Dendreon (DNDN) and Advanced Cell Technology (OTCBB:  ACTC), as both stocks made significant gains during the opening weeks of 2012.

Dendreon, out to prove that its immunotherapeutic treatment for prostate cancer, Provenge, was no fluke, soared to over fourteen dollars this week, after closing out 2011 at under eight.

Advanced Cell, on the other hand, hit highs of right around seventeen cents on heavy volume, before...

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Questions remain for many shareholders who cannot fathom why shares of Ctyosorbents (OTCBB:  CTSO) remain trading for under twenty cents after a milestone year that saw the company realize its first regulatory approval, while making nice inroads into the European market with CytoSorb as a treatment for severe sepsis and other indications where high cytokines are present.

There's been little price action since the approval had the stock take a trip to the north side of forty cents last year, although there have been spurts of volume that appeared at various points during the ongoing CytoSorb road show...

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After briefly spiking during last year's closing months on a positive sales update for Benlysta and takeover chatter from across the pond, the heavily shorted shares of Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) dropped to below seven dollars at one point, before closing 2011 at just over that mark. 

The tide has turned during the opening weeks of the new year, however, and heavy volume accompanied a near-20% price spike on Wednesday, potentially indicating a large round of short covering after representatives of Human Genome made positive comments relating to the overall 2011 sales of Benlysta, a trend expected to continue into 2012...

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As noted earlier this week, GelTech Solutions (OTCBB: GLTC) started making some noise late last year when the company's novel, water-enhancing firefighting product, FireIce, received key regulatory approvals to potentially be used in large-scale firefighting efforts globally. 

The company also launched a new website in preparation for a year that could turn into one of significant growth as brand awareness and increased distribution channels for FireIce turns into sales revenue...

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NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY) spent the better part of late 2011 gaining increased attention for its proprietary technology that might offer a groundbreaking solution to the dilemma of antibiotic resistance.  Resistance to common antibiotics has become a huge concern in the medical industry and has very significant monetary implications on the exploding costs associated with health care.  Owning a solution that could solve these problems - since NBY's "Aganocide" technology mimics the body's own defense systems against infection by essentially acting as white blood cells, thereby eliminating the risk of a patient developing resistance -  Novabay stands to benefit greatly, should the technology make it to market in the various indications for which it is being tested...

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DNDN: The Surge Continues

Posted by Posted by VFC on Jan 10, 2012

After opening the year on the highlight list of hot-running stocks, the high-volumed surge of Dendreon (DNDN) continued again on Monday with another dollar price increase and a close of $13.31.  That all came to fruition in just five trading sessions after DNDN closed 2011 at $7.60.

The rapid price action followed an announcement by the company that Provenge sales for the fourth quarter beat expectations and were 25% higher than the previous quarter.  It's fair to note, however, that the exceeded expectations were actually revised from the company's original projections, which had full year 2011 sales rolling in to the tune of between $350-500 million...

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Advanced Cell Technology (OTCBB:  ACTC) opened 2011 as a stock on the rise when monumental volume pushed shares from the area of six cents to the mid twenties within just weeks after the FDA granted an historic authorization to allow the company to commence a trial based on its embryonic stem cell-based retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) program to treat severe vision loss.

At the time, it was only the second such authorization granted by the FDA concerning an embryonic stem cell based therapy, the first having been granted to Geron (GERN), who has since put its stem cell program on hold...

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The dog days might be done for Dendreon (DNDN).

Dendreon's share price collapsed last summer when it became apparent that sales numbers were lagging for Provenge - Dendreon's milestone immunotherapeutic treatment for prostate cancer that made history when it was approved by the FDA in May of 2010 -  and many all but wrote the company off as new competition was able to gain a foothold in the market while massive restructuring got underway at Dendreon HQ.

The tide may have turned, however, both in terms of Provenge sales numbers and in a trend reversal for the DNDN share price.  As noted ...

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With nearly five million shares traded and a 120% price increase on Friday, BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI) was unsurprsingly one of the most talked about stocks heading into the weekend after the small company whose stock has a daily trading average of under 300,000 signed a worldwide licensing and development agreement with Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) to bring BEMA Buprenorphine to market. 

BEMA Bup, as its known for short, failed to meet the primary endpoint of a Phase III trial completed earlier this year, although company CEO Dr. Mark Sirgo said at the time that some data from the trial was compelling enough to warrant additional studies...

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At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines the stocks and stories that made news through various sectors during the week and which could also make headlines or influence trading trends during the upcoming trading week as well.

This week, with a full week of 2012 trading now in the bag, we'll take a look at a few stocks that have already made some noise and are possibly setting up for a strong year ahead...

BDSI: A few months ago BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI) announced that the primary endpoint of its Phase III trial for BEMA Buprenorphine was missed, although company CEO Mark Sirgo also implied that some results were encouraging enough that additional trials were warranted, should the necessary financing or partnership be put into place.

At the time, shares of BDSI followed a trend that saw the stock sink to below a dollar on the news...

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As 2011 rolls to an end, here's a few companies developing or commercializing novel or unique technologies whose stocks could make a splash in 2012...

LPTN: Lpath Inc. (OTCBB: LPTN), the industry leader in lipidomics-based antibody therapeutics, has announced the initial dosings of two proof-of-concept trials over the past few months, with results from both trials due to be announced in 2012.

The two trials, PEDigree and Nexus, will measure Lpath's iSONEP as a treatment for retinal pigment epithelium detachment ("RPE detachment" or "PED") and Wet AMD, respectively. Phase I trials have already proven that treatment with iSONEP was well tolerated in all subjects, while demonstrations of efficacy were also noted....

 

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The collaboration between Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) continues.

The two partners were the first to bring a new lupus-treating drug to market in over fifty years with Benlysta earlier this year, and the pipeline development continues as the two companies announced this week the initiation of another Phase III trial.

According to a press release issued on Thursday, "dosing has been initiated in BLISS-SC, a new Phase 3 trial to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of BENLYSTA® (belimumab) administered subcutaneously (SC) once-weekly to autoantibody-positive adults with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)."

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With only a fraction of the total short interest having likely covered during the attack on shares of Ampio Pharmaceuticals earlier this week, another round of attacking from the short side was to be expected, and Thursday's trading day saw it unfold.

Shares dropped to as low as $3.60 as the negative pressure applied by the short sellers took control of trading, and another round of negative articles were released over popular stock investing websites.

Again, only a fraction of shares short looked to have covered, judging by the trading volume totals, so it's likely that we have not yet seen the end of the negative attacks by the admitted short sellers...

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Cytosorbents (OTCBB: CTSO) has been taking care of business lately.

A recently-announced funding agreement put the company on solid footing to carry out its commercialization plans for CytoSorb in Europe, and just this week it was announced that Cytosorbents has been awarded a Phase I SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command titled, "Investigation of CytoSorb Cytokine and Myoglobin Removal in the Treatment of Trauma."

The grant is worth $100,000, although there is an option available to bring in another $50,000. The awarding of this grant ...

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Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC) wasn't the only company to resolve some legal questions this week.

Mannkind Corp (MNKD) announced on Tuesday the resolution of the arbitration process with one of its former employees who had previously filed a lawsuit against the company alleging wrongful termination and a cover-up of key data behind one of the clinical trials for Afrezza, a developmental inhaled insulin product for diabetics that was denied approval by the FDA earlier this year, pending a new trial testing the company's next-generation inhaler.

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It's been nearly a year since Advanced Cell Technology (OTCBB: ACTC) made the historic announcement of the FDA's decision to allow ACT to commence a study measuring the effectiveness of its embryonic stem cell-based retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) technology, only the second company - behind Geron (GERN) - to have been granted the authority from the FDA to begin a trial based on embryonic stem cell technology.

Shares flew on the news, as ACT was established as a potential major player in the future of medicine...

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Cytosorbents Corporation (OTCBB: CTSO) announced last week the entrance into an agreement with Lincoln Park Capital Fund that would, from time to time, allow the company sell shares of CTSO for up to $8.5 million.

The move, according to a form 8-k filed with the SEC, will allow Cytosorbents to fund the commercialization of CytoSorb in Europe, while also funding the additional studies that may be needed to warrant a CytoSorb approval in other nations around the world, including the United States...

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A few months ago it was brought to the attention of investors that shares of Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) were carrying a very significant short interest, reaching 20% of the entire float. When shares of developing pharmaceutical or biotech companies rise in price as quickly as AMPE has over the course of 2011, it's not unusual to see a parrallel rise in short interest, as many of these yet-to-be-established companies see their shares quickly fall back to earth after such price runs.

In the case of AMPE, however, the pullback that the shorts likely expected never materialized as encouraging milestone events on the pipeline front continued to demonstrate that Ampio might be onto something with its strategy of repositioning already-approved products to treat new indications...

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Shares of Siga Technologies (SIGA) closed on a high last week after comments made by Siga board member Fran Townsend to CNN circulated the media wires and reassured investors that the large government contract awarded to Siga by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (BARDA) earlier in the year was, in fact, on track.

Congressional bickering, some potential conflicts-of-interest and a court ruling that turned out in favor of a Siga rival had many wondering whether the once-promising future of the company after landing the nearly half-billion dollar government contract would ever come to fruition...

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Keep an eye on NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (AMEX: NBY) to close out 2011, as trading volume has quietly been picking up steam, as noted herelast week. The daily trading average for NBY is under 50,000, but well more than that number of shares were traded during each trading session last week, culminating with over 300,000 shares trading hands on Friday.

The new week opened up right where last week left off, with just under 500,000 shares trading hands on Monday - more than ten times the daily trading norm.

NovaBay may be again starting to attract attention for the potential of its Aganocide compounds (NVC-422), for which multiple trials are ongoing and/or planned in the treatment of various infectious indications. The Aganocide technology could be a game-changer ...

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Shares of Capstone Turbine (CPST) reacted positively last week to news that the company had reached a deal with General Electric (GE) to extend its OEM agreement for GE's Heat Recovery Solutions segment Clean Cycle generators through January, 2016. With the deal, GE also agreed to provide continued parts support to Capstone through 2020, freeing up Capstone to sign longer-term m service agreements with its distributors and customers.

Before shares retreated back to the dollar level later in the week, CPST touched $1.13 on the news, and increased volume threatened to move the price higher before shares closed Friday at $1.06.

The Capstone/GE collaboration is important for a few reasons, and brings to light some potential scenarios that could alter the landscape of Capstone as an investment...

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SIGA: Shares of Siga Technologies (SIGA) were on the rebound Friday after having sunk to as low as below two dollars when rival PharmAthene (PIP) won a court ruling a couple of months ago that forces Siga to split profits of ST-246, a powerful antiviral for which Siga received a large government award earlier this year.

SIGA closed Friday at $2.43, up fifty nine cents and good for a thirty two percent gain, after Siga board member Fran Townsend granted an interview to CNN in which he quelled fears of impropriety surrounding the contract award. Some members of Congress have raised questions about the legitimacy of the contract, adding to the recent downward pressure to the SIGA stock, while other political conflicts of interest may also have contributed to the sagging share price....

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CVM: Cel-Sci Corp might be starting to make some noise again...

ONTY: Another cancer immunotherapy stock that is starting to make some noise again is ...

PBTH: Israel's Prolost Biotech (PBHT) has been garnering a little bit more attention these days...

AMPE: Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) has already enjoyed a solid string of encouraging pipeline...

NBY: Volume has been increasing for NovaBay (NBY), a company that may have the answer to the ongoing ...

GLTC: GelTech Solutions (OTCBB: GLTC) is another one with commercialization plans that can ...

CCLR: Chanticleer Holdings (OTCBB: CCLR) announced the 'grand opening' of its new...

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GelTech Solutions (OTCBB: GLTC) produced some solid news this week, and in response the company's share price flew higher on Tuesday and closed with a 20% gain.

GelTech is a company that develops and commercializes environmentally friendly products geared to help "industry, agriculture, and the general public accomplish environmental and safety goals, such as water conservation and the protection of lives, homes, and property from fires."

At a time when governments around the globe are looking to cut costs and conserve resources, while also trying to utilize 'greener' and more eco-friendly products, GelTech's two flagship products could stand to make some serious market inroads.

Both FireIce and Soil20 fit the 'green' bill, when compared to products already existing on their markets ....

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Part of what makes any particular developmental or clinical stage company into a success story is its ability to develop and eventually commercialize a pipeline that brings a unique angle to the table. That angle could be, for example, a breakthrough medical discovery, an answer to an ongoing medical dilemma or unmet medical need, or a new approach that improves on an already-approved product or technology.

It's that last example where Israel-based Prolor Biotech (PBTH) may excel.

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SIRI: The SiriusXM Radio (SIRI) stock opened the new trading week on a high note as the market dove around it, in part due to swirling rumors that Liberty Media Corporation (LCAPA, LCAPB, LSTZA, LSTZB) could be tuning up for a full takeover of the satellite radio company.

A move by Liberty last week to streamline its stock structure raised eyebrows when Liberty President and CEO Greg Maffei stated the following in announcing the move:

“The board of directors determined this was the right move to increase the value for both Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz shareholders by eliminating the ‘tracker discount’, increasing liquidity in the stock and creating a stronger acquisition currency."

Key emphasis on "acquisition currency."

