Steve Clark

Steve Clark is a 23-year Wall St professional with stints in M&A, risk management, and algorithm trading. Steve keeps his head in the game by looking for, and writing about, small companies that often get overlooked by the big investment firms.

Titan Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TTNP) Up 15%

Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Nasdaq: TTNP

Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc. trades on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TTNP. Shares are up almost 15% on heavy volumes. Shares closed on Friday at $4.00 and have reached $4.60 in today’s early trading.

Titan Pharmaceuticals develops proprietary therapeutics for the treatment of select chronic diseases utilizing its innovative, long-term, continuous drug delivery platform, ProNeura. ProNeura implants enhance patient care by providing non-fluctuating, stable levels of medication in the blood for up to one year. Titan is in the early stages of product development programs utilizing ProNeura for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and hypothyroidism. It’s also evaluating the feasibility of additional product candidates that would be suitable for the treatment of several chronic diseases, including certain hormonal deficiencies; type 2 diabetes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, benign prostate hyperplasia and others.

One form covers Titan Pharmaceuticals and gives TTNP a rating of “Strong Buy” with a price target of $11. TTNP reached its highs in EPS ($0.65) and sales ($10.5 million) in 2013. It progressively posted worse figures in 2014 and 2015.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Tracon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: TCON) Reaches FDA Agreement

Tracon Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Nasdaq: TCON

Shares of San Diego, CA-based Tracon Pharmaceuticals Inc. are trading at their daily highs on heavy volumes. TRACON develops targeted therapies for cancer, ophthalmic and fibrotic diseases.

Traded on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TCON, the shares gapped up from their previous close of $4.90 on news that the biotechnology firm reached an agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) for the protocol design, clinical endpoints, and statistical analysis approach for the Company’s Phase 3 study evaluating TRC105 for the treatment of patients with advanced angiosarcoma. The SPA process is one in which a sponsor asks the FDA to evaluate the proposed design and size of Phase 3 clinical trials that are intended to form the primary basis for determining a drug product’s efficacy. An SPA agreement indicates concurrence with the adequacy and acceptability of specific critical elements of protocol design, endpoints and analysis.

Three firms cover Tracon Pharmaceuticals Inc. and all three assign TCON shares a “Strong Buy” with a consensus price target of $12. In 2015 Tracon reported their strongest sales figures yet – $7.9 million but had a EPS loss of $2.20. TCON shares have never experienced positive EPS.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/3/17
Ticker Symbol TCON
Last Price a/o 11:30 AM EST $5.75
Average Volume 47,000
Market Cap $69.78 million
Sales $4.2 million
Shares Outstanding 14.24 million
Share Float 13.51 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 37.69%
Short Float 0.70%
Short Interest Ratio 2.01
Quarterly Return -26.54%
YTD Return -46.97%
Year Return -46.97%

Fortress Biotech Inc. (Nasdaq: FBIO) Soaring in Pre-Market

Fortress Biotech, Inc. – Nasdaq: FBIO

Shares of Fortress Biotech Inc. are up over 50% on heavy volume in pre-market trading. FBIO, traded on the Nasdaq, closed Wednesday at $2.29, but Thursday pre-market trading has seen the shares hit $3.50. Investors appear to be flocking to FBIO based on reports that a cancer-stricken patient had responded favorably to a treatment developed by Fortress’s Mustang Bio Inc. unit using T-Cells. The reports suggest that the patient had not experienced improvement with traditional approaches.

Dr. Lindsay A. Rosenwald, Fortress Biotech’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are excited to share this unprecedented research conducted by Mustang’s partners at City of Hope, which confirms the potential of MB-101 to be a breakthrough immunotherapeutic targeted against GBM, an almost universally fatal brain tumor. MB-101’s compelling clinical activity adds to the growing pipeline of therapies developed by our Fortress Companies that have the potential to transform the treatment of life-threatening diseases.”

Michael S. Weiss, Mustang Bio’s Executive Chairman, commented, “We are extremely encouraged by the response seen in this patient.  As the first patient ever to receive intraventricular delivery of CAR T cells for brain tumors, we see this as proof of concept that CAR T cells can be delivered safely and with remarkable effect to patients with GBM.  This robust response has prompted the expansion of our Phase 1 study to evaluate intraventricular administration in a larger cohort of patients.  Given the poor outcomes for patients with GBM, we believe if we see additional patients with this type of response that we can explore a possible accelerated approval pathway, similar to that proposed by some of the other CAR T companies, which are targeting different forms of cancer.”

