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Monday, December 15, 2014

I sitll like Synta and heres another piece of good news

Synta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SNTA) has just announced preliminary results from an investigator-sponsored Phase I clinical trial of its flagship product ganetespib. The small study which was led and designed by researchers at New York University Langone Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center evaluated ganetespib in combination with paclitaxel and trastuzumab in women with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer that was refractory to treatment with other HER2 inhibitors. The study enrolled six heavily pretreated patients who prior to entering the trial, receive a median of 3.5 anti-HER2 including trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and ado-trastuzumab emtansine. The trial was done to see if ganetespib could lead to a full or partial tumor response in addition to extending progression free survival. The results were decent. Of the five patients evaluable for efficacy, partial tumor response was observed in one patient who remains on study, and four patients achieved stable disease ranging in duration from 11 to 29 weeks. Median progression free survival was 19.4 weeks and the proportion of patients achieving objective response or stable disease greater than 24 weeks was 60%. Side effects were minimal.

When I previously covered Synta in depth, I had argued that...READ MORE

Dont give up on Response Genetics

Response Genetics (NASDAQ:RGDX) has just announced that it has received approval from the New York State Department of Health to offer, market and report results of its ResponseDX tests to healthcare providers in the State of New York. This is a huge announcement for the company. Why? Well because New York is the third most populated state in the U.S. and the addition of this license to provide testing here will most certainly contribute to the continued growth of the company's ResponseDX sales in 2015. In just the last quarter, the company hit another sales record with its ResponseDX line. I fully expect new sales records in 2015 on the back of this news.

When I covered Response Genetics in depth I laid out a clear analysis showing the turn around the company was undergoing. The last quarter was clearly an indication that the thesis was playing out. However, the stock has clearly moved in the opposite direction of the company. That said, I....READ MORE

Hecla mining and its quarter

Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) just announced its third quarter operating results. All three of the company's mines performed well in the quarter helping to deliver a beat on revenue estimates although earnings missed estimates by $0.02. All three of the companies mines were producing splendidly and led to production of 2.9 million ounces of silver at a cash cost of about $5.43 per ounce. This was a whopping 25% increase year-over-year. Further the company also produced 42,501 ounces of gold around $900 an ounce which was a 15% production increase compared to last year. Revenues came in at $135 million, a 27% year-over-year rise. Net income was $3.5 million, or $0.01 per share, compared to a net loss of $8.6 million, or $0.03 per share for the third quarter last year. After special adjustments, the company saw a loss of a penny. In a sign of strength, the company did not bleed cash quarter-over-quarter as its cash and cash equivalents were unchanged at $222 million. Despite much lower metal prices, this was a...READ MORE

Western Asset Mortgage---Im shocked

Western Asset Mortgage (NYSE:WMC) has just reported its third quarter. I have to say the dividend king has shown it is not "immortal". While mREITs as a whole struggled in the third quarter, I wasn't just surprised - I was shocked - when I saw the numbers out of WMC. The company saw GAAP net income of just $26.1 million, or $0.63 per basic and diluted share. This compares to net income of $67.6 million, or $1.68 per basic and diluted share for the second quarter. That is an unbelievable decline. I really am in disbelief. Further disappointing was that WMC generated core earnings plus drop income of only $27.8 million, or $0.67 per basic and diluted share, failing to cover the $0.70 dividend. This compares to core earnings plus drop income of $40.0 million, or $1.00 per basic and diluted share for the second quarter. What about the key metrics of the company?