Improving numbers for SiriusXM have renewed the enthusiasm from the long investors, while positive coverage of the company has started to flow again as a recent upgrade to 'Buy' by a Lazard analyst demonstrates. Along with the Lazard upgrade came a $2.25 price target, which combined with the buyout rumors to push SIRI higher in a down market.

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The economy might still be in the tank in the United States, with consumer discretionary spending down, and the global economy may still be slumping along displaying tepid growth, if any, but the old saying goes, "People still have to eat."

With that in mind, many of the staples in the US restaurant business are taking their game overseas into markets still booming for new brands. Here's a few names that you might recognize, and some you might not, that are out to repeat domestic success in high-growth international markets:

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) may be the recognized leader of US restaurant brand growth overseas, with golden arches appearing in 119 countries around the globe with locations just about right on top of famous historic sites such as the Pantheon in Rome and The Great Pyramids in Egypt. In Europe, as well, McDonald's has made such and inroads over the past couple of decades that the street corners in every major city - and many not so major - resemble those in the United States that are surrounded by the fast food restaurant chains of your choice; namely McDonald's.

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Last week held a series of nice rebounds as the news from Europe started to improve. Here's a few stories to watch for the coming week....

SIRI: With rumors still swirling that SiriusXM (SIRI) is on the hook to be fully bought-out by Liberty Media (LCAPA, LCAPB, LSTZA, LSTZB), investors are paying extra attention to the stock that is already one of the most actively-traded stocks on the Nasdaq. Shares flirted with the $2 mark on Friday, before settling down and closing at $1.86.

With the holiday gift-buying season now in full swing, SiriusXM investors will be expecting another solid fourth quarter, especially with this being the first full quarter of next-generation receivers on the market.

SIRI recovered quickly after dipping to below $1.50 for a period a couple of months ago....

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Success for a small biotech or developing pharmaceutical company is often measured not only by the technology of its pipeline, but also by the ability of a company to position itself to be in the right place at an opportune time. Possessing a technology that could potentially provide a solution for a high profile, unmet medical need generally fits the 'right place at the right time' bill, and NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (AMEX: NBY) have just have that in its novel proprietary technology that is being investigated as a potential solution for today's medical dilemma of antibiotic resistance.

When introduced into society seventy years ago, antibiotics changed the shape of medicine. Having been so widely-used since then, however, the infectious organisms against which the antibiotics are administered have grown increasingly resistant, and sometimes immune, to today's antibiotic treatments....

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Stocks and stories for the week...

AVNR: It's worth keeping an eye on Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR) again with the stock trading well off its 52-week high after a slower than expected launch of Nuedexta, the company's treatment for pseudobulbar affect (PBA) approved by the FDA in late 2010. PBA is no...

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With the "super committee" seemingly unable to come to a budget-cutting agreement this weekend, expect some volatility in the financial markets during the week ahead as the failure may trigger huge across-the-board cuts in government spending.

Regardless of the stalemate in Washington, here's some s...

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Should the impressive results from Exact Sciences Corporation's (EXAS) colon and colorectal cancer detection diagnostic test continue through ongoing studies, this company could be positioned to set the standard for the future prevention and early detection of colorectal cancers, of which there are ...

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Titan's FDA Boost: Back To $2?

Posted by Wesley on Nov 16, 2011 under

The sluggish shares of Titan Pharmaceuticals...

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A monumental decision by Geron Corporation...

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Lpath, Ince. (OTC BB:  LPTN), with milestone Phase II trials underway...

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Shares of Titan Pharmaceuticals...

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For months Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) has been releasing a steady dose of positive pipeline updates, which have included positive trial results for lead product Ampion in the treatment of osteoarthritis in the knee (OIK), and a licensing deal for Zertane in the treatment of premature ejaculation.

T...

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For months Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) has been releasing...

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By targeting the potential high growth markets of South Africa...

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You've got to laugh at the market hype created by the media...

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A couple of years ago shares of Geron Corporation (GERN) spiked to a near billion...

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Shares of Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) are trading back to earth this week after having hit the fifteen dollar mark on talk of a buyout by Benlysta GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) last week. When the buyout talk, which originated in the UK with a newspaper article, failed to materialize into anything but rumo...

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Already a stock to watch for weeks now thanks to some pending catalysts and volatile trading, Ampio Pharmaceuticals further solidified its pipeline potential this week by announcing favorable results for its trial in Australia testing its lead product Ampion for the treatment of osteoarthritis in th...

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An eventful week just passed us by.

The NTC fighters in Libya finally caught up to Muammar Khaddafi and made history of the guy. That makes Saddam, Bin Laden and Khaddafi all toast. Who says the world doesn't become a better place every day?

Eyes perked up as well last week when numerous headline...

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Shares of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) have been in the spotlight ever since the company announced full enrollment for its Phase III Zerenex trial last month and KERX looked to be rebounding from its recent lows.

Now, some recent high-profile debating between popular biotech blogging sites has lau...

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With a buyout rumor reversing a downward trend and leading to a sharp increase in volume and share price, shares of Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) have been in the spotlight all week long.

The buyout rumor was sparked earlier this week when a newspaper report in the UK identified GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)...

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The Cytosorbents story continues to grow with the company announcing the "launch" of HemoDefend for application in the blood transfusion process.

Long followed by VFC's Stock House for the market potential of its blood purification technology, Cytosorbents happened upon a blockbuster event earlier this year when the European medical regulators granted CE Mark Approval CytoSorb in the treatment of indications where high cytokines are present in the bloodstream.

That news sent company shares into the forties, but that spike did not last and CTSO is again back to trading in the teens. Some out there are skeptical of the CytoSorb technology, given the small size of the European trial, while others recognize that it is going to take time for this small company to launch its newly-approved device in the methodical manner outlined by the CEO months ago.

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Sometimes I wonder how we can take ourselves seriously.

In politics, for instance, politicians from the same party rip each other apart and slag each other in the media during primary season. The negative ads come out against members of their own party, which lessens the chances that the primary win...

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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) made historic news on Tuesday when it was announced that data from a clinical trial in Africa has shown that the company's experimental malaria vaccine halved the risk of African children getting malaria. Data from the study, according to reports released Tuesday afternoon, "sh...

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Stock Watch Update: HGSI

Posted by Posted by VFC on Oct 18, 2011

This morning we discussed the positive after-hours and pre-market trading of HGSI on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, respectively, and it turns out that Tuesday's regular-hours trading followed suit.

The spike in share price was born on rumors from the UK that Human Genome's partner for Benlysta,...

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Stock Watch Tuesday: HGSI

Posted by Posted by VFC on Oct 18, 2011

With earnings coming up, and given its recent slide, HGSI has been a stock to watch these past few weeks.

A positive earnings update last month caused a temporary spike in HGSI shares, but the general market downturn and a setback in the UK has had shares on the slide of late. That makes the upcoming...

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Stocks and stories for the coming week...

SIRI: Shares of SiriusXM Satellite Radio closed higher on Friday by five percent, right at the buck-eighty mark, barely two weeks after a market downturn and some negative press pushed the stock to a low of $1.27 on high volume.

Since then, SiriusXM has furthe...

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It's always good to see the Phillies take a seat on the couches during playoffs season - makes them just about as good as the Mets right now.

The classy fans in Philly never fail to live up to their rep either, as they booed Ryan Howard as he was being carried off the field after making the out that...

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SIGA shares were hammered last month when a judge sided with PharmAthene (PIP) in regards to a failed merger years back. Although rebounding slightly to over three dollars, there's been no real move on the stock front, but Siga the company is moving forward to have the judge's decision overturned.

A ...

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Pay attention to Biovest International, Inc. (BVTI.PK) this week.

The company will be presenting at the MD Becker Partners Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the New York Academy of Medicine on October 6th.

Biovest, a subsidiary of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals (ABPI), has developed BiovaxID, a cancer i...

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VFC's Take on news and notes from around the market, and a look at whether the rebound is real for various companies:

The Market Rebound: Tuesday and Wednesday were solid 'up' days for the market after Monday's fourth-quarter open left the world wondering just how much more punishment was in store.

VF...

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Already beaten down as it was, the Cel-Sci (CVM) share price dropped again on Tuesday, but not necessarily because the entire market as a whole was still tanking.

In an effort to raise some more money to complete the ongoing global trial for Cel-Sci's Phase III head and neck cancer immunotherapy, Mul...

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Is The Rebound For Real?

Posted by Posted by VFC on Oct 05, 2011

The fourth quarter opened up this week with the same thud heard during the closing days of the third, but after a quick slam on Tuesday morning that saw the DOW drop another two hundred points, a turnaround played out and the markets actually closed well in the green.

The reversal of fortune - quite ...

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The market is dropping all around us, and it's taking with it many of the stocks that we've watching for years.

Shares of Advanced Cell Technology (OTCBB: ACTC) had been trading for months between seventeen and nineteen cents before trading down with the market towards the end of the third quarter an...

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Agenus Effects Reverse Split

Posted by Posted by VFC on Oct 02, 2011

The transformation of Agenus Inc. continues.

Known for years as Antigenics, the company changed its profile to usher in the new year of 2011 by issuing itself the new name of Agenus Inc. and also renaming its flagship product, the cancer immunotherapy treatment Oncophage, as Prophage.

Oncophage was a...

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The years-long wait continues for BioElectronics in its progress with achieving over-the-counter (OTC) status with the US FDA, but the company has taken advantage of 2011 and launched some new products in addition to initiating more clinical studies.

The Smart Insole was announced and released to sel...

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The third quarter closed with a thud on Friday, with the DOW dropping another 240 points and closing below the eleven thousand mark, leaving investors looking towards the fourth quarter with apprehension about what else is in store for the shaky markets and global economy.

With feelings of uncertaint...

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Amarin (AMRN) shares dropped six percent on Thursday, closing  below nine bucks...

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The high-flying shares of Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) about hit their 52-week high of $9.21 just weeks after trading for under five bucks as multiple positive developments provided the needed catalysts to spark a share price run.

During that time, however, the short interest grew, and after a ten pe...

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BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI) announced this week that the primary endpoint for its recently-completed Phase III BEMA Bup trial was missed, although some results were encouraging enough to spur the company to look towards conducting another efficacy trial that will run approximately nine months from i...

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Siga's (SIGA) dropping share price over the months since being awarded a government contract for its smallpox antiviral ST-246 is evidence enough that many in the market predicted a negative decision from the judge that would rule on the legal battle with PharmAthene (PIP) that revolved around a mer...

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Some health care stocks to watch this week:

MNKD: Closing a week that saw many stocks get crushed, Mannkind (MNKD) made headlines on Friday by finishing the day up 18% on news that the company plans to sell senior secured discount notes due in 2017. The deal will raise about $370 million and position...

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Cytosorbents (CTSO) shares have been on a roller coaster ride over the past year while moving from a relative unknown on the bulletin boards to becoming a commercial stage company with a potentially breakthrough product on the European market.

Surprising approval news in Europe - and I say surprising...

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Even on a day when the DOW drops 300 points at the open, there's sure to be a good news story somewhere.

Although down on Thursday morning, shares of Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) were up 12% on Wednesday following an announcement that sales of the company's recently-approved lupus drug Benlysta excee...

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Although Generex (GNBT.ob) continues to trade with a share price of a dime, the recent news developments continue to give investors a look at the future potential of the company, including the soon-to-be spun off subsidiary Antigen Express (AE).

Since AE-37 was labeled as the center piece of the futu...

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Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI) has enjoyed a stellar 52-week period, significantly increasing its revenue stream while the share price more than doubled.

Milestone news was also announced earlier in the year when the FDA approved Spectrum's Fusilev for the treatment of colorectal cancer, and anothe...

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Agenus Inc. (AGEN) is primarily known for its pipeline cancer immunothearpy product Prophage and its potential to reach market as a treatment for glioma, but recent headlines have been highlighting another of the company's strengths, its vaccine adjuvant, QS-21.

The potential of QS-21 has long been ...

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A string of recent headlines from Generex (OTC: GNBT) and Antigen Express (AE) has looked to reignite some spark into the share price, but thus far the campaign of positive updates has failed to make a difference.

While Generex's buccal insulin spray Oral-lyn and Antigen Express's cancer vaccine coul...

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Stock Briefs: SPPI, AGEN

Posted by Posted by VFC on Sep 20, 2011

SPPI: Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI) has enjoyed a stellar 52-week period, significantly increasing its revenue stream while the share price more than doubled.

Milestone news was also announced earlier in the year when the FDA approved Spectrum's Fusilev for the treatment of colorectal cancer, and ...

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When Capstone Turbine (CPST) quickly soared past the two dollar mark earlier this year on a run of large orders and a presidential mention, many shareholders thought that this time the run would be for real, and the stock would never look back towards the days it spent trading for under a buck.

That ...

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Shares of Keryx Pharmaceuticals (KERX) had slipped during the latest round of market turmoil before rebounding back to the four dollar mark as uneasy investors jumped back in. KERX has reached highs of over six dollars in the past couple of years as the company's primary pipeline products, Zerenex f...

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Shares of Cel-Sci (CVM) are still trading for below forty cents, but even as interest in the stock is low right now, CVM could quickly turn into a mid to long term keeper should the ongoing global Phase III Multikine trial prove successful.

The trial started at the close of last year and has since sp...

