DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS)

Live Ventures (Nasdaq: LIVE) Faces Accusations of Manipulation

Live Ventures Incorporated – Nasdaq: LIVE

Live Ventures Incorporated Inc. is facing accusations that it manipulated material financial information to boost the price of its stock. Traded on the Nasdaq, LIVE shares traded near $30 after an earnings report that exceeded analyst expectations. On Friday, shares of LIVE closed just over $18 on very heavy volume.

On Friday published reports accused Live Ventures of paying $2 million to aggressively hype its shares. Unconfirmed reports suggest that recipient of the payment was a firm that had previously hyped shares of ForceField Energy – a stock that was delisted and went to $0. Reports further allege that Live Ventures created one-time gains in earnings through various discretionary, questionable accounting methods. The report further allegedly suggests that the reported GAAP earnings for the last quarter are suspicious and that the true earnings figure should have represented a loss and not a profit. Reports claim that the cash-on-hand valuation of LIVE stock is $0.28.

In response, Live Ventures issued a press release claiming that CEO John Isaac had purchased $250,000 worth of LIVE on the open market. “The purchase of this stock is representative of my confidence in the potential of Live Ventures stock, as well as the continued execution of its business plan,” Isaac says in a statement.

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.

Sonic Corporation (Nasdaq: SONC) Posts Tasty Results

Sonic Corporation – Nasdaq: SONC

Oklahoma-based Sonic Corporation released financial results and its shares moved higher as a result. Sonic Corporation trades under the ticker symbol SONC on the Nasdaq. The company operates fast food, drive-in restaurants across the United States. The most recent data available shows that there are 3,557 restaurants of which 345 are company owned and the rest are franchised operations.

The released financial results were a mixed bag but mostly positive. Net revenue did not meet expectations, but net income and same store sales did beat consensus estimates. Same store sales were expected to drop 2.4% but the reported figures showed a drop of only 2%. The street expected adjusted earnings of $0.21 per share; however SONC posted $0.24 per share. Sonic Corp. posted $129.6 million in total revenues but the street was expecting $130.6 million.

Sonic Corporation also repurchased about 4% of its shares – about 2 million shares. Sonci’s press release stated that their share repurchase program will be completed in 2017 and has budgeted $122 million for such a purpose. In 2012, SONC had just over 60 million shares outstanding. Since then the shares outstanding has decreased each year and ended 2016 with 48.7 million shares outstanding.

While sales growth has been relatively uninspiring (2012: $544 million and in 2016: $606 million) SONCS shares have experienced solid performance. In 2012 SONC posted $0.60 EPS and in 2016 EPS was $1.32. Eleven firms follow Sonic Corporation. Three give SONC a rating of “Strong Buy”; seven rate SONC a “Hold”; and one gives SONC a “Sell” rating.

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.

1/5/17
Ticker Symbol SONC
Last Price a/o 10:33 AM EST $26.45
Average Volume 1 million
Market Cap $1.26   Billion
Sales 606 million
Shares Outstanding 47.95 million
Share Float 44.65 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.10%
Short Float 13.11%
Short Interest Ratio 5.74
Quarterly Return 3.12%
YTD Return -1.17%
Year Return -15.19%

Kate Spade & Company (Nasdaq: KATE) Up on Rumors of Sale

Kate Spade & Company – Nasdaq: KATE

Shares of Kate Spade & Company continue to trend upwards after gaining over 20% during the regular trading session on unconfirmed reports of a company sale. Kate Spade & Company trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker KATE. Shares ended Tuesday at $14.51 and are over $18 in after-hours trading today.

Kate Spade & Company debuted on February 26, 2014, but the initial sparks formed far earlier in the minds of two imaginative and driven women. Liz Claiborne (in 1976) and Kate Spade (in 1993), each frustrated they couldn’t find what they believed women were looking for in the marketplace, took matters into their hands and founded their own companies.  Today, Kate Spade & Company designs and markets accessories and apparel principally under two global, multichannel lifestyle brands: Kate Spade New York and Jack Spade.

In 2014, KATE traded over $40/share. EPS has been inconsistent and in 2016 mustered only $0.17 on sales on $1.24 Billion. However, sales have increased each year since 2012. Fourteen firms follow Kate Spade & Company. Nine analysts have rated KATE as a “Strong Buy”, one a “Buy” and four a “Hold”. The consensus price target for KATE is $20.50.

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.

12/28/2016
Ticker Symbol KATE
Last Price a/o 4:13 PM EST  $             17.98
Average Volume 2.86 million
Market Cap $1.86 Billion
Sales $1.34 Billion
Shares Outstanding 128 million
Share Float 127.15 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.64%
Short Float 2.82%
Short Interest Ratio 1.26
Quarterly Return -19.70%
YTD Return -18.35%
Year Return -15.44%

Arca Inc. (Nasdaq: ARCI) Worth Looking at Management Team?