I'll be up front. The spread sucked. It got.....READ MORE

More on MeetMe's earnings

MeetMe (NASDAQ:MEET) just reported its third quarter earnings. And guess what? It actually turned a profit! MeetMe beat estimates on the top and bottom lines. It all stems from the innovations the company is implementing that have led to record user growth. Total revenue in the quarter was $11.6 million, up 15% from the third quarter of 2013. Mobile revenue was $6.7 million or 58% of the revenue and was up 128% from the third quarter of 2013. Mobile average revenue per user (ARPU) was $2.29, up 108% from $1.10 in the third quarter of 2013, and exceeded web ARPU of $1.01 for the fourth consecutive quarter. Mobile average revenue per daily active user ((ARPDAU)) was $0.082, up 105% from $0.040 in the third quarter of 2013.Adjusted EBITDA was $2.2 million, up 213% from $696,000 in the third quarter of 2013. This all led to the company actually turning a profit. Net income was $52,000 compared to a net loss of $1.5 million for the third quarter of 2013. What a turn-around indeed. Cash and equivalents totaled $15.6 million at the quarter's end following these earnings and a completed equity offering which provided the Company with net proceeds of $10.5 million.

When I last opined on MeetMe I clearly....READ MORE

Annaly Capital, stay the course

Annaly Capital (NYSE:NLY) has been a name that I have long followed. After the company recently reported its third quarter earnings I decided to pen an article to argue why I am not backing away from the stock. Sure it is a cyclical business. Timing buys in this stock over the long-term is key. We buy stock in mREITs for one of two reasons: to reinvest dividends over time to compound our investments, or to generate a source of income. Despite the stock shedding 40% plus since its highs, management remains effective and the current dividend is safe. The company is on the mend and is outcompeting many of its mREIT brethren as I will outline in this article. Its quarter was quite strong, with few weak points.

First.....READ MORE

Friday, October 24, 2014

How I recommend playing Ebola

Is the bull market about to perish? It's been a real scary month here in October. At the time of this writing we are down 6.0% in the Dow Jones Industrial average (NYSEARCA:DIA) and down 6.5% in the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) this month. The NASDAQ ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ) has been crushed, shedding 7.6% so far. Are we setting up for a real bearish end to the year despite all of the jubilant expectations that investors had heading into the fall? It may be too early to tell, but here are the facts. A large correction is what traders and investors are fearing after seeing the incredible fall in commodities. It started with precious metals, then coal and iron ore and now oil. They are all getting hammered. Demand in slipping. Profits are leveling in many sectors. But here is the icing on the cake. We have this whole Ebola situation that has markets spooked. While the former issues are simply the ups and downs of markets, the latter situation, Ebola, is causing irrational fear.

Ebola: Let's talk about the facts here

Let me wear my epidemiologist hat for a moment. I have been inundate with requests for how to......READ FULL ARTICLE

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


3d is getting crushed and I have just unloaded my sahres

The damn company announced today that it anticipates its third quarter revenue to be in the range of $164 million to $169 million and a sequentially growing order book of $42 million. This hurt. The company expects to report GAAP earnings per share in the range of $0.01 to $0.03 and non-GAAP EPS in the range of $0.16 to $0.19. These are preliminary results based on current expectations and are subject to quarter-end closing adjustments, actual results may differ.

Strengthening sales of the company's design, manufacturing and healthcare products and services were not enough to overcome the revenue shortfall from the continued manufacturing capacity constraints for its direct metals printers and delayed availability of its newest consumer products.

"We are disappointed that we failed to fully capitalize on the robust demand for our direct metal and consumer products during the quarter," said Avi Reichental, President and Chief Executive Officer, 3DS. "While we worked very hard to deliver these products sooner, achieving manufacturing scale, quality and user experience targets took significantly longer than we had anticipated."

At the end of the third quarter, the company brought online a second direct metal 3D printers' manufacturing line and began commercial shipments of its latest consumer printers.

"Now that we have closed these availability gaps, we expect our revenue growth rate to increase," continued Reichental.

The company expects to report that its materials' gross profit margins rebounded for the quarter and its Quickparts' gross profit margin expanded sequentially, despite greater drag from concentrated service bureau acquisitions in the quarter. Notwithstanding these gains, the company expects its consolidated gross profit margin for the quarter to remain sequentially flat as a result of the current sales volume and mix and the residual costs of manufacturing start up and ramp.