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Last month Generex (GNBT.ob) provided investors with an update on the Phase II breast cancer vaccine AE-37, which is being developed by subsidiary Antigen Express. Although that update followed one that was also encouraging regarding the insulin spray Oral-lyn, potential investors were unimpressed a...

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Stocks and Stories to watch this week:

DNDN: As the aftermath from the Dendreon fallout continues to play out in the healthcare and cancer immunotherapy sectors, the company recently announced a round of mass layoffs resulting from the failure of Provenge to sell at rates previously expected by the c...

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Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) recorded another solid week last week, breaking through the nine dollar price-per-share barrier while continuing an uptrend that started in mid August. The uptrend has been supported by a string of encouraging news releases over the past month that may be attracting new ...

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Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC.ob) issued an update on Wednesday of its Phase II trial for ICT-107, a dendritic cell based cancer vaccine candidate targeting multiple tumor antigens for the treatment of the highly-aggressive form of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

The already-complet...

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Having been labeled as a 'Stock to Watch' this week because of the company's upcoming participation in the 'International Congress of the German Sepsis Society' n Weimar, Germany, Cytosorbents made headlines again on Wednesday morning - the day the conference is to start - by announcing the secondar...

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Already noted as a 'Stock to Watch' this week, keep an eye on Dendreon Corp. (DNDN) over the short term as the company issued an after-hours press release on Wednesday announcing a 4:30 PM Thursday conference call where management will "provide a structural and business update on the company."

It's t...

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BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI) has started making some noise again after a year of a relative flatline as discussions with the FDA were taking place to finalize the REMS issues regarding Onsolis in the United States.

A few weeks ago the company announced that Onsolis would be launched on the Canadian m...

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AMRN: The volatile trading of Amarin Corporation (AMRN) should continue during the opening weeks of September as the company is expected to file for approval with the FDA for AMR-101 in the treatment of high triglycerides.

Amarin rose to nearly twenty bucks after positive results from a pair of Phase...

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Ever since the market rumble that sent shares of Dendreon (DNDN) dropping after the company pulled its year-end sales guidance for Provenge, other stocks in the sector followed suit and have been trading for significantly lower prices than were available just months ago.

Some of those dropping stocks...

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Shares of Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) have rebounded by roughly three bucks over the past few weeks as many major catalysts are set to materialize later this year and eary next. As the latter stages of development of the company's 'respositioned' pipeline are being transitioned for the commercial p...

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Capstone Turbine (CPST) has become a perpetual member of the 'Weekly Stock Watch' list since rising to over the two dollar mark earlier this year and then dropping back down to a buck on heavy short interest as the broad market declined.

That's not to say, however, that positive developments have co...

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Cel-Sci Corp. announced last week that it had entered a sales, marketing and distribution agreement for Multikine in Venezuela and Argentina. Multikine is the company's Phase III immunotherapeutic treatment for head and neck cancer and the deal was signed with IDC-GP Pharm LLC, a joint venture betwe...

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Some stocks and stories to watch this week:

CPST: Capstone Turbine (CPST) has become a perpetual part of the 'Weekly Stock Watch' list since dropping to the dollar mark on heavy short interest and the broad market downtick, but some news releases within the past week give reinvigorated life to the co...

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Shortly after announcing that the new Smart InSole had reached market, BioElectronics follow-up with news that the company will now target the C-Section market. A new clinical trial will be headed by "Jose Carvalho, MD, PhD, FANZCA, FRCPC, Professor and Director of Anesthesia and Obstetrics and Gyne...

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It's been a roller-coaster year for Cytsosorbents thus far, starting with a surprise European approval for the company's cytokine filter, CytoSorb, which sent shares tripling into the forty cent range. That quick rise was followed by a price slide that had some investors fearful that there might be ...

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On Friday evening, Dendreon (DNDN) announced that the FDA had approved its third Provenge manufacturing facility (in Atlanta), news that would ordinarily be well-recepted by investors and add momentum to a company whose 'Golden Age' had been materializing before our very eyes.

However, a monumental s...

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Some companies in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors making news this week:

APRI: Shortly after announcing that the FDA had granted clearance to Apricus Bio's wholly-owned subsidiary, NexMed USA, to market the anti-fungal cream Tolnaftate-D, marking the first such clearance for the NexAct drug d...

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With the first stages of the BluScience product line roll-out having taken place on the GNC website - with a move into GNC stores set to commence in September - ChromaDex Corp. kicked it up another notch by partnering with two major public relations and media awareness players in the health and well...

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Good news for investors of BioDelivery Sciences.

A Monday morning press release announced that the company's treatment for breakthrough pain in cancer patients, Onsolis, will be available for sale on the Canadian market at some point during the current quarter.

Onsolis is already on the market in the ...

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Generex (GNBT) subsidiary Antigen Express provided an update on its cancer immunotherapy AE37 last week, but the news - which was the announcement of positive interim results - failed to move the GNBT share price as a positive Oral-lyn update did just weeks prior.

In fact, amid the recent market tur...

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With the BIEL share price slipping back towards a penny after recently defying the falling market and running towards two, the company issued a press release last week introducing a new foot care product, the Smart Insole.

The product looks to have some major potential in the multi-billion dollar foo...

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As Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) uses repositioned products to position itself for major growth, the management team is also being fortified to carry out the short and long term missions of the company.

Already boasting a team with decades of experience and expertise, the company announced on Monday t...

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Some stocks and stories worth watching this week.

AMPE: Ampio has traded with some volatility over the past few weeks, but hasn't been hit as hard as other developmental companies during the latest round of the stock market storm. With quite a few catalysts due before the end of 2011- including the ...

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A few stocks making headlines these days and my be worth investor attention:

MNKD: Mannkind has been hammered all year long after receiving another denial from the FDA in January for the approval of the company's inhaled insulin product, Afrezza. Solid back-up news was slow to materialize and shares ...

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With multiple near term catalysts coming due, Ampio Pharmaceuticals may be on the verge of making a big splash in the health care sector.

Ampio brings a unique approach to the plate in the health care sector, as its strategy of repositioning already-approved drugs to treat new indications reduces th...

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The Market: With the market bouncing all over the place over the past couple of weeks, it's paramount to keep an eye on the public sentiment, as stocks will continue to trade along with that sentiment and not necessarily on fundamentals or material events. It's also an opportune time for shorts to t...

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In continuing the ongoing series of companies and stocks that might look a whole lot more attractive during the current market meltdown, here's a few more not to ignore...

It's hard to write about this subject without bringing Dendreon (DNDN) into the picture. After all, many media outlets and big in...

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Updating this story posted on Monday, the ChromaDex BluScience line is available on the GNC.com website under 'BluScience' and 'New Products'. Take a look by clicking HERE.

With August now upon us, it's game time for ChromaDex Corp.

As previously reported, August is the expected timeframe for the comm...

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Back in late 2008, and early 2009, the stock market was crashing - and crashing hard.

It was the height of the global recession - often called a depression - and investors were bailing left and right from the market and citizens of the world panicked that their 401Ks and IRAs would never recover.

But ...

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Amid The Chaos, There's BIEL

Posted by Posted by VFC on Aug 08, 2011

Last month VFC's Stock House took a look at 'The Good, The Bad And The Ugly' aspects of Biel Corp, a company long waiting on positive developments from the FDA to re-ignite a run similar to the one a couple of years ago that saw shares of BIEL trade from sub-penny to twelve cents.

Although there's no...

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Dendreon (DNDN), a company whose key catalysts have been turning out for the best for a couple of years running now took a drastic hit in share price after an earnings report on Wednesday evening revealed that Provenge sales were not quite meeting analyst, investor or even the company's expectations...

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In another demonstration of just how far SiriusXM radio has come since the woes of the economic crisis, when SIRI slipped to as low as a nickel, the company banked another quarter of record earnings and added an additional 450,000-plus subscriptions.

That puts the running total at just about 21 milli...

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As a follow-up to my recent "Falling Health Care Stocks" post, here's a few more to take a look at. Opportunities may be a-plenty if Tuesday's market dive continues.

TTNP: Titan continues to trade for under the two dollar price mark, even after releasing historic news last month with confirmation tha...

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It's been over a month since the dramatic drop in the Generex share price, and aside from a temporary boost provided on the heels of a positive Oral-lyn update, there hasn't been much movement in the GNBT share price, which looks stuck in the teens.

Shareholders did vote through a reverse split earli...

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While shares of CYTR have dipped into the low forty cents range following the announcement of a direct offering last week, the new week opened up with another round of encouraging news regarding INNO-206, an experimental doxorubicin conjugate that targets cancerous tumors which was recently granted ...

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Some health care stocks that have slipped from recent highs and might be worth keeping an eye on:


ONTY: Can we really call Oncothyreon a "falling stock" while it's still trading as just about a double this year?

Looks like it.

This Year's ONTY run had the stock flying straight to the ten dollar mark as...

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To say Oncothyreon (ONTY) has been a high-flyer for 2010 is an understatement.

Propelled by the winding down of Stimuvax Phase III trials, this stock has jumped from three bucks to ten in a short amount of time as the investment community started taking notice and predicting that another potential De...

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A temporary price bump sparked by some positive news updates earlier this month put CYTR right back to near the eighty cent range, but not for long as shares closed Monday under seventy cents.

While the news-fueled spike didn't sustain for too long, the quick spike on news is a good indicator that th...

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Earlier this year BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI) announced the completion of enrollment for its ongoing Phase III trial for BEMA Buprenorphine in the treatment of chronic pain, and the next logical step would be the completion of the trial itself.

That news hit the wires on Monday morning.

According to...

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Last month we discussed the fact that Immunocellular Therapeutics could be a company that is priming itself to usher in the next generation of cancer immunotherapeutic treatments, with Dendreon (DNDN) being the obvious leader of the "now" generation.

The reason behind this claim is centered on the co...

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Manhattan Pharmaceuticals is a penny play that has returned some solid gains this year already, on more than one occasion, but like most penny plays, the quick gains were followed by even quicker declines in share prices.

That's why, when playing the pennies, you always need to be on your game and ha...

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MultiCell Technologies is another penny play that has already produced some nice returns for traders this year - and long-termers as well - but like the spikes experienced by Manhattan Pharmaceuticals, the swift gains were followed by even swifter retreats.

While the MultiCell pipeline was stalled t...

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Earlier this month Apricus Biosciences made headlines by announcing the sale of its subsidiary, Bio-Quant CRO, to Bio Tox Sciences for a minimum of $5 million up-front and future payments, with the potential for the deal to be worth as much as $20 million over the next ten years.

As explained in a re...

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As the orders and the backlog grow for Capstone Turbine (CPST), there's another reason to keep an eye on this company that is positioning itself to play a key role in 'fueling the future'.

Capstone announced on Tuesday that it had further penetrated the hospital market by selling one of its C1000 mo...

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A Wednesday morning report by Bloomberg fits right into growing speculation that Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP.ob) will eventually be purchased or partnered before Probuphine reaches market. Titan just recently announced positive Phase III confirmatory results for Probuphine, shortly after resolving i...

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Cel-Sci's partner in Isreal for Multikine, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, kicked off its portion of the global Phase III trial last month, and this week the two companies announced that the existing agreement to market and distribute Multikine in Israel and Turkey would be expanded to also include ...

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According to a press release issued by Epicept Corporation this week, new data published in the July 7, 2011 edition of Blood, a leading scientific journal in hematology, demonstrated that "interleukin-2 (IL-2) monotherapy is not effective as a maintenance therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) pa...

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ChromaDex Corp. is at a pivotal juncture in the company's history, with the commercial launch of its first full product line, BluScience, set to hit GNC stores nationally in August. Earlier predictions had the line hitting GNC in July, but a minor manufacturing delay has pushed the launch back a few...

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Stocks worth keeping an eye on this week. VFC's Stock House has been compensated by a third party to cover CDXC for a period of 90 days.

TTNP: Although reporting milestone news last week with the announcement of positive top-line results for the Probuphine Phase III trial, shares of Titan Pharmaceuti...

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Generex: Hope For A Rebound?

Posted by Posted by VFC on Jul 12, 2011

After having dropped to the low teens, the Generex share price rebounded on huge volume on Friday when the company announced that preliminary results from two trials are demonstrating that Oral-lyn works in patients with Type 1 Diabetes and with patients who have impaired glucose tolerance.

The nearl...

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With the new - and short - trading week opened up, here's a few updates from around the biotech world:

DNDN: After a week full of milestones for Dendreon Corporation (DNDN), shares continued to tick higher and maintained their stance above the forty dollar level as it looks as if the $350-$400 millio...

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As noted in Wednesday morning's 'Biotech Snapshot', CytRx is on a roll of positive pipeline progress that has brought a bit of a rebound to the CYTR share price, which has modestly declined over the past few weeks.

Wednesday morning brought another dose of positive updates when it was announced that ...

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The last time we discussed Bioelectronics Corp, the company had just posted fourth quarter 2010 and first quarter 2011 sales numbers to its homepage - numbers that demonstrated growth, but not significant enough to support a price run back to over a penny.

With a novel idea that is still developing i...

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It'll be a short trading week after a long weekend, but there's still always stories to tell...

TTNP: Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP.ob) provided quick resolution to the potentially troubling concerns of the prior weekend when the FDA indicated that it wanted to alter the Statistical Analysis Plan (SAP)...