Arca Inc. – Nasdaq: ARCI

Arca Inc. trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ARCI. Despite sales in excess of $100 million for the last five years, ARCI is extremely thinly traded. What may be of importance to traders is that the CEO has a history with Live Ventures Inc (Nasdaq: LIVE) – a firm that just reported a large earnings increase.

ARCA, Inc. has three business sectors that provide an array of appliance services and programs. ARCA Recycling, Inc. and ARCA Canada, Inc. provide turnkey appliance recycling and replacement programs for utilities. These programs offer integration, data management and customer service. ARCA Advanced Processing, LLC provides recycling services designed to guarantee that every appliance is fully de-manufactured and hazardous materials are decommissioned safely. ApplianceSmart, Inc. offers ENERGY STAR® appliances to utility-sponsored programs and consumers. ApplianceSmart is one of only four retailers in the nation, and the only independent retailer, that conforms to the recycling standards established by the Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program.

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.

12/28/2016
Ticker Symbol ARCI
Last Price a/o 9:33 PM EST  $               1.07
Average Volume 44,100
Market Cap $7.67 million
Sales $103.5 million
Shares Outstanding 7.1 million
Share Float 4.06 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 35.87%
Short Float 0.10%
Short Interest Ratio 0.1
Quarterly Return 11.34%
YTD Return 2.86%
Year Return -5.99%

 

Manitex International Inc. (Nasdaq: MNTX) Suggests an Improved 2017 Outlook – shares up!

Manitex International Inc.; Nasdaq: MNTX

Shares of Manitex International Inc. gapped up this morning after guidance from the company suggested improved business conditions for 2017. MNTX shares closed yesterday at $5.53, this morning shares have traded on the Nasdaq as high as $6.37 at the time of this writing.

VP of Sales, Steve Keifer commented, “As was noted in our third quarter earnings call, we have seen improvements in certain of our markets that have resulted in higher quoting activity and increased bookings for our boom trucks in the second half of this year at Manitex. We are particularly encouraged to see growth in orders from dealers who are replenishing decreased inventory levels as they respond to improving market activity.”

David J. Langevin, Chairman and CEO, commented, “The downturn we’ve weathered has given us an opportunity to focus on optimizing our business portfolio and make us a stronger competitor, with opportunities to expand our margins, improve our balance sheet, and accelerate our path to sustainable shareholder value creation. We are cautiously optimistic about the trend of increased opportunities in the marketplace that have the potential to drive improved financial results as we head into 2017.”

Manitex International, Inc. is a leading provider of engineered lifting solutions including cranes, reach stackers and container handling equipment, including parts and service support. Manufacturing is located in several facilities in North America and Italy, and the Company serves a broad range of customers, including commercial, military and governmental, across the world, through a dealer network.

Two firms follow shares of MNTX with one assigning a rating of “Buy” and one rating it a “Strong Buy”. MNTX consensus price target is $7.25. While EPS for Manitex International Inc. has been declining and had a loss of $0.25 in 2015, sales have improved every year since 2011 and in 2015 the reported figure was $386.7 million.

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 MNTX
Last Price a/o 9:53 AM EST  $                    6.34
Average Volume 80,300
Market Cap $88.5 million
Sales $339.3 million
Shares Outstanding 16 million
Share Float 13.82 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 1.10%
Short Float 2.83%
Short Interest Ratio 4.87
Quarterly Return 3.75%
YTD Return -7.06%
Year Return -8.90%

Fred’s Pharmacy (Nasdaq: FRED) Acquiring 950 Rite Aid Stores

Fred’s Inc.; Nasdaq: FRED

Shares of $FRED are up over 80% on acquisition news. Fred’s Inc. today announced that the Company has signed an agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: $WBA) and Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: $RAD) to purchase 865 stores in an all-cash transaction valued at $950 million.

The agreement was born of concerns by the Federal Trade Commission in its review of the proposed acquisition of Rite Aid by Walgreens Boots Alliance. The Walgreen Boots Alliance stated in their press release: “Walgreens Boots Alliance is actively engaged in discussions with the FTC regarding the transaction and is working toward a close of the Rite Aid acquisition in early calendar 2017.”

Fred’s Pharmacy Chief Executive Officer Michael K. Bloom, commented, “This will be a transformative event for Fred’s Pharmacy that will accelerate our healthcare growth strategy through our acquisition of 865 new stores located in highly attractive markets. We believe that this transaction will also create tremendous opportunities for both our new and existing front of store and pharmacy team members.”

