Aside from keeping an eye on shares of Cel-Sci (CVM) this week (see previous blog post), shares of Celsius Holdings (CELH) will be worth watching, too.  Last week we discussed how significant growth in the Celsius distribution network will likely have a very positive impact on earnings over the next couple of quarters and the investing community picked up the indicators, as well, as volume started rolling in and a new 52-week high was set at $5.37.  Not bad, considering shares were trading for under four bucks just a couple of months ago...

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Shares of Cel Sci Corp (CVM) closed strong last week, spiking at Friday's close to finish at $7.10, over a buck higher than the lows of near six dollars seen earlier in the week.  As previously discussed, the volatility of CVM this year is based around the pending conclusion of the Phase III Multikine trial, testing its effectiveness in the treatment of head and neck cancer.  Please scroll through my earlier articles on VFC's Stock House for more information on the trial and expected timelines.  You can also visit "Kill CVM Shorts" for a nice collection of DD that builds a case for the long argument of CVM.  In short, tho, the trial has lasted longer than expected, feeding the theory that the longer the trial takes, the more it indicates that Multikine may be working and extending the lives of patients.

While that certainly may be the case...

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If an uptick of trading volume last week is any indication, it might be worth paying some attention to shares of Celsius Holdings (CELH).  For those new to the Celsius story, at one time this company traded as a penny stock on the OTCBB under the symbol CSUH.  One share could be purchased for just three pennies back then, cheaper than a Bazooka Joe.  We are now a far cry from when a two million dollar quarter was a good one.

Once the company's stock received a promotion to the NASDAQ, some massive price gains ensued, before retreating to level off in the three to four dollar range.  Just a few months ago CELH traded for under $3.50, but positive earnings forecasts and news of growing distribution pushed prices higher 

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Shares of CVM closed at $6.36 on Wednesday, 18 July, down nearly three percent on the day and we really can't go a day without discussing this stock.  To follow up on yesterday's  brief synopsis of where we stand with the Cel-Sci story, some after hours trading in the USA and morning trading in the European markets may be worth discussing...  

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Shares of Cel-Sci Corp (CVM) have dropped back to the mid-six dollar range, roughly two bucks lower than where shares traded just days earlier.  As discussed previously, short interest in the stock had been gradually increasing as the share price about quadrupled since early 2019.  I won't re-hash the entire Cel-Sci story here, please see my earlier blog posts for deeper insight.  In short, tho, the company's lead product candidate, Multikine, is in the final stages of a global Phase III trial testing its effect in treating cancer of the head and neck.  Multikine is different from traditional cancer treatments in that it is applied prior to the patient receiving Standard of Care (SoC) treatment, which is key because that is when the body's immune system is strongest; this is a key point, since Multikine harnesses the body's immune system to combat the cancer.  

For investment purposes, the long side of the argument has it that Multikine is working since the trial is still ongoing past previous estimates of completion and since the IDMC recommended the trial continue after a review earlier this year.  Read here for more on the subject.  Two hundred and ninety eight total deaths is the magic number of 'events' that need to occur for the trial to end and according to the most recent company presentation dated this week, that has not yet occurred.  

That could bode well for where CVM is headed...

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Disclaimer:  VFC has no affiliation with Cel-Sci Corp or with any third parties associated with the companies.  VFC has received no compensation for this blog post, although there may be an unrelated advertisement or two at various locations on this blog.  VFC does not offer advice or investment services and nothing you read here should be construed as such.  VFC is just a guy with an opinion and access to a computer and a keyboard; bringing discussion and ideas to the table.  #AhYeah.  

Cel-Sci Corp (CVM):  Cel-Sci is a perfect example of a company that has gone through its highs and lows while being highly tradable along the way.  Now, tho, the story is a bit different as we are in the Endgame for the long-ongoing worldwide trial investigating the effectiveness of lead product candidate Multikine in the treatment of head and neck cancer.  We've already re-hashed what Multikine is and what it may be able to do in previous blog postings, but a couple of things have changed the last time I wrote.  Most notably, the Russell. 