The sole analyst that covers FBIO rates it a “Strong Buy” with a price target of $11. FBIO had traded above $12 in 2013 and Fortress Biotech has never had a positive year of EPS. However, 2015 was the first year Fortress Biotech reported any sales – $900,000. FBIO appears to be a favored target of short-sellers and investors should perform their own due diligence prior to making any investment decisions as biotech shares are notoriously volatile.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

12/29/2016
Ticker Symbol FBIO
Last Price a/o 7:22 AM EST  $                      3.45
Average Volume 90,600
Market Cap $104.84 million
Sales $4.2 million
Shares Outstanding 45.78 million
Share Float 29.28 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.80%
Short Float 12.45%
Short Interest Ratio 40.23
Quarterly Return -22.11%
YTD Return -17.92%
Year Return -17.03%

 

Canadian Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: CSIQ) Up Today

Canadian Solar Inc. – Nasdaq: CSIQ

Shares of Canadian Solar Inc. are up over 6% in today’s trading on heavy volume. The shares trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol CSIQ. CSIQ had traded under $5 in 2012 before going over $40 in 2014. Since then the shares have pulled back despite increasing sales. EPS for CSIQ hit their high in 2014 when Canadian Solar Inc. posted $4.40 EPS. Sales have been more consistent – increasing every year since 2012 and posting $3.47 Billion in 2015.

Founded in 2001 in Canada, Canadian Solar is one of the world’s largest and foremost solar power companies. As a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules and provider of solar energy solutions, Canadian Solar also has a geographically diversified pipeline of utility-scale power projects in various stages of development. In the past 15 years, Canadian Solar has successfully delivered over 17 GW of premium quality modules to over 90 countries around the world. Furthermore, Canadian Solar is one of the most bankable companies in the solar industry, having been publicly listed on NASDAQ since 2006.

In recent news, Canadian Solar Inc announced on December 19, 2016, that it has secured GBP 49.3 million (US$62.8 million) in a non-recourse term loan facility to refinance a portfolio of 10 solar power plants, with total capacity of 50 megawatts in the United Kingdom. National Westminster Bank (NatWest), a subsidiary of RBS Group, is providing the 18.7-year term facility. Part of the proceeds will be used to repay a construction loan of GBP 28.1 million (US$35.8 million).

Nine analysts cover Canadian Solar Inc. Two rate CSIQ A “Strong Buy”, six rate the shares as a “Hold”, and one has it at “Underperform”.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

12/27/2016
Ticker Symbol CSIQ
Last Price a/o 3:29 PM EST  $             13.12
Average Volume 1.67 million
Market Cap $722 million
Sales $3.3 Billion
Shares Outstanding 58.56 million
Share Float 45.3 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 31.00%
Short Float 16.12%
Short Interest Ratio 4.4
Quarterly Return -2.68%
YTD Return -57.42%
Year Return -57.96%

Heat Biologics Inc. (Nasdaq: HTBX) Up in Early Trading on Heavy Volume

Heat Biologics Inc.; Nasdaq: HTBX

Biotechnology firm Heat Biologics, Inc. are up over 20% in early trading on heavy volume. The Durham, NC-based biotechnology firm trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker HTBX. Shares closed yesterday at $0.77 but quickly rose above $0.90 in the first thirty minutes of trading.

Heat Biologics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing its novel off-the-shelf ImPACT therapeutic vaccines to combat a wide range of cancers and infectious diseases. ImPACT Therapy exploits the natural ability of antigens to activate the immune system by utilizing live, irradiated, off-the-shelf, genetically modified cells injected into a patient designed to elicit a powerful immune response against the disease target. Heat biologics is currently conducting multiple clinical trials in two indications with its ImPACT therapy based products, HS-410 to treat Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC) and HS-110 to treat Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).

In a December 6, 2016 press release, Heat Biologics Inc. stated that principal investigator, Daniel Morgensztern, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Thoracic Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, reported that one-year results from the first eight trial patients showed that the HS-110/nivolumab combination was well-tolerated, with a safety profile consistent with single agent nivolumab.

“These new data are further confirmation of the ability of our ImPACT platform, which has been administered to over 200 patients in 4 clinical studies, to generate a robust antigen-specific immune response, an important component of immunotherapy,” said Jeff Wolf, Heat’s CEO.  “The future of immuno-oncology lies in combining synergistic modalities to create more effective treatments. At Heat, we are actively pursuing opportunities to combine our ImPACT and ComPACT platforms with checkpoint inhibitors, and other promising immunotherapies to improve patient outcomes.”