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As shares of SIGA dip below the ten dollar mark, it might be time to take full notice of what's going on with the stock and what might be ahead.

Less than two months ago SIGA was again awarded a BARDA contract to supply the nation's biodefense stockpiles with its ST-246 antiviral. Again, however, the...

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It's not every day that a company set to launch an innovative and potentially groundbreaking new product line in a billion dollar sector trades below the radar for too long, but that might be exactly the case with ChromaDex Corp (CDXC) right now.

By combining science and nature, ChromaDex has harnes...

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CytRx Corporation, a company with an oncology pipeline that is bubbling with potential, made radars last Friday when over thirteen million shares traded with no news being released in conjunction with the volume spike. The daily trading average of CYTR is under 800,000, so Friday's significant actio...

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It didn't take long for ChromaDex to issue an announcement that warrants a quick follow-up to my earlier write-up about the company. Chromadex, which looks to be in the beginning stages of building an empire on a product created after its science harnessed the natural powers of the blueberry, just u...

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Shares of SIGA Technologies could be set to rebound nicely over the next few weeks.

The company announced on Monday evening that the protest filed against the awarding of the BARDA contract that would have SIGA supply the nation's biodefense stockpile will millions of courses of its smallpox antivira...

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It's been a nice couple of weeks for Cel-Sci's Multikine partners.

Late last week Orient Europharma kicked off its portion of the Multikine Phase III trial in Taiwan, and on Monday morning it was announced that Teva has commenced the Israeli portion of the trial as well.
According to a Monday press re...

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Early last week Generex Biotechnology Corp. issued a press release that outlined the current status of the Oral-lyn development program. Oral-lyn is the company's developmental insulin spray that delivers insulin buccally through the inner lining of the cheek.

This flagship product had been the key t...

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Positive developments from Epicept Corporation over the past six months have made this a nice rebound story, although the share price hasn't responded just yet, and if the pipeline continues to advance at the current pace while Ceplene catches on in the markets in which its sold, then the future cou...

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Keep an eye on the following stocks this week...

DNDN: Dendreon will be a stock to watch this week.

A large part of this company being able to meet year-end sales guidance for the prostate cancer immunotherapy, Provenge, has to do with The FDA approving a new manufacturing facility in Los Angeles, Cal...

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Generex Drops

Posted by Posted by VFC on Jun 25, 2011

GNBT: Shares of Generex (GNBT) were pummelled on Friday, dropping 25% on volume more than four times the daily average. Although shareholders finally approved a reverse split earlier this month, investors remain skeptical about the short to mid term potential of the company after it was also announc...

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It's been a rough, rough year for Labopharm (DDSS) and its shareholders, as bad news has been compounded by more bad news, which leaves the current share price at a very unimpressive sixteen cents.

To follow up on all the discouraging news, the company announced that its joint venture with Italy's Gr...

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CVM: Cel-Sci Corp. announced on Thursday that its partner in Taiwan, Orient Europharma, has completed the necessary final steps before patient enrollment into the Multikine Phase III trial can commence.

According to a CVM press release, the Multikine that will be used for the Taiwan portion of the tr...

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Here's one you don't see every day.

Cel-Sci Corp. is currently conducting a world-wide Phase III clinical trial for its lead product, Multikine, an 'off the shelf' cancer immunotherapy that the company predicts will become a blockbuster first-line treatment for head and neck cancer.

Looking to see Mul...

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Last week we discussed the multiple setbacks experienced by SIGA Technologies in landing a BARDA contract to supply the nation's biodefense stockpiles with ST-246, a vaccine for smallpox. The usual culprit in these setbacks has been Siga-competitor Chimerix, Inc., who on multiple occasions has filed...

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Already labeled as a stock to watch for its year-long price increase and powerful pipeline potential, shares of Immunocellular broke through the two dollar mark again on Tuesday after announcing that the company had been granted a key patent to regarding its cancer-fighting technology.

The patent, nu...

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Last week Generex Biotechnology Corp. issued an update on the status of its Oral-lyn program.

Previous estimations had investors believing that results from the Phase III trial would be due during the earlier parts of 2011, but those results never materialized. Investors, in turn, started to become ...

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Other issues were discussed at this year's edition of the Epicept meeting of the shareholders, according to an early-morning press release on Monday, but the pronounced theme for the near-term future of this company is 'Reverse Split'.

The meeting was adjourned until June 27, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. EDT,...

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SIGA: Fresh off a week where Siga Technologies received yet another set back in the final awarding of a BARDA contract to supply a smallpox antiviral to the nation's biodefense stockpiles, SIGA will be one to keep a close eye on during the coming days.

Generally, it's Siga's antiviral competitor, Chi...

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The heavy lifting is done for Generex management, having achieved the goal of receiving shareholder approval to conduct a reverse stock split. With the vote now down in the history books, it's about that time to start looking to the future.

A big part of that future revolves around the spin-off of Ge...

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ACTC: The historic trials that launched Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) from a little-known, sub-dime OTCBB company into the main stream of embryonic stem cell treatment are underway. ACT announced on Thursday that the first patients were enrolled in the Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (SMD) and Dry Ag...

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Shares of Celsius Holdings have been deflated to the twenty to thirty cent level for the better part of 2011, and volume has grown minuscule as the year has progressed. Only three days in June has CELH experienced more trading volume than 10,000, and on June 8th, a whopping 100 shares traded hands.

...

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CVM: Are You Hungary For News?

Posted by Posted by VFC on Jun 15, 2011

Cel-Sci's global Phase III trialfor its experimental head and neck cancer vaccine, Multikine, has commenced in Hungary. According to a press release issued on Monday, the trial will soon start enrolling patients at the National Institute of Oncology in Budapest, Hungary.

Cel-Sci has issued numerous P...

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Cancer treatment is an ever-evolving business, with many potential breakthroughs and blockbusters being developed by small companies on any given day. Shareholders who are hoping to tag along as part of either an historical FDA approval or an historical share price run are always on the lookout for ...

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It was an historic day for the future of cancer treatment when the FDA approved Dendreon's (DNDN) Provenge for the treatment of prostate cancer just over one year ago. It opened the doors to a new age in the treatment of cancer and shareholders delighted alongside victims of prostate cancer patients...

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Already a stock to watch due to a solid pipeline of cancer treating products, CytRx Corporation (CYTR) issued a Monday morning press release announcing positive preliminary results from its ongoing ENABLE Phase 2 proof-of-concept trial for bafetinib in the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell ...

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CYTR: Keep an eye on shares of CytRx. The stock was down by another five percent on Friday, but it's a stock that might not be held down for too long as the company has a solid pipeline of cancer-fighting products that would enter some pretty lucrative markets, if approved.

CytRx has been successful ...

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For the better part of the year so far, as Capstone Turbine more than doubled in value, The Motley Fool has been playing the short side of the coverage, emphasizing the modest profit margins of the company's microturbines. That negative coverage may be changing course as a luke-warm review of Capsto...

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CytRx (CYTR) Corporation, with a rapidly advancing pipeline and money in the bank, may be skimming below the radar for investors searching for an undervalued company that might be gearing up to make a big splash in the cancer treatment sector.

Companies with products that are not yet beyond Phase II,...

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The DOW may be sliding to the sub 12,000 mark again, and the economy may be taking a turn for the worse again, but none of that will put a damper on the mood at Generex Headquarters, where news that shareholders have finally agreed to a reverse split is undoubtedly causing some long-suppressed elati...

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As shares of Capstone Turbine dipped back into buy territory, some positive analyst coverage and another notable sales order instilled some renewed vigor into the stock.

CPST closed Monday at $1.65, up only a nickel from its previous close, but early-day trading saw the stock hit $1.73 before the pul...

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Late last year, when the management team at Generex was looking to entice shareholders to vote for a reverse split, a deal with Global Medical Direct (GMD) was announced, in which Generex would acquire 51% of the nationwide Durable Medical Equipment and Pharmaceutical provider - which specializes in...

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Epicept Corp. announced during the early hours on Tuesday that it had received a positive panel decision for continued listing on the NASDAQ board.

The positive decision will keep EPCT able to trade on the Nasdaq until September, at which time consideration will be given to the listing guidelines, wh...

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It turns out that Friday's volume and price spike for shares of CTSO were in anticipation of Monday's release of the 'Letter to Shareholders', which - upon its release - sparked an additional spike to twenty three cents, before falling back down to close at nineteen cents.

The shareholder letter anno...

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CTSO: A 10% price move on Friday will have investors interested this coming week.

News of secondary endpoints for the European CytoSorb trial will be key in determining the market potential of the CytoSorb, once commercialized, and the prospects of the company landing a deep-pocketed partner to help ...

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In an apparent bid to streamline the news events and developments leading into the vote for a reverse split of the GNBT stock, Generex has the printing press working overtime this week.

On the heels of announcing a licensing deal with Amarantus BioSciences for the buccal spray technology behind Rapid...

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Titan: Still On The Watch List

Posted by Posted by VFC on Jun 03, 2011

TTNP: Can we discuss this stock enough these days?

With Probuphine results just weeks away - if that, and with the prospects of Titan landing a big partner growing in probability every day, TTNP continues to be an intriguing pick as the stock finally re-took the $2 mark and remained there for a few d...

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Could next week be the week that investors receive the much-anticipated follow-up news to the CE Mark Approval for CytoSorb earlier this year?

Shares of CTSO recently fell below the twenty cent mark, and volume has become relatively flat in the meantime.

The last couple of hours of trading on Friday w...

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It's been about, what, two years now since the FDA approved BioDelivery's treatment for cancer pain, ONSOLIS?

And two years later the company is still awaiting a final decision from the FDA regarding the REMS issue which has limited the market potential of the company's flagship product.

According to ...

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ONTY: Oncothyreon shares have been well on the fly of late, setting a new 52-week high last week of $6.50.
Stimuvax trials are winding down right now, with results probable to start leaking out towards the end of the year, and if the trial for non-small cell lung cancer proves to have been a success...

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AVNR: It was a wild ride for AVNR last week, with volatility and volume dragging shares down early in the week before rebounding to a close of $4.67.
Is the up-volume a sign that the large short position is in the process of being covered?

Possible, but there also a couple of other concerns surroundin...

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It was off to the races for shares of Multicell Technologies on Tuesday when the company announced that it had been granted a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office relating to the isolation and use of human liver stem cells to treat liver disease.

At the end of the trading day, MCET had gai...

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Epicept Announces Financing

Posted by Posted by VFC on Jun 01, 2011

The potential of Epicept has been moving along at a more solid pace over the past six months than in the couple of years before that when it looked as if the company might have been on the brink of becoming a has-been or never-was.

Although the latest quarterly results showed that Ceplene has yet to ...

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Shares of Generex remained relatively unchanged after the company announced on Tuesday morning that it entered into a licensing agreement with Amarantus BioSciences, Inc. for the buccal drug delivery technology behind Generex's RapidMist spray.

Generex will receive a non-refundable fee of $10 million...

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CytRx (CYTR) Corporation, with a rapidly advancing pipeline and money in the bank, may be skimming below the radar for investors searching for an undervalued company that might be gearing up to make a big splash in the cancer treatment sector.

Companies with products that are not yet beyond Phase II,...

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Multicell has already experienced a nice run earlier this year, and it might be worth taking a look at the company again, whether it be for a potential short term trade or long term hold - or both, since it's always a good strategy to trade into the penny play spikes.

Shares doubled to open the tradi...

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This post is intended for VFC's Stock House only. No re-publishings or re-postings are authorized. Also see News, Notes & Weekly Stock Watch at VFC's NEW Stock House.

CPST: Capstone Turbine announced last week that quarterly earnings will be released on June 14th, to be followed by a conference call ...

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Take notice of the fact that Congress is gunning for Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR) right now, asking the company to explain the pricing for Nuedexta, a recently-approved treatment for pseudobulbar affect (PBA).

PBA is defined as a neurological condition that leads to spontaneous episodes of laughing ...

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Shares of Oncothyreon (ONTY) sprinted back up to the six dollar mark following news on Tuesday that the company had initiated the Phase II portion of the ongoing Phase I/II PX-866 trial.

The trial for Oncothyreon's anti-cancer agent was initiated late last year, and the initiation of a Phase II port...

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It's been a wild ride for shares of Titan Pharmacetucials (TTNP.OB) these days, and as the expected release of Probuphine Phase III results quickly approaches, TTNP could set news highs and finally breach the long-elusive two dollar barrier.

From there shares will react to whatever is put forth by th...

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This post is intended for VFC's Stock House only. No re-publishings or re-postings are authorized.

AVNR: Nuedexta, a recently-approved treatment for pseudobulbar affect (PBA) developed by Avanir, has come under the attention of Congress for the product's price, which according to Congress, looks a bi...

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CVM: Cel-Sci Corp announced on Thursday that its LEAPS treatment was effective in treating the H1N1 - in mice.

The company has attempted to push LEAPS at various junctures over the past few years, most noticably during the height of of the H1N1 pandemic a couple of years ago, but the product has yet ...

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TTNP: Price and Volume Spike

Posted by Posted by VFC on May 25, 2011

Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP.ob) traded more than 400,000 shares on Wednesday, well more than the daily normal trading average and accompanied by a five percent price spike.

