Aqua Metals (AQMS) Announces Partnership with Johnson Controls (JCI)

Aqua Metals, Inc. – Nasdaq: AQMS

At one point today Aqua Metals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AQMS) was up almost 70%. Shares of Aqua Metals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AQMS) ended yesterday at $11.41 but after news of a partnership with Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) investors pushed the shares to a high of $16.10. Average daily volume figures for AQMS are short of 200k, but today’s session has already seen over 2 million shares traded with over three hours left in the regular session.

Alameda, CA-based Aqua Metals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AQMS) is a start-up battery recycling company that will utilize proprietary technology to compete in the $20B+ global lead-acid battery (LAB) market. Smelting has been the industry standard for LAB recycling but Aqua Metals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AQMS) uses their patented AquaRefining method which is claimed to be cheaper and with lower harmful emissions.

Aqua Metals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AQMS) used the proceeds from its 2014 IPO to build a facility in Reno, Nevada. The company successfully commissioned the Reno facility and completed its pilot recycling process in 2016. Today an agreement was announced that finalized an agreement between Aqua Metals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AQMS)  and Johnson Controls that covers North America, China and Europe. In exchange for a sum, Johnson Controls will – become the first licensee for the proprietary AquaRefining technology, supply Aqua Metals Inc. with batteries to recycle, purchase metals produced at Aqua Metals, Inc. facilities, and acquire almost 5% of AQMS outstanding shares. Johnson Controls Power Solutions is the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive batteries, supplying approximately 152 million every year to automakers and aftermarket retailers.

Shares of Aqua Metals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AQMS) had an EPS loss of $0.50 in 2014 and a loss of $1.47 in 2015. The single firm that rates AQMS shares gives them a “Strong Buy” with a price target of $6.50

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.

Ticker Symbol AQMS
Last Price a/o 1:20 PM EST  $                    15.66
Average Volume                    188,750
Market Cap (mlns)  $                  200.60
Sales (mlns) $0.00
Shares Outstanding (mlns) 17.58
Share Float (mlns) 13.72
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 6.50%
Short Float 13.59%
Short Interest Ratio 9.87
Quarterly Return 15.25%
YTD Return -12.97%
Year Return 142.25%

FXCM Inc. (Nasdaq: FXCM) Receives CFTC Death Sentence – Shares Crater

FXCM, Inc. – Nasdaq: FXCM

FXCM Inc. shares opened over 50% lower, on heavy volume, from yesterday’s settlement price on news that the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has banned the firm from servicing U.S. customers and forced the sale of its U.S. operations to Gain Capital Holdings (NYSE: GCAP) for an undisclosed sum. FXCM Inc. trades on the Nasdaq under ticker FXCM. Read the formal order from the CFTC here.

Founded in 1999 by Dror Niv and William Ahdout, FXCM provides retail investors and traders access to the Forex market through their proprietary technology platform. As of July 31, 2016, FXCM had over 20,000 active retail accounts representing over $170 million in assets. Prior to 2007, FXCM’s own dealing desk provided its clients provided with the needed liquidity. That model changed when FXCM adopted an “agency model” that was supposed to eliminate any conflicts of interest – essentially promising their clients to find the best market price available in the amongst many currency market-makers.

The CFTC claims that in 2009, Niv, Ahdout, and others created a trading system that would utilize an algorithm to replace or compete with the currency market-makers on FXCM’s new trading platform. In 2010, after the FXCM compliance department raised concerns, FXCM spun off the new market-making system to a company (HFT Co.) formed by the FXCM employee that helped create it. At the same time, FXCM provided an interest-free $2 million loan to HFT Co. for operating capital. Terms of that agreement included stipulated that FXCM would be the recipient of 70% of HFT Co.’s trading profits. Later, the terms were changed to a $21 payment to FXCM for every $1 million in trading volume that FXCM provided to HFT Co. The CFTC states that between 2011 and 2014, HFT Co. paid FXCM over $77 million under the label of “trading rebates”.