One analyst follows Heat Biologics, Inc. and assigns a “Strong Buy” rating to HTBX with a price target of $4.00.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Ticker Symbol HTBX
Last Price a/o 10:16 AM EST  $                    0.92
Average Volume 2.38 million
Market Cap $17.79 million
Sales $0.20 million
Shares Outstanding 23.23 million
Share Float 21.66 million
Shortable No
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 30.02%
Short Float 8.42%
Short Interest Ratio 0.76
Quarterly Return -45.29%
YTD Return -68.61%
Year Return -67.54%
Immunomedics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMMU)

Akebia Therapeutics (Nasdaq: AKBA) Up on News of Partnership

Akebia Therapeutics; Nasdaq: AKBA

Shares of Cambridge, MA-based Akebia Therapeutics (Nasdaq: AKBA) were up over 40% on company reports that they have formed a $1 billion partnership with Otsuka Pharmaceutical for its late-stage drug Vadadustat, an oral treatment for anemia related to chronic kidney disease. The deal includes $265 million in committed cash, with $125 million as an upfront payment and another $35 million due in early 2017.

President and CEO of Akebia Therapeutics, John Butler remarked on the deal in a press release:

“Our alliance with Otsuka, one of the world’s innovative pharmaceutical leaders, also allows us to prepare an optimal launch of Vadadustat, as we will equally share commercial responsibility. Otsuka brings a well-established commercial presence and infrastructure in the U.S., and we share a strong commitment to improving patients’ lives by delivering important new therapeutic options. This deal also underscores the confidence that we and others have placed in the underlying value of Vadadustat and in our ability to bring innovative therapies to patients.”

In the phase 2a trial Vadadustat significantly increased hemoglobin levels compared to baseline in a dose-dependent manner across all treatment arms (P < .0001). Further, Vadadustat provides a physiologic reticulocyte response, ie, newly formed red blood cells (RBCs), which leads to a more gradual and consistent increase in hemoglobin levels than what is seen with injectable rESA therapies. This means that these improvements occur without causing patients’ hemoglobin to rise to levels that cause concern.

The consensus pricae target among anayalsts is $17. Four analysts cover AKBA with two assigning a rating of “Buy’ and two with a rating of “Strong buy”. Akebia Therapeutics has no reported sales and has never experienced positive EPS. In the past AKBA has trade near $7 but also traded near the $10 handle this past April.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Ticker Symbol AKBA
Last Price a/o 10:00 AM EST  $               9.96
Average Volume 143,400
Market Cap $311.2 million
Sales $-
Shares Outstanding 37.27 million
Share Float 31.53 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.50%
Short Float 5.94%
Short Interest Ratio 13.05
Quarterly Return -9.73%
YTD Return -35.37%
Year Return -32.39%

Real Industry Inc (Nasdaq: RELY) Up over 10%

Real Industry Inc., Nasdaq: RELY

Shares of Rely Industry Inc, are up over 11% on heavy volumes. Real Industry, Inc. is based in Sherman Oaks, CA and trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker RELY. It is a holding company that has equity interests in two businesses – Real Alloy Holding, Inc. and Cosmedicine, LLC.

Real Alloy Holding, Inc., operates as a third-party aluminum recycling, which includes the processing of scrap aluminum and by-products; and the manufacture of wrought, cast, and specification or foundry alloys. It serves the automotive, consumer packaging, aerospace, building and construction, steel, and durable goods industries. Cosmedicine, LLC, provides skin care products and regimens, such as lotions, crèmes, and sunscreen products, as well as anti-aging skin care and skin protection products through its e-commerce channel. The company was formerly known as Signature Group Holdings, Inc.

Two firms cover RELY and both rate the stock as a “Strong Buy” with a consensus price target of $10. Sales were strong in 2015 at over $1.15 Billion. However, EPS were negative and shareholders of RELY had am EPS loss of $1.28.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Ticker Symbol RELY
Last Price a/o 4:00 PM EST  $               6.10
Average Volume 132,000
Market Cap $161.5 million
Sales $1.25 Billion
Shares Outstanding 29.36 million
Share Float 28.3 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 1.70%
Short Float 3.48%
Short Interest Ratio 7.45
Quarterly Return -13.11%
YTD Return -31.51%
Year Return -33.33%

Versartis Inc, (Nasdaq: VSAR) Moves Higher

Versartis, Inc – OTCQB: VSAR

Shares of Versartis, Inc. are moving higher in early trading on heavy volume. The Menlo, CA-based company trades on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol VSAR. Versartis is an endocrine-focused biopharmaceutical company that is developing a form of recombinant human growth hormone to treat growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in children and adults.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Versartis, Inc has filed a “Confidential Treatment Report” with the SEC. Such a filing would allow for information in an SEC filing to be kept secret, if leaking such information could cause material or financial harm to the company or a business partner.