Of those shares that traded in the significant late-day volume, the vast majority of them switched hands during the last half hour of the trading day.

A recent run in price brought Titan back to the $1.60 range, but the run stalled for a period of consolidation, but if Wednesday's action is any indication, then a trip towards - or past - the two dollar mark may be in the works...

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Profitability may be the biggest concern for investors of Capstone Turbine (CPST), but with the orders rolling in as they have been thus far in 2011, it's hard to believe that the company won't be able to get there at some point in the near- to mid-term future.

Granted, for profitability to present i...

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Shares of Apricus Biosciences (APRI) have fallen off their recent highs of over 6 dollars, although there may be a couple of short term events that could stall, or even reverse that slide.

In a Thursday morning press release, the company announced that it had received a positive response from the med...

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Shares of Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX) fell sharply on Wednesday, falling by over 10% on news that the company had priced a stock offering for well below the current trading price.

Once the offering is finalized, which is expected to take place by May 23rd, according to a Wednesday press release, Cell...

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Keryx Pharmaceuticals' attractive pipeline, of which the two flagship products are both well into Phase III, definitely has the company and the KERX stock on many new radars lately, and the analysts are also starting to jump on board.

This month alone, both MLV Capital and Oppenheimer have initiated coverage of the company, and slapped tags of "Buy" and "Outperform" on the stock, respectively...

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Mannkind: The Wait

Posted by Posted by VFC on May 20, 2011

Just weeks ago, the future -- both short and long term -- looked bright for MannKind (MNKD), even given the FDA setback from earlier this year when Afrezza was denied for approval yet again. Optimism was there from the investor base that some of the long road to an Afrezza approval would be shortened after a recent meeting with the FDA, and at the very least, investors were looking for an update on a potential partnership deal...

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GNBT: Generex will be one to keep an eye on heading into next month's shareholder vote on whether or not to approve the reverse split proposed by the company and explained in recent presentations.

If the RS does go through, investors of GNBT will be 'dividended' shares of Antigen Express, once Generex spins-off its subsidiary in an IPO...

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Shares of MannKind (MNKD) were on the dive after hours on Monday following a heavily-anticipated earnings release that had many investors looking for solid notes resulting from a recent meeting with the FDA regarding the way ahead for the company's inhaled insulin product Afrezza, which was denied for approval in January...

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Shares of Avanir slipped 7% Tuesday, following an earnings release that saw revenue from the recently approved Nuedexta rake in only $505,000.

Nuedexta, a treatment for pseudobulbar affect (PBA), which is a condition characterized by spontaneous fits of uncontrollable laughing and/or crying, was approved last year and has been on the market since February.

...

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Cytosorbents issued their 10-Q this week, which proved to be the first in-depth follow-up to the milestone news that CytoSorb had received CE Mark approval in the European Union to treat conditions where high cytokine levels exist in the blood.

The approval came as a surprise to many, since the company had never even announced that the full 100 patients had been enrolled (only 98 were enrolled at the time of approval). The 10-Q, however, clued us in that full enrollment of 100 has been met, meaningthat results are most likely being compiled now, and the secondary endpoints that everyone is waiting on should be forthcoming...

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Intended for VFC's Stock House only. No re-publishing or re-printings are authorized. Originally published at VFC's NEW Stock House.

ONTY: When Onconthyreon recently announced a stock offering of $40 million, the news stalled ONTY's run and sent shares south of the $5 mark once again, after having ju...

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CVM: The ramp-up of Cel-Sci's global Phase III Multikine trial, which will measure the product's effectiveness in treating head and neck cancer, has been well documented over a number of press releases since the trial began late last year, but the recently-filed 10-Q puts another item of interest to...

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Those that follow Generex Corp are well aware of the hysteria that ensued towards the latter part of last year when the company attempted to push through a reverse stock split, only to have it rejected by shareholders.

During that go-round, the company demonstrated its flair for the dramatic by announcing an eleventh hour deal to acquire Global Medical Direct (GMD), although that deal has yet to be consummated due to a lack of working capital to get the job done.

This time, the company has thrown a 'stock dividend' on the table for investors as incentive for them to vote a reverse split through this time. Shareholders would receive a "dividend" of shares from the newly-created company that results from a proposed Antigen Express IPO spin-off...

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Shares of Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC) have remained relatively stable while trading for - or just below - twenty cents since rising from below a dime on news that the FDA had given an historical greent light to initiate clinical trials utilizing utilizing ACT's stem cell technology to treat...

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SIGA: It's been a roller coaster ride for Siga Technlogies during the lead-up to landing a BARDA contract to supply the US with a reserve of a smallpox vaccine to combat a potential bioterror attack.

It now looks like the final tally is in, and Siga has been awarded the contract - again.

On Friday, Si...

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Couldn't help but comment on this one.

In TheStreet.com's weekly 'Biotech Stock Mailbag' - for which a more fitting title might be 'Feuerstein's Ode To Himself' - the biotech blogger made a couple of comments that were too comical to ignore.

...

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Briefs: CELH, TLON, CVM

Posted by Posted by VFC on May 03, 2011

CELH: The most recent relevant announcement from Celsius was the positive preliminary look at the first quarter numbers which finally show a positive trend in recent sales, although the number was still down from the first quarter of the previous year.

The company has been mentioned as a competitor, ...

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Shares of Advanced Cell Technology have settled neatly into the area of eighteen cents after a run that began on historical news last December that launched the stock to highs of over a quarter from the five cent mark.

The price action continued into the open of 2011 after the initiation of a sec...

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AMRN: Keep an eye on shares of Amarin this week.

After flying higher on news late last year that one AMR101 Phase III trial had produced positive trial results - and then news again in January that the ongoing ANCHOR Phase III trial would be completed ahead of schedule, the company announced during ...

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BVTI:  Biovest International announced on Wednesday that it has established a research collaboration agreement with Ordway Research Institute, a leading biologics research, with a specialized focus on biodefense and emerging infections.

Biovest has been developing BiovaxID to treat non-Hodgkin's ly...

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Shares of OncoVista Innovative Therapies closed higher by nearly thirty percent on Friday with volume four times the daily norm.

OVIT is a company with a very early stage pipeline and is developing cancer treatments that are considered to be less toxic and safer than what's already out there.

The two...

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Shares of ACTC have settled in the high teens after having spiked to nearly thirty cents over the past four months when the company historically received approval from the FDA to commence an embryonic stem-cell based trial for it RPE program in treating severe vision loss.

Shortly after receiving the...

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Those following the Radient story got a dose of what to expect when you're dealing with TheStreet.com's biotech blogger Adam Feuerstein yesterday when the self-proclaimed journalist referred to investors of RPC as "Radient Retards."

I think it's safe to say that anyone left considering this guy a "j...

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Full trial enrollment?

Nope.

Positive trial results?

Uh-uh.

Cytosorbents Corporation announced that it has received CE Mark approval for CytoSorb for the treatment of conditions "where excessive cytokine levels exist", according to a press release issued during the pre-market hours Thursday.

In very sig...

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Biovest International has issued two significant updates over the past couple of weeks regarding BiovaxID, the company's immunotherapeutic treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

It's been a volatile history for Biovest and parent company Accentia Biopharmaceuticals (click HERE and follow the links for...

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ACTC:  The year opened for Advanced Cell pretty much where 2010 left off - on a continued run from the nickel mark after the FDA approved the start of clinical trials for ACT's stem cell based treatment for severe blindness. 

Advance Cell became only the second company ever approved to commence su...

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MHAN:  Manhattan Pharmaceuticals gave us a good synopsis on Monday of how penny stocks move quick when they move.  After a prolonged period of trading for just a couple of pennies, MHAN jumped to a high of eight cents after a press release hit the wires announcing a settlement with Nordic Biotech...

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MHAN:  2011 is turning out to be quite a decent year already for shareholders and traders of Manhattan Pharmaceuticals.  Just two weeks after the resolution of a share dispute between Manhattan and its Hedrin joint venture partner surged shares to a quick quadruple in price, the company added news...

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Mannkind: Denied Yet Again

Posted by Posted by VFC on Jan 20, 2011
Just a couple of days after highlighting MNKD as a 'Stock to Watch' for the coming weeks, the company announced that it had received a 'complete response' letter from the FDA announcing that more trials would be needed before the FDA would once again consider approving Afrezza, Mannkind's develo...

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AMRN: Amarin Corp continues to fly higher as the company continues to produce positive headlines weeks after announcing positive Phase III MARINE results for AMR101, a treatment for high triglycerides.

Shortly after making that announcement, it became known that another ongoing Phase III trial for AM...

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ACTC: The new year has maintained the recent volatility of Advanced Cell Technology, with shares bouncing all over the place betweent fourteen and twenty six cents over the past few trading days.


After ending 2010 on a high note after the FDA approved the commencement of ACT's trial for Stargardt's m...

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BRIEFS: ACTC, AMRN, KERX, BIEL

Posted by Posted by VFC on Dec 30, 2010

Originally posted at The New VFC's Stock House on Tuesday, November 30th.

ACTC: Shares of Advanced Cell Technologies (ACT) continued their impressive run on Monday, the first trading day after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Volume was again a factor as the stock rose closer to the ten cent mark, j...

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BVTI: Making News Again

Posted by Posted by VFC on Dec 21, 2010

The oh-so-volatile Biovest International is once again bouncing all over the place in terms of daily gains and losses after reaching a recent high of over two bucks last month before dropping back down to a low of sixty two cents during last week's trading.

On Monday, the company issued a PR citing f...

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Advanced Cell Technologies announced the sudden death of the company's CEO William Caldwell on Tuesday, a tragic event for the Caldwell family for the loss of a loved one, but also a tragic event for ACT as the company had just made history by becoming only the second to be approved to conduct a tri...

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ACTC: Monumental Volume

Posted by Posted by VFC on Dec 09, 2010

The volatile run for Advanced Cell Technology continued on Wednesday as the stock traded on monumental volume while trading in a near seven cent range as profit takers and day/momentum/swing traders influenced a downturn shortly after mid day trading.

Admittedly, I took part in some of that pre-Chris...

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ACTC's Rise Continues

Posted by Posted by VFC on Dec 09, 2010

Shares of Advanced Cell Technology continued their impressive run on Tuesday, making the stock a near quadruple in just a few weeks time. ACTC had touched the four and five cent marks in late November before closing the day on Tuesday up another twenty three percent at just a hair under sixteen cent...

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BIEL:At shortly before 1PM on Tuesday shares of BioElectronics caught the interest of investors as the stock that had recently collapsed to as low as .0066 commenced a rapid, volume-induced run back to a penny.

Speculation has it that the sudden rise was related to possible pending news on the FDA f...

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Briefs: ACTC, AVNR, CVM

Posted by Posted by VFC on Dec 03, 2010

ACTC: Shares of Advanced Cell Technology jumped 43% on Monday after the company announced that the FDA had given the green light to commence a trial measuring the safety and effectiveness of the company's embryonic stem cell treatment for severe vision loss.

Included with the significant rise in pric...

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For years Geron Corp. (GERN) has arguably been recognized as the leader in the development and advancement of embryonic stem cell therapies, but Advanced Cell Technology – a small, California-based company whose stock is trading for about a nickel – announced news on Monday morning that could li...

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Originally posted at The New VFC's Stock House on Thursday, November 18th.
ABPI, BVTI: Accentia Biopharmaceuticals and majority owned subsidiary Biovest International both reported this week that the companies have successfully emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy according to a previously approved re...

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Antigenics announced on Monday the expansion of an ongoing Phase II glioma trial for Oncophage (vitespen/HSPPC-96). The trial will enroll up to fifty patients and will be expanded based on the encouraging safety and survival results seen so far.

Oncophage is a personalized cancer vaccine, meaning a s...

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Shares of CellDex Thereapeutics were slammed late last week after Pfizer backed out of an over two-year-old licensing agreement for CDX-110, a cancer vaccine currently being tested for effectiveness in fighting one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer.  CDX-110 is CellDex's most advanced pr...

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NRIFF: Still Worth the Wait?

Posted by Posted by VFC on Sep 12, 2010

The last time I discussed Nuvo Research, the company's lead product Pennsaid -a topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug - was still about a month away from a commerical launch in the United States. Pennsaid was approved in November of last year and US partner Mallinckrodt Inc., a Covidien subsi...

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A long and volatile era finally came to an end last week for Dendreon Corp as the US Food & Drug Administration granted approval for Provenge, the company's immunotherapeutic treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer.

The end of this era, however, marks the dawn of a new one. Doctors and patie...

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Briefs: ONTY, BDSI, CELH

Posted by Posted by VFC on Mar 23, 2010

ONTY: Shares of Oncothyreon dropped into the mid three dollar range on Tuesday after it was announced by Merck KGaA that all Stimuvax trials were put on hold due to a patient contracting encephalitis in one of the trials.

An investigation is underway to discover the cause of this event - the first o...

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A big part of the strategy implemented by our politicians in order to gain support for the unwanted health care bill has been to play on our emotions by taking to the airwaves and to the campaign trails and parading example after example of citizens that were denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

Here's my problem with this argument: How are we differentiating between those who were healthy and CHOSE not to pay for health coverage until AFTER they became sick and those who actually could not afford coverage, and by the time that they could - they got denied.