"Our accelerated investments in new products and acquisitions contributed to a record order book in every period of this year, but disrupted revenue generation and pressured our gross profit margins. Now that we are shifting our attention to fine-tuning these investments, we expect to leverage them into a valuable and sustainable first-mover advantage," stated Reichental.

Factoring in its third quarter revenue shortfall and outlook for the remainder of the year, management trimmed its previous guidance for the full year 2014. Management now expects revenue in the range of $650 million to $690 million, and GAAP earnings per share of $0.18 to $0.28 and non-GAAP earnings per share in the range of $0.70 to $0.80.

"The same decisive actions that pressured our short term performance also delivered a much stronger portfolio of self-developed and acquired products and services. In the aggregate, we believe this positions us well to achieve our long-term targets," concluded Reichental.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Buying more RXi

RXi Pharmaceuticals (OTC:RXII) has just filed a form 4 with the Securities Exchange Commission. Recall that a form 4 refers to insider transactions at the company. Well, at RXi, there has been a wave of insider buying by CEO Geert Cauwenbergh over the last month ever since its large sell-off. The CEO now owns a substantial stake in the company. According to the filing, yesterday during the open market (10/13/14), CEO Geert Cauwenbergh purchased another 3,000 shares. The shares were purchased at the price of $1.6799. If we dig a little deeper we see that the shares bring his total stake to 44,000 shares, many of which have been purchase since the start of September. The purchasing has not done much to stop the shares from falling, although at $1.72 prices are stabilizing. At current price shares are at an opportunity level never before seen in RXi and it stems from small cap biotech weakness as a whole,

So what am I doing? I am buying more shares this week. Doubling position in the $1.68-$1.75 range

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tesla's D-Day

Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk turned a product upgrade announcement into a major media event, building anticipation over the course of a week by dropping a few clues on social media and dancing around questions about "Unveiling the D".

Tesla's D-Day generated the kind of buzz every other automaker dreams of. For that, he deserves all the credit in the world. It's what every CEO would love to do.

That said, let's separate the hype from the reality.

1) Dual Motor All Wheel Drive

Hype: The dual motor AWD will improve efficiency of the Model S and win over buyers in cold weather states.

Reality: You can find this feature in most other luxury cars, and Tesla needed to offer it.

Will it drive major sales gains? Probably not.

"The drivers who will buy the 'D' wanted the Model S from day one. Tesla is simply responding to their needs. Adding all-wheel drive is the no-brainer way to capture those car shoppers," said Ivan Drury with

2) Auto Pilot Features

Hype: This technology, using a new suite of radars, GPS and a camera with image recognition is a game changer.

Reality: Yes and no.

The truth is some of the driver assist features Musk unveiled (adaptive cruise control for example) are already in many other cars.

That said, Tesla added a few wrinkles that make the S very unique.

Can your car open the garage door and park itself once you pull into the driveway? No, but the Model S will soon be able to do that.

Does your car automatically change lanes once you put on your turn signal? No, but the Model S will soon have that capability.

3) Tesla is best positioned to roll out the first autonomous drive car

Hype: The Tesla fans will tell you Elon Musk will soon have a self-driven car ready to roll.

Reality: Tesla will be ready when fully autonomous drive cars finally become a reality in the next ten to fifteen years.

However, Tesla won't be alone. Several other auto makers and tech companies will be ready with their own autonomous drive vehicles or technology for autonomous drive cars.

Musk summarized the development of autonomous-drive Tesla's: "We're not yet at the point where you can get in the car, fall asleep and wake up at your destination."

Overall, Musk's show in Southern California enhanced the reputation and allure of Tesla with an event that is unlike what we usually see from automakers.

Tesla unveils don't happen very often, but when they do, they have the feel of an Apple product reveal.

Even the way Musk describes features is far different than the button downed approach we often see from executives at auto shows.

Consider how Musk described the P85D version of the Model S on Thursday night?

"This car is nuts. It's like taking off from a carrier deck," he said. "It's just bananas. It's like having your own personal roller coaster."