It was announced earlier this month that CVM met the criteria for inclusion into the Russell 3000 and Russell 2000 indexes.  Inclusion commences on 1 July, with the final day of "reconstitution" falling on 28 June - the final trading day of the month.  It is expected to be one of the highest trading days of the year, according to the Internet (Russell website) and historical trends.  This is huge for CVM, as shares will be picked up and traded in various funds that track the broad stock market.  It also lends an heir of credibility to an otherwise little-known small cap that doesn't seem to be on the radar of main street...

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Disclaimer:  VFC has no affiliation with Cel-Sci Corp or with any third parties associated with the companies.  VFC has received no compensation for this blog post, although there may be an unrelated advertisement or two at various locations on this blog.  VFC does not offer advice or investment services and nothing you read here should be construed as such.  VFC is just a guy with an opinion and access to a computer and a keyboard; bringing discussion and ideas to the table.  #AhYeah.  

Cel-Sci Corp (CVM):  Is the short attack over?  

The ever-so-volatile shares of Cel-Sci - which ran from under $3 to over $8 in just a few months earlier this year - are back to trading in the mid-$4 range after a recent short attack killed the rally.  Interestingly, the attack was swift and quickly drove the share price down, whereas sometimes these things are a little more gradual and protracted over time.  Part of the reason for the quick action may be due to the timeline (or lack of a definitive timeline) relating to the Phase III Multikine trial.  Previous estimations have noted that the trial would be complete in the first half of 2019, and if that is still the case, then news could come at any time.  That would drive those on the short side to want to act quickly, or start covering, as it would be dangerous to be short - should the results come in positive.  Should they be negative, tho, it would be a bad day for longs...

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Disclaimer:  VFC has no affiliation with Cel-Sci Corporation (CVM).  VFC does not offer advice or investment services and nothing you read here should be construed as such.  VFC is just a guy with an opinion and access to a computer and a keyboard.  Each investor must conduct his or her own DD before investing.  VFC enjoys exchanging ideas and strategies with others in the investing community.  VFC currently holds a core long position in CVM and has a handful of trading shares to play the volatility.

Cel-Sci (CVM) shares are trading at roughly $4.40 at the time of this writing, down from a high of $8.47 reached on 9 May.  Until mid-March, shares were trading for under the three dollar mark, making CVM a multi-bagger on the year.  Market cap is currently just over 151 million.  All information provided by the Nasdaq and Yahoo! Finance websites.

Why the interest?  

Cel-Sci is in the late stages of a robust Phase III trial testing Multikine, the company's lead developmental product, for the treatment of head and neck cancer.  Multikine is one of the newer breed of cancer immunotherapy treatments, which are designed to harness the body's own immune system to fight and possibly defeat cancer cells.  What is unique about Multikine, tho, is that the treatment is administered before the Standard of Care (SOC) treatment. 

Why is this significant? 

A patient's immune system is at its strongest prior to the commencement of SOC treatment, which includes surgery along with radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  Such treatments weaken the body and therefor weaken the body's immune system, too.  The vision of Multikine is to harness the patient's own immune system before it is ravaged by radiation and chemotherapy to provide the best chance for the immune system to to fight the cancer itself.  In this sense, the company has eyes on moving towards a cure for cancer, rather than a treatment.  (Not the words of VFC, rather ideas set forth in the most recent Cel-Sci power point presentation and some recent interviews by CEO Geert Kersten on YouTube). 

Yes, using the word "cure" in association with a cancer treatment can lead to some skepticism and shock therapy, but this idea - again, according to the presentations and interviews linked above - is the goal towards which Cel-Sci wishes to march.  Regardless, if successful, Multikine is likely to be considered a breakthrough cancer treatment, should it work, and the speculative investment community is keying in on this.  

Why the recent stock run?

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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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