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Briefs: BDSI, BIEL, PCYC, SIRI

Posted by Posted by VFC on Mar 01, 2010

BDSI: Shares of BioDelivery Sciences have approached the four dollar mark once again after the company recently issued a PR outlining current and future developments regarding the company.

Of note, BioDelivery announced that it plans to move forward with Phase III studies for three products in early...

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Imagine the horror of the Kennedy clan to know that the Massachusetts Senate seat held steadfastly for decades by Ted Kennedy became the symbol of opposition to the tax and spend, left-leaning agenda being pushed by Washington these days.

Who would've known that the seat of the Senator who championed the cause of health care reform for so long would become the seat - or the vote - that would derail the health care platform as it stands today. Ironically enough, we don't really know what that is because the health care debate has been held behind closed doors where no American (other than those that consider themselves to know what's better for us than us) can peek in - or turn on CSPAN - to see what's going on.

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Briefs: TTNP, SIGA, CVM

Posted by Posted by VFC on Jan 19, 2010

TTNP.pk: Shares of Titan Pharmaceuticals rose over three percent on Tuesday after an early morning press release stated that the company had filed a registration statement with the SEC, bringing Titan another step closer to once again becoming a fully reporting company.

Additionally, the PR stated ...

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ACTC.ob: Shares of Advanced Cell Technology closed the day on Thursday at twelve cents, up over sixteen percent on the day.

The company announced via press release that it will present at the OneMedForum 2010 Emerging Company Finance Conference next Tuesday, January 12th, in San Fransisco, California...

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Briefs: SIRI, NRIFF

Posted by Posted by VFC on Nov 05, 2009

SIRI: Shares of the SiriusXM satellite radio responded positively to news that losses narrowed and revenues increased during the third quarter of 2009. Aside from one time charges, the company reported cash flow break even.

While I am confident in the ability of SiriusXM to continue demonstrating gro...

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Briefs: TTNP, VNDA, KERX

Posted by Posted by VFC on Sep 29, 2009

TTNP.pk: Shares of Titan Pharmaceuticals continue to trade in a somewhat flat trading range as investors eagerly await the anticipated fourth quarter launch of Fanapt - a schizophrenia drug produced by Vanda Pharmaceuticals - of which Titan will receive between 8-10% in royalties.

It's been long speculated by investors, including VFC, that Titan and Vanda will both be a part of the same acquisition/partnership deal and that news regarding such would be released at some time just before the fourth quarter launch of Fanapt.

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There's a chance I may be Missing In Action for the next couple of days, so I wanted to pass off a little bit off advice that stems from a pet peeve of mine - a lack of patience by small investors in the market.

As a small investor, patience has to be the name of your game. If you cheat patience, you're only cheating yourself and you may be cheating yourself out of some pretty significant gains in the process.

Let the big boys move from stock to stock day after day to feed their impatient thirst for more immediate gains, they can afford it - but the small investor needs to find a stock that they can believe in and slowly accumulate it before it takes off.

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The real mis-information continues to come from the White House. If you listen to the President you would be led to believe that the alternative option to his plan is to do nothing.

That's far from the case.

The opposition wants health care reform to start with Tort reform - I give VFC's Take on Heal...

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Some of these posts that I'll be putting out are geared towards the small investor, especially those that are just starting out. If you're not a new investor and have no interest in the 'VFC Stock Market Lessons Learned', then don't read on.

A Brief History

When I started investing heavily - and by heavily I mean when I really started putting time into looking for and researching good stocks - I ventured out without much guidance, because quality sources for guidance are few and far between, and I learned a lot through experience and On-the-Job Training (OJT).

After realizing I had to do something with my money besides paying for college educations of for the children of bar owners around the globe, I looked for a way into the market. I spurned many financial advisers who offered to manage my money for me because, after seeing the absolutely ridiculous fees that they charged for 'helping me out', I figured that I would just be paying them for something that I could probably do myself. In retrospect, after seeing my gains compared to where others are right now that went with the money managers that tried to recruit me - I made the right decision.

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I'd fell a whole lot better about the 'Cash for Clunkers' program if we hadn't already dished billions of dollars into the union, I mean, auto bailout programs. This is just another example of the government spending billions of dollars before they can get it right.

As for health care, I'll believe that the President is serious about reforming health care if he shows the willingness to tackle the following issues, which until now, he has not:

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August 5, 2009 is the expected date that the FDA will announce a decision regarding Nuvo Research's Pennsaid (NRIFF.pk), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is already marketed in Canada and some European countries.

Nuvo has partnered with Covidien to bring Pennsaid and Pennsaid Plus in the U...

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A couple of questions were posted on VFC's Stock House and I'll give VFC's take:

Both Questions were from Barkley. I deleted the post and his email due to the fact that there are spamming rif-raf that browse the blogs. If he still wants his email out there he'll let me know and I'll post it.

Question: I recently have taken a hit due to the bad news about INSMED. I never cashed in on the gains leading up to the bad news so it hurt extra bad. I realized how inexperienced I am and how much I actually don't know. You seem to have a plethora of knowledge and I have a lot of questions. Not about which stock to pick but about strategy. An example would be at what percentage of growth should you take your gains to minimize your losses?

VFC's Take: In my opinion, you want to be playing on house money with your stocks; meaning you've pulled enough profits after a run to cover the cost of your initial investment. This way, if your stock goes to zero you break even on the investment.

That being said, breaking even is never the goal of investing, it's about realizing profits. In order to keep yourself honest, before you invest in a stock you need to have an entry and an exit strategy.

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I'll try to keep this short because VFC has been accused of rambling at times.

The health care debate has been plastered all over the news of late as the President tries to advance his budget-breaking agenda through the Congress and Senate.

Critics of the White House plan point out that sub-standard treatment and long wait lines are trademarks of nationalized health care in other countries that have it, but there is one point that is NOT being made by critics- citizens who receive nationalized health care in those countries that the President uses as models often don't want the nationalized coverage; they just that they have any other choice but to use it.

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a moment of boredom I came across the latest release of 'the Street.com's Biotech Mailbag,' a biotech column where readers interact with the host, Adam Feuerstein, by sending in questions about biotech stocks which Feuerstein answers in the form of his column.

I used to follow the mailbag every week, just as I used to watch Jim Cramer's CNBC show 'Mad Money', but it didn't take me long to realize that both Cramer and Feuerstein had their own agenda- and looking out for the little guy wasn't part of it.


...

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Shares of Biovest International Inc (BVTI.pk) opened the week significantly higher on news that the company's investigational cancer vaccine, BiovaxID, extended the lives of patients treated for follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

According to the data presented at the American Society of Clinical O...

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The two stocks which I am about to mention have both failed on the main exchanges, they've both hit the pink sheets within the last year and they've both lost investors a lot of money; although traders who sold into spikes and bought on dips probably did pretty good over the years.

That being said, t...

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As the economic recessions has deepened over the last two quarters, investors are growing even more fearful about the state of the economy moving forward.

Just when it looked like DOW 7,000 just might be the bottom, the market crashed through that level on it's way to near 6,500 and many (including VFC) predict that it will hit 6,000 before this mess is all said and done.

The recession has spared no one and businesses large and small are all sweating out these next few quarters hoping to just stay afloat until the time comes when the economy begins to rebound and people start spending money again.

There are stock market bargains out there that have not been seen for at least a decade and the time to jump in and buy is now, while the economy is in shambles.

This Bear Market also offers the opportunity to invest in less riskier stocks because significant gains can be had all over in the event of an economic recovery, whereas in the Bull Markets the biggest gains usually come as a reward for investing in riskier companies (start-ups, biotech, etc.).

That being said, for reasons ranging from poor management, financial instability or a shift in American culture, not every company out there will successfully emerge from this recession.

Here's three stocks that VFC does not see lasting long enough to enjoy an economic recovery:

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The average person has been convinced that they cannot manage their own money because they either feel that they have no time to keep track of their investments or because the professional money managers have been successful at keeping these people ignorant.

Recent actions by the big boys have shown that they will look after themselves and their own money long before they will look after you or yours. When dealing with the big boys, you’re not just dealing with monetary matters; you’re also dealing with variables such as ego and power- and that is where things get dangerous.

Here are three reasons why the little guy is better off trusting their own Due Diligence rather than listening to the big boys.

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Stock Watch: SIRI

Posted by Posted by VFC on Feb 16, 2009

SIRI, Sirius XM Satellite Radio:

Reports and speculation regarding a SIRIus partnership between the debt-laden satellite radio company and either EchoStar or Liberty Media have been prevalent over the past week with a huge chunk of Sirius debt coming due on Tuesday.

In December of last year EchoStar, headed by Charles Ergen, was rebuffed in their takeover bid of Sirius XM by Mel Karmazin. Helping this story to play out like a soap opera, Mel Karmazin, CEO of the combined Sirius XM company, and Ergen have a years long feud dating back to Karmizin's days at Viacom.

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It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted on the Stock House while I've been busy with the other blogs, but I've also been taking advantage of the market that had the DOW below 8,000 for a little while.

It's simply amazing to me how many people are selling into this market at a loss, and it's amazing to me how many people in their 20s, 30s and 40s are eyeballing their 401K balances on a daily basis. There's even some out there that have even stopped contributing into their 401Ks, because they're afraid. I'd understand if they couldn't afford to buy now, but if people are waiting for a rebound to buy back in, they'll end up missing out on some gains when the time comes for the rebound. Chasing the market is not a recipe for successful investing; being in the market before it runs is the correct option.

Now is the time to be throwing money at the 401K, not clicking refresh on the computer screen and eyeballing the balance every hour.

When the market was at record highs last year, that was the time that I quit contributing to the 401K, because I figured the market was due to correct, just as I thought the housing market would have to come back down to earth. Since the market dropped, I've been pumping money back into the 401K.

But enough about the 401K, here's a few stock prices that I could not resist over the past few weeks:

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Bear Market Picks, Part I

Bear Market Picks Part II

 

Part III of VFC's Bear Market Picks

 

MVL, Marvel Entertainment:

No longer is the Marvel name synonymous only to comic books. The company that Stan Lee launched has re-branded itself into a movie production powerhouse. The surprising success of Iron Man proved that Marvel can turn one of it's B level heroes into an A+ performance at the box office. The second installment of the Hulk franchise was no slouch either.

 

Unlike the Spider-Man franchise, Marvel banks the money from the Iron Man and Incredible Hulk movies, not Sony or another production company.

 

MVL is a stock that I took a chance on when it traded in the mid teens a few years ago, and I followed it up to the high twenties where I sold it for approximately 26 bucks, only to watch it hit the mid thirties recently. I never argue with a nice profit, and I had one from MVL, but I did miss out on higher gains. At the time, I was not convinced that Marvel would be able to take their B level heroes and turn them into success at the theater. Marvel had a lot invested in the success of it's movie franchise, and failures from either Iron Man or The Incredible Hulk would have put a serious hurting on the company and the stock price would have reflected that failure. The fact is, Iron Man was a huge success and The Incredible Hulk also performed impressively, although the lingering memories of the terrible first Hulk movie probably kept people away from the second.

 

What we have now, is a stock trading in the high twenties, a level at which I am comfortable buying.

 

I am actually quite surprised that MVL is trading as high as it is, I was expecting more of a drop, to about 25 dollars, with the way the market has tanked lately, but it looks like there is a lot of investor confidence in MVL, even with the slumping economy.

 

Any price below thirty is a great place buy, in my opinion, as Marvel has many movies in various stages of production and pre production to go along with the comic book sales and merchandising licences. Any shares I buy now I plan on holding for at least five years, at which time I'll re-evaluate my holdings. Comic Book movies are big draws, and Marvel has thousands of characters in their treasure chest to throw onto the big screen.

 

VFC would push to have Punisher 2 filmed in NYC.

 

Marvel has also jumped into the theme-park arena. Construction of the first Marvel theme park is underway in Dubai, one of the world's biggest paradise destinations.

 

MVL has been somewhat effected by the bad market, but not as much as the market as a whole. I'll be buying below thirty and hoping for a drop into the mid twenties, but if we haven't seen that level yet, we may not see that level at all, barring a prolonged economic slump.

 

Risk:

- A prolonged economic slump hurts comic book and merchandise sales and delays production of new feature films.

- Marvel is unable to replicate it's Iron Man success with any other B list heroes.

 

Reward:

- Marvel continues to draw on it's long list of characters to produce successful movies well into the future.

- MVL stock rebounds along with the market.

- Marvel increases it's world wide exposure with it's Dubai theme park.

- Merchandise and licensing sales continue to increase as the studio releases new movies.

 

Timeframe:

Personally, I'm holding this one for five or ten years. If they can make a world wide success out of Iron Man, I want to see what they can do with the likes of Captain America, Thor, The Avengers and whoever else they pull out of the hat.

This stock trades up or down a few bucks at a time quite often, so there's ample time to sell on any spikes, but I stress the long-term aspect of MVL.

 

CPST, Capstone Turbine:

Capstone Turbine Corporation is the world's leading producer of low-emission microturbine systems, and was the first to market commercially viable microturbine energy products.

 

CPST, in the course of the time that I've invested in it, has come complete circle (back to the one dollar per share range), but the company itself has only become stronger, and a year closer to turning a profit. About a year ago, when I was looking for a somewhat undiscovered alternative energy stock, I found CPST when it traded below a dollar and quickly jumped aboard.