Walgreens (Nasdaq: $WBA) shares hit $87.26 (+1.4%) on the news. Rite Aid (NYSE: $RAD) is up over 5% at $8.63. $FRED shares closed yesterday at $11.15. Today shares of $FRED have traded as high as $20.42.

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 FRED
Last Price a/o 11:09 AM EST  $             19.62
Average Volume 322,600
Market Cap $406.3 million
Sales $2.15 Billion
Shares Outstanding 36.44 million
Share Float 35.1 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 5.90%
Short Float 8.43%
Short Interest Ratio 9.16
Quarterly Return 14.96%
YTD Return -30.54%
Year Return -25.64%

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%

Calamos Investments (Nasdaq: CLMS) to be Acquired by Founder

Calamost Investments, Nasdaq: CLMS

Calamos Asset Management, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLMS) announced today that it has reached an agreement in principle to be acquired by an entity formed by Mr. John Calamos and Mr. John Koudounis. Mr. Calamos is the founder of Calamos Investments LLC, the operating company of CAM, and CAM’s Chairman.

Shares of CLMS climbed on the news on heavy volume. CLMS reached a high of $8.40 before settling back to $8.32 in mid-morning trading. CLMS had closed at $7.36 on Friday.

Commenting on the proposed acquisition, Mr. Calamos said:   “As investors at Calamos, we have always taken the long view.  I believe a fully private ownership structure will enable John Koudounis to focus on managing our business to his vision for our firm’s long-term growth.”

Mr. Koudounis added:  “Upon arriving at Calamos, I directed an extensive analysis of our corporate structure. Being a fully private company—consistent with 95% of asset managers today—will allow us to manage the business with the same long-term view that we apply to our investment approach. By eliminating the distraction of the market’s increased focus on short-term metrics, we can be singularly dedicated to improving our key performance areas.”

As of September 30, 2016, CAM owned 22.2% of Calamos Investments, with the remaining 77.8% being privately owned by Calamos Partners LLC. Mr. Calamos, other Calamos family members and Mr. Koudounis, directly and indirectly own 100% of Calamos Partners.  Calamos Partners also owns all of CAM’s outstanding Class B common stock, which represents 97.4% of the combined voting power of all classes of CAM’s voting stock.

Two analysts cover Calamos Investments. One rates it a “Buy”, while the other rates it an “Underperform”. CLMS trade over $16 in 2009 before pulling back and twice have traded in the $12 handle over the past few years.

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 CLMS
Last Price a/o 11:48 AM EST  $               8.32
Average Volume 95,000
Market Cap $142.5 million
Sales $200 million
Shares Outstanding 19.36 million
Share Float 19.36 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 15.30%
Short Float 2.77%
Short Interest Ratio 5.61
Quarterly Return 10.14%
YTD Return -17.40%
Year Return -12.23%

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%

 

Allied Healthcare Services (Nasdaq: AIQ) Receives Buyout Offer

Alliance Healthcare Services receives buyout offer – Nasdaq ticker: AKAO

Shares of AIQ are up over 13% on large volumes. Allied Healthcare operates outsourced healthcare services to hospitals and providers and trades under the Nasdaq ticker AIQ. Located in Newport Beach, CA, Allied Healthcare Services operates as partner to over 1,000 hospitals in 45 states. On Friday it closed at $7.95 but Monday’s close saw AIQ reaching $9.00 on news that Tahoe Investment Group has offered to acquire all the outstanding shares for $9.60 per share.

From Allied Healthcare’s press release:

“The Board of Directors of the Company has authorized a Special Committee, comprised solely of directors not affiliated with Tahoe, to evaluate the Expression of Interest. The Special Committee has engaged independent legal counsel and intends to engage an independent financial advisor to assist in its evaluation of the Expression of Interest. In connection with the Expression of Interest, the Special Committee has agreed to waive the provision of the Governance Agreement prohibiting THAIHOT and its affiliates, including Tahoe, from proposing to acquire additional shares of the Company’s common stock. The waiver is for the limited purpose of submitting the Expression of Interest to the Special Committee.”

Allied Healthcare Services sales have dropped from $493.70 million in 2011 to $473.10 million in 2015. Three firms cover AIQ and the most recent analyst activity shows a rating downgrade to “Market Perform” or “Neutral”.

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 AIQ
Last Price a/o 4:00 EST  $                  9.00
Average Volume 20,600
Market Cap $85.94 million
Sales $500.5 million
Shares Outstanding 10.8 million
Share Float 4.9 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 62.50%
Short Float 0.91%
Short Interest Ratio 2.15
Quarterly Return 21.20%
YTD Return -13.40%
Year Return -8.80%