Shares of VSAR closed yesterday at $13.30 and are trading at $15.10 at 11:22 EST. Volumes are heavy and trader chat rooms are active. According to information gathered from the Nasdaq website, four firms follow VSAR – one rating it as a “Hold” and three giving it a “Strong Buy”. The consensus price target is $23.50.

Always perform your own due diligence before making any decisions regarding the buy or sale of any stock. All information or data is provided without any guarantee of its accuracy.

Ticker Symbol VSAR
Last Price a/o 11:27 EST  $             14.85
Average Volume 181,260
Market Cap $469.89
Sales
Shares Outstanding 35.33 million
Share Float 34.57 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.90%
Short Float 2.43%
Short Interest Ratio 4.64
Quarterly Return 3.22%
YTD Return 7.34%
Year Return 11.30%

 

DryShips Inc (Nasdaq: DRYS) Gets Debt Re-Financed

DryShips Inc. – Nasdaq: DRYS

Greece-based DryShips Inc. announced an agreement for $200 million in refinancing through Sifnos Shareholders Inc. Shares of DRYS have, so far, reached $5.10 from yesterday’s close of $3.55 on heavy volume – a 40%+ increase. DryShips owns 13 Panamax drybulk carriers, and 6 offshore supply vessels – comprising 2 platform supply and 4 oil spill recovery vessels.

According to a press release provided by DryShips Inc.:

Under the terms of the New Revolver, Sifnos will extend a new loan of up to $200.0 million secured by all of the Company’s present and future assets except the MV Raraka which will continue to be financed by its existing commercial lender. The new loan will carry an interest rate of Libor plus 5.5%, is non-amortizing, has a tenor of 3 years, has no financial covenants and will be arranged at a cost of 2.0%. In addition, Sifnos will have the ability to participate in realized asset value increases of the collateral base in a fixed percentage of 30%.

Interestingly, yesterday DRYS slipped to a 52-week low of $3.51. Also interesting is that no analyst has issued a rating on DRYS for over two years. Current trading volumes, however, are six times the daily average and trader forums for the shares are experiencing large activity. Sales had increased from $1.08 million in 2011 to $2.19 billion in 2014 but last year the figure dropped to $0.97 billion.

Always perform your own due diligence before making any decisions regarding the buy or sale of any stock. The below data is provided without any guarantee of its accuracy.

Ticker Symbol DRYS
Last Price a/o 3:35 EST $5.08
Average Volume 4.86 million
Market Cap $4.3 million
Sales $66.1 million
Shares Outstanding 1.21 million
Share Float 0.87 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 26.40%
Short Float 33.56%
Short Interest Ratio 0.06
Quarterly Return -51.70%
YTD Return -98.61%
Year Return -97.63%

 

Vericel Corp. (Nasdaq: VCEL) Up in Pre-Market!

Market Mover Alert! Vericel Corporation – Nasdaq: VCEL

Pre-market activity in shares of Cambridge, MA based Vericel Corporation is heavy. VCEL trades on the Nasdaq and closed Tuesday at $2.60 but today’s pre-market activity has seen the shares reach as high as $4.75 on large volumes. Traders appear to be responding to today’s news that Vericel Corporation has received FDA approval for MACI – an orthopedic treatment for repairing certain cartilage defects in the knee.  

According to Vericel’s Corporation’s press release, David Recker, MD, chief medical officer of Vericel stated: 

While orthopedic surgeons have long understood that autologous chondrocyte implantation can regenerate cartilage tissue, the previous surgical procedure was technically complex and time consuming, and the indicated patient population was limited.  MACI is the first product to show a statistically significantly greater improvement in KOOS pain and function scores compared to microfracture, a commonly performed alternative surgical treatment for cartilage repair, in a well-controlled Phase 3 clinical study.  With the introduction of MACI, orthopedic surgeons will have a simplified treatment option available for a broader patient population supported by solid clinical evidence. 

VCEL began an upward swing in mid-November when the company released positive news on its Phase 2b clinical trial of Ixmyelocel-T; a drug designed to treat ventricular arrhythmia episodes. Taking today’s pre-market session into account, VCEL has more than doubles since it’s November lows around $2.00. Vericel has never had positive EPS, but they have managed to narrow the loss each year on successfully higher revenues. 

Always perform your own due diligence before making any decisions regarding the buy or sale of any stock. The below data is provided without any guarantee of its accuracy.

 

Ticker Symbol VCEL
Last Price a/o 8:20 EST  $               4.35
Average Volume 380,500
Market Cap $54.7 million
Sales $53.3 million
Shares Outstanding 21.05 million
Share Float 21.05 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 11.00%
Short Float 1.37%
Short Interest Ratio 0.76
Quarterly Return 8.80%
YTD Return 0.78%
Year Return 42.86%