 

Although Capstone still has never turned a profit, the stock rose with the gas prices, and the market as a whole, to a high of the mid-four dollar range. Capstone's low-emission Micro Turbines are catching on quickly around the globe, recently announcing deals in Chile and Vietnam. The company can barely keep up with the growing demand.

 

Tanking with market, CPST is back down into bargain territory. It's still a very speculative stock, as are all stocks of companies that have yet to turn a profit. Big money has pulled hundreds of billions of dollars out of the market, and speculative money is usually the first to go, hence the big drop in CPST. Another factor that may have contributed to the decline is the falling energy prices. With gas and oil prices going through the roof, business was flocking to alternatives such as Capstone's Micro Turbines, but the rush for alternatives may diminish with the falling energy prices. Even if that is the case, Capstone will be busy for awhile taking care of the order backlog.

 

It's my opinion that Capstone will rebound with the market when big money, including speculative money, starts pouring back in. In a couple of years, the company should start realizing profits, and those of us that are in on the bottom floor should be greatly rewarded. Now is the time to be BUYing!

 

Risk:

- Demand for Capstone's Microturbines decreases and the company fails to ever turn a profit.

- Other alternatives to low-emission Microturbines take hold of the market eating into Capstone's market share.

- Prolonged slumping market conditions keep CPST at a depressed price.

 

Reward:

- Those of us in now are in on the bottom floor and will reap nice rewards a few years down the line as the orders keep coming in and the company reports profits for years to come.

- CPST rebounds with the market as speculative money comes back in.

 

Timeframe:

Mid to long term hold. In VFC's opinion, we're in on the bottom floor, and I'll hold until it doesn't make sense to hold any more. Expect some volatility while this is still a speculative stock, and take advantage of any impressive spikes or dips to sell into or buy, respectively.

Wirefly - Outrageous Deal: Samsung Instinct Touch Screen Phone + Free Bluetooth Headset. Enter coupon code BDAYACCD4B02552 at checkout.

 

CVM, CEL-SCI Corporation:

Cel-Sci (CVM) is another speculative play, but it's one that is 50% less risky right now because the market has ripped the price of the stock in half to around thirty cents.

 

Cel-Sci is currently preparing to initiate Phase III trials for it's lead drug candidate, Multikine, which treats cancer of the head and neck. In Phase II trials, Multikine was proven to be safe, tolerable and improved patients overall survival by an average of 3.5 years, according to released reports. The February 2008 edition of MedAdNews listed Multikine as one of ten future billion dollar blockbuster drugs.

 

Investing in CVM is strictly investing in the success or failure of Multikine, but at 30-plus cents per share, the reward far outweighs the risk.

 

The company just took control of it's Baltimore area manufacturing facility which brings the Phase III trials taht much closer. Upon success of the Phase III trials, the same facility could be ready to manufacture commercial amounts of Multikine within a year, according the Cel-Sci CEO.

 

I've been accumulating shares of CVM for about eight months now, and I've picked up my accumulating pace since the stock has dropped down into the thirty cent range. Investing is all about risk-reward, and the risk-reward is great considering the price of CVM and the potential of Multikine.

 

Risk:

- Multikine fails Phase III trials.

- Multikine gets approved but fails to catch on as a preferred treatment.

 

Reward:

- Multikine reaches trial endpoints, receives approval and rewards investors handsomely.

- Good news on the way gives investors a chance to trade in and out to reduce risk.

 

Timeframe:

All about the Multikine trials. In the short term, sell into any large spikes and buy back on any dips.

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With the market crashing as it has over the last couple of weeks, there are some real stock bargains out there for those who want to take advantage of this excellent bargain-shopping market.

 

On Friday I posted Part One of VFC's Bear Market Stock Picks.

 

It's possible that we may be at the bottom of the bear market, or close to it, indicated by the huge price swings (especially the last thirty minutes) of Friday's trading session. Billions of dollars are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the opportune time to jump back into the market, and the swift rise to nearly 300 points on the plus side about 25 minutes before the market close on Friday gave us a good indication of what can happen when that money comes pouring back into the market.

 

VFC's intention is to already be vested in the appropriate stocks when the market recovers and the upswing begins.

 

Chasing stock runs is not any fun, and usually ends up costing you money, but being along for the ride on a nice run makes a whole investing career worth it. The key is to do your homework and find the runs before they happen, then buy and sell with a plan. In my opinion, it's easier to bargain shop in the stock market when the market is down because many stocks are undervalued and oversold, giving the informed investor a chance to move in before a rebound. In up markets, many stocks are overvalued, overbought and trade at too high of a price to earnings ratio, leaving little wiggle room if a sudden correction hits. In a down market, many stocks are actually more secure investments because the downward risk is reduced because the stock price is already deflated.

 

In short, now is the time to BUY.

Netflix, Inc.

M, Macy's:

In the first installment of VFC's Bear Market Picks, Nordstrom (JWN) was listed as a good high-end retailer that should rebound nicely when the economy turns around and the market rebounds. A good alternative to JWN is M, Macy's Inc.

 

Macy's stock, M, may seem more attractive an investment than JWN for the small investor because it's share price is half that of JWN, but the Market Cap of each company is nearly identical (4.17B for M, 3.96B for JWN). It may feel better for some investors knowing that you can have two shares of M for the price of one JWN, but I look at an investment in either one of these companies as virtually identical, and for that reason, I suggest only investing in one or the other for the sake of diversification.

 

Whether we are at a market bottom or not, I think shares of Macy's, as well as Nordstrom, still have room to drop due to the dismal holiday season that market analysts, and the companies themselves, predict. 3Q estimates have already been dropped, and guidance for 4Q and year-end have also been dropped. The slowing economy has people keeping their dollars in their pockets, and the high-end retailers will take the brunt of the economic slump as people look for cheaper alternatives to their luxury items.

 

Macy's is not going anywhere as a company, however, and when the market and economy begins to rebound, Macy's (M) will also rebound, rewarding patient investors.

 

Macy's has suspended it's share buyback program to leave it's large amount of cash on hand in tact (approx $700 million) and ease the impact of the slumping sales in this slumping economy. In the case of an extended economic slump, Macy's has bank line-of-credit in place with JP Morgan-Chase and Bank of America to the tune of $2.0 billion, but Macy's has not yet needed to touch that line.

 

M is a victim of the market conditions and the economic slump, but the Macy's name is strong, they have lots of cash on hand and will be primed for a turnaround when the market rebounds.

 

I've already chosen to throw money into JWN, but if I had chosen M, I'd be using the same strategy of investing as I am with JWN which is to start buying now and increasing the buys as the stock drops lower. While the expected dismal results should drop the stock price even lower, there is the chance that if the market is at bottom, M is also at bottom with declining sales and poor Q3 and Q4 performance already priced in. For that reason I say and purchase in the $10 range is a good buy.

 

Risk:

- A prolonged economic slump keeps Macy's from rebounding it's business anytime soon adding to more downward pressure on the stock price.

- Macy's is forced to tap into the Bank line of credit after burning through cash to sustain operations during the economic downturn, again adding to downward pressure on the stock.

 

Reward:

- M can at least double when the economy picks up steam and the market rebounds, especially if the company does not need to tap the credit line.

- As the economy rebounds and sales increase, Macy's can restart the share buyback program giving the stock price upward momentum.

 

Timeframe:

Buy anywhere in the ten dollar range, jump on this stock if it approached five dollars and hang in there until the market and economy rebounds.

Apartments.com Acquire Renters (Classified Ventures)

 

MSFT, Microsoft:

Microsoft (MSFT) is one of the world's strongest companies and is always a safe investment, in my opinion. Right now, with the share price slaughtered by the slumping market conditions, it's as safe a time as ever to invest in MSFT.

 

Not too long ago, MSFT was trading near the mid thirty dollar range, up almost ten bucks from a year earlier and in the midst of a share buyback. Once the market took a hit, so did shares of Microsoft and what we have is MSFT on sale for approximately twenty one dollars.

 

MSFT is trading at 11.5 times it's earnings (Price to Earnings), below average for the normal P/E of Microsoft.

 

Microsoft's record speaks for itself, and this stock is trading down solely as a result of the current market conditions and in no part is it due to business failures.

 

With Yahoo's share price down to a dismal 12 bucks, it's likely Microsoft will once again attempt to buyout that company at probably 10 dollars less than what they offered earlier this year. A combined Microsoft-Yahoo could put a dent in Google's dominance of the Internet advertising realm.

 

MSFT is a great investment at this price, and accumulation is the way to go. One of the safest bets out there to rebound with the market.

 

Risk:

- There is little risk with Microsoft, but there is always the possibility that competing companies will come out with products that eat away at Microsoft's market share.

- A prolonged economic slump can impact Microsoft's long-standing viability.

- Large institutional ownership keeps the price relatively level for an extended period of time.

 

Reward:

- Microsoft could rebound to above thirty in short time after the market rebounds.

- Strong cash position will allow Microsoft to whether the economic downturn.

- One of the world's strongest and most stable companies with a nice dividend.

 

Timeframe:

BUY now, accumulate and wait for the market turnaround. The poor market conditions that killed the Yahoo! stock (YHOO) may save Microsoft and it's investors billions if they re-attempt a takeover.

Search 120+ Hotel Websites at Once

 

YHOO, Yahoo!:

Yahoo! is a good bet for a rebound for a couple of reasons. The first reason being that the share price has been hammered along with the market and will be poised for a general rebound, and the other being that Microsoft may decide to swoop in and re-attempt to buy Yahoo!, as they did earlier this year when Microsoft offered $33 a share for Yahoo!. Yahoo!'s share price spiked up about ten dollars to near the price of the offer. Lately, it's been rumored Microsoft may offer 22 bucks a share this time, which would be good for another ten dollar price increase.

 

Yahoo! is still number two in the search engine business, and the Yahoo! name is still a huge player in Internet advertising. The YHOO stock will be primed for a rebound when the market rebounds and advertising revenue picks up again.

 

The chance of another Microsoft buyout offer is icing on the cake and the offer could come at any time.

 

Risk:

- Yahoo! fails to come up with a solid business plan and the stock continues to decline.

- Yahoo! fails to reach agreeable terms with Microsoft or any other potential suitors or partners.

- A prolonged economic slump hurts Internet advertising revenues.

 

Reward:

- Yahoo! rebounds to pre-crash levels when the market turns around.

- Improving economy opens up additional advertising revenue.

- Microsft swoops in with another offer to buy Yahoo!

- Yahoo! partners with a company other than Microsoft.

 

Timeframe:

Buy YHOO now and wait for one of the following scenarios.

- A general rebound with the market when the market rebounds.

- Microsoft makes another offer for the company giving us a large spike in share price and an opportune time to sell for a nice gain.

- A partnership with another company is announced.

Heart Detectives micro button orange grey

 

 

 

 

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The stock market is still looking for it's new bottom and millions of people are selling their holdings out of fear of what's to come. Indications are, we may be close to a bottom with the violent price swings we say today, and it's time to look at some rock-bottom deals.

 

There's billions of dollars that are sitting on the sidelines in low-interest money market accounts or government securities that will re-enter the market when the time is right, and we saw a taste of that today when the market actually hit 300 points up during the last half hour of trading.

 

My plan is to be in BEFORE the market rebounds. Chasing a stock run is never as much fun as being along for the ride.

 

In VFC's opinion, it's actually easier to find good stock picks in a down market, because many stocks are oversold. In an up market, many stocks are overvalued and you've got to tread carefully because any hint of a stock market correction could immediately send stock prices back to earth.

 

Short sellers take control when they feel a stock is overpriced, and when the market drops, it's the short sellers that bought at the highs that make money. Once the market begins to rebound, the short sellers will 'cover' and go long, and that's when we could be in for some pretty good rides.

 

With the crash of '08 in full effect, I'm on the hunt for some bargains, which is not unusual; I'm always on the hunt for good 'Risk vs Reward' stocks. Here's a few that VFC is looking at going forward. Most you've already seen here at VFC's Stock House.

 

VFC likes the following two stocks because these companies have both received recent drug approvals but their stocks have followed the market down. I believe these two have the makings of a rebound.

 

EPCT, Epicept Corporation:

Epicept has just received a full marketing authorization from the European Commission to market Ceplene in Europe. Ceplene treats patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in first remission and will be available to patients in 30 countries as soon as 1Q 2009. Ceplene is estimated to bring in approx $200 million per year and has been granted Orphan Drug states by the EMEA. The company President and CEO, Jack Talley, has indicated that there are ongoing talks for a European partner to market and distribute Ceplene. News on a partnership should come before year end.

Aside from Ceplene, Epicept has five additional drugs or treatments in their pipeline, most notably Azixa, a treatment for metastatic brain cancer which Epicept has partnered with Myriad.

 

Ceplene alone, now that it is approved, should have EPCT trading well above a dollar, or even closer to it's price target of $6.00 (according to Yahoo! Finance) but in this market investors are quick to take a profit (EPCT is a triple over the past few months), and short sellers are quick to take control.

 

When the Market rebounds, EPCT is a sure bet to rise.

Risks:

- All biotechs are risky.

- Ceplene may not reach sales goals.

- Other drugs in the pipeline may fail trials.

- Partnership deal may not turn out to be profitable for the company.

- If Ceplene fails to reach expectations, the company may go bust before the completion of addtional trials.

 

Reward:

- Ceplene is approved to be marketed and sold in 30 countries and will possibly bring in up to $200 million per year and Epicept's 50 million dollar Market Cap does not reflect the potential of the company. EPCT is undervalued.

- Company just received a $50 million stock/debt shelf which should be enough to cover expenses until Ceplene starts bringing in money, alleviating fear of the company going bust.

- Updates on Azixa trials have brought the EPCT stock to over four dollars in the past. Now, with an approved drug (Ceplene), EPCT could rised even higher than that on an Azixa update.

- Positive updates from the other four drugs in trials could add to any upward momentum.

 

Timeframe for Payback: When the market rebounds, EPCT should immediately begin to reflect the good news that the company has recently reported.

I also have EPCT as a long term pick, and will hold shares through the conclusion of Azixa trials, if not longer. I've traded in and out of EPCT in the past, and I'll sell into any large spikes and I'll buy into any dips.

ShareBuilder- Welcome page

AGEN, Antigenics Inc:

 

Antigenics, AGEN, has received approval to market and distribute Oncophage, an immunotherapy treatment to treat patients with cancer of the kidney, in Russia. The only large hurdle that would impede Antigenics quick launch of Oncophage was that the US FDA had to approve the exportation of Oncophage to Russia after being produced in the USA. The FDA has approved that export and, in VFC's opinion, due to the market conditions and probable short sellers who reacted to the news, the AGEN stock has declined nearly two-thirds of it's post-news value, to approx 60 cents.

 

Antigenics also intends to file a Marketing Authorization Application to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) by the end of this year.

 

I believe AGEN has been manipulated (traded too high in the up-market after DNDN news last year, setting up an opportune time for shorts to get in) and this stock should recover to reflect the positive Oncophage approval when the market rebounds.

 

Risk:

- Oncophage does not take off in Russia and fails to pull in serious revenue.

- Antigenics fails to gain approval for Oncophage anywhere else in the world.

 

Reward:

- AGEN is undervalued even without approval in any other country.

- Reports indicated that Russian Doctor's looked forward to the approval and use of Oncophage in Russia.

- After the good news of export authorization, the stock has dropped over a dollar to sixty cents. A rebound should be looming.

 

I'm loading up on AGEN at under a dollar. In normal market conditions, I don't see this stock losing two-thirds of it's value after positive news. Again, another small biotech with an approved treatment. AGEN is primed for a rebound when the market straightens itself out a bit, or when news of the actual Oncophage launch hits.

Zecco Holdings

The following are stocks that are down with the Market or because of economic conditions and should rebound nicely when the Market turns around and/or the economy picks up:

 

JWN, Nordstrom Inc:

 

Nordstrom is a high-end retailer that has fallen victim to the slowing economy and the downturn in the market.

 

People are looking for cheaper alternatives to the high-end luxury products of Nordstrom and that is taking it's toll on the bottom line of the company, and the stock price of JWN.

 

Nordstrom was trading near fifty dollars not too long ago and is currently trading under twenty. More bad news looms for Nordstrom, and other retailers, as the company and analysts predict a slow Holiday season. We may be afforded the opportunity to buy into this company at even lower prices.

 

As people regain confidence in the economy and start losing hold of their fears, they'll again start spending money on the high-end items that Nordstrom provides.

 

Nordstrom is a well-established name that has a wealthy clientele, and they will weather this downturn and rebound when the economy picks up.

 

Risk:

- We're in for a long economic slide and JWN slides down along with it.

- People lose interest in the high-end products which Nordstrom offers.

 

Reward:- When the economy turns around and people start spending money again, Nordstrom rebounds along with the stock price.

- JWN is trading at a third of it's 52-week high as a result of the Market and economic slowdown. A rebound will be in order.

 

Time Frame:

The market is probably at or near it's bottom, judging by the price swings during the last half hour of trading today, so JWN may level off as well. The fact that JWN may be oversold could offset more bad news that is due for the Holiday season, but I do expect to be able to buy JWN in the mid-teens. For now, I'm buying shares in the high teens and hope for a dip after disappointing 3Q results are out.

 

Once the economy gains steam again, JWN should rebound nicely.

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GOOG, Google:

 

Google recently turned ten years old, and for the last ten years, Google has become a staple in American Culture. The name Google invoked a new verb into our vocabulary and rendered other search engines as relics of the past. After GOOG's IPO of 80 dollars, the stock price surged to highs in the range of 700 dollars, before recently retreating into the low 300 dollar range.

 

The Google stock price got hit by disappointing in earnings, largely due to a crackdown on fraudulent clicks from the AdSense program, where advertisers 'Pay per click'. Naturally, once fraudulent clicks diminished, advertisers were not paying so much and Google did not rake in as much dough.

 

Once the economy headed south, advertising money was the first to go, handing Google another hit, as the bulk of their income is derived from Internet advertising. Along with the hit in revenue, GOOG is also an overall victim of the Market crash, and should rebound nicely when the economy rebounds.

 

Google, however, is giving investors more to think about than solely Internet advertising. Google recently announced their own Web browser to compete with Microsoft and they're also entering into the cell phone market.

 

Google is also putting it's money to good use in the form of researching alternative fuels, developing a new class of hybrid vehicles and continuosly looking for ways to hold the Government responsible for providing public services.

 

GOOG has been hit hard in this economy, no question, but this company is one for the ages and I'm taking advantage of this decline in stock price.

 

Risk:

- People stop 'Googling' and clicking on 'Google Ads'.

- Google's ventures into areas outside the advertising realm fail.

- A prolonged economic downturn continues to hammer the GOOG stock price.

 

Reward:

- The economy rebounds and advertising money returns to the norms.

- Google's ventures into the browser and cell phone markets are met with success.

- Google continues to grow it's brand name.

 

Timeframe:

Honestly, this is one that VFC is holding for life. After missing the boat on Google's IPO, this is a stock that I am treating as a mutual fund, buying a little bit here and a little bit there. In the short term, Google should start rebounding when the Market rebounds. The stock was due for a correction, but VFC thinks GOOG is a tad bit oversold.

TradeKing

 

T, AT&T:

The Telecom sector has taken a huge hit in this economy, and we may have not seen the lows yet. On that note, AT&T (T) is trading at a two-year low, let alone it's 52-week low, but much of that could be attributed to the market conditions. The bad news may not be over for AT&T, and the rest of Telecom, as 3Q estimates are being re-estimated to the downside.

 

As with JWN, I'll be buying T when it's being kicked while it's down. Currently trading in the low twenties, it's possible that we see the teens when it's all said and done.

 

AT&T is an innovative and historic company, and that is why I'm picking it out of the Telecom sector, and I expect a nice rebound when this economic mess begins to clean itself up.

 

Risk:

- AT&T is unable to rebound due to competition and market conditions.

 

Reward:

- Trading at a 52-week low, there is plenty of room for T to rebound when the Market begins to rebound.

Paradysz Matera

 

A couple of high-risk, high-reward stocks!

 

SIRI

 

Sirius suffered big time during the 18 months that it took the Government to approve the merger with XM. Had the merger been approved in half that time, many of the cost-cutting measures put in place by the combined company would be paying fruition as I type, but that is not the case.

 

XM debt soared, and SIRI could not move forward without a final decision by the Government, so now we have a SIRI stock that is trading at below fifty cents. I look at this scenario in two lights.

 

ONE: Why was the Government so tied up investigating the SIRI-XM merger while the US Economy was on the brink of collapse? It's no wonder they had no time to prevent this mess with the time they spent on the SIRI-XM merger!

 

TWO: Again, Government inaction on the merger only hurt the little guy, the average investor. The big boys made out because they were heavily shorting the Sirius stock and the lobbyists made out because each company spent hundreds of thousands on lobbying costs and the Government made out because they 'benefit' from the lobbyists.

 

Here's where the little guy can make out. BUY SIRI at this price.

 

The amount of debt that this company holds is huge, but CEO Mel Karmazin wants to take care of this debt NOW, rather than LATER.

 

SIRI has been hit extra-hard in this market because the short sellers have been making money on SIRI during the whole ride down. It's also been hit hard because of the credit crunch. With opportunities of good credit agreements dwindling, the Sirius-XM credit crunch became an even bigger deal.

 

Yet another reason that Sirius-XM has been hit so hard, is the fact that the auto industry has been crushed, and SatRad is highly dependent on new car sales, where they can advertise their service for a few months and then drivers pay thereafter.

 

With all the bad news on the SIRI stock, it's still way oversold because of these market conditions (in VFC's opinion).

 

There is no guarantee that SIRI will rebound right away, and there is always the risk of a reverse-split or a bankruptcy, but Mel Karmazin has a great resume and I believe that SIRI will rebound when we start to see the results of the $450 million in synergies that are coming as a result of the merger.

 

Aside from the synergies, when the shorts cover and the XM-inherited debt is under control, investors should be in for an upturn.

 

Another option that is out there, but I have not seen anything except rumor on this, is the possibility of a buyout. It's always an option, as SatRad could be interfaced with such applications as cell phones, GPS, and other new-generation gadgets.

 

I'm buying lots of SIRI at these prices.

 

Risk:

- Huge debt bill leads the company to bankruptcy.

- Company cannot recover from slumping auto and SatRad sales.

- Company is forced into less than acceptable terms in financing debt.

- Merger synergies don't pay off as much as planned.

- Possibility of a reverse split.

 

Reward:

- Shorts cover inducing an increase in stock price.

- Market rebounds and SIRI goes along with it.

- Synergies begin to pay off sooner than expected.

- New pricing plans attract more listeners and greater content.

- Consumers learn about the impressive lineup of SatRad content and buy subscriptions.

- Advertising revenue picks up as the economy picks up.

 

Timeframe:

I'm looking at SIRI five years down the road, but I think we could be rewarded long before that. SIRI is a highly manipulated stock, and the large amount of short sellers in SIRI make it tough to predict anything, but at forty cents, SIRI is a screaming BUY, in my opinion.

As long as this stock is below a dollar, I'm buying strong.

The Shepard Investment Strategist

CSUH.OB, Celsius:

Celsius Holdings, CSUH.OB, is a risky play, but one that could pay off huge for patient investors.

 

Celsius is the world's first calorie-burning beverage that comes in five carbonated flavors and two non-carbonated, Green Tea flavors.

 

The stock has been hammered in both the down market, and, allegedly, buy a large shareholder who has been continuously selling shares, adding to the downward pressure on the stock.

 

Celsius has, until now, relied almost solely on word-of-mouth advertising, but the future looks more ambitious now that supplement business icon Carl DeSantis has jumped on board.

 

CEO Steve Haley recently informed investors that an advertising campaign is underway, and we could see TV ads soon after the elections. Radio ads are already in play.

 

It's my opinion that the next three quarters are crucial for the existence of this company. We need to see more reorders coming in and we need to see real growth due to the large amount of distribution agreements that were announced earlier this year.

 

Originally, I bought CSUH.OB with a five-year plan in mind, and I have not strayed to far from that thought process, but we can see results a lot sooner than that if the product catches on like I believe it could.

 

I've bought in the teens, but I've been averaging down at six, five, four and now three cents to bring my average to near seven cents.

 

This stock, as well as the product, is a real sleeper. Once people find out about the product, they'll find the stock, and we could be in for some real rewards.

 

Again, CSUH.OB carries risk, but we all know VFC loves risk and he loves reward.

 

Risk:

- The company does not have the financial resources to cover operations and goes bust.

- Celsius does not sell as expected and distributors do not reorder the product, leading the company to bankruptcy.

- The slumping economy takes the extra money out of people's pockets that they would be spending on a luxury item such as Celsius.

 

Reward:

- The product catches on and an increase of sales leads to an increase in stock price.

- The TV and Radio advertising campaign leads to an increase in sales.

- More international deals are announced, attracting new investors.

- New national deals attract new investors.

- Celsius is bought out by a larger, already established corporation.

 

Another factor to consider, it seems that every few months we get an unexpected increase in share price, giving the investor an opportunity to sell into the spike and pocket some profit.

 

With a stock like CSUH.OB, you could be in for some serious rewards, or in for a disappointment if the company goes bust.

 

I happen to believe we're in for good things once the advertising campaign gains traction.

 

Timeframe:

I'm here with a five year plan, but i'll sell a few shares into any significant spikes. Now that I'm loaded in at the current prices, I'll be holding and keeping a close eye at the numbers for the next few quarters.

LinkShare Referral Prg

GE, General Electric:

GE has been hammered by a combination of bad news and the market conditions.

 

With a 52-week high of over forty dollars, the stock is currently trading near twenty dollars.

 

Much of this has to do with the market conditions, but the company has been hit with bad news and reduced profits. Months ago, GE was the victim of rumors that the company was doing business in Iran, and recently, it's financial services division has taken a hit.

 

What I do like about GE, and gives me confidence in a rebound, are:

 

One, GE is one of the largest companies in the world, and I don't see it failing.

Two, Warren Buffet has just invested three billion dollars into GE. VFC does not argue with Warren Buffet. 'Nuff said on that one.

 

Risk:

- Economy and market kill GE and it's financial services division.

- It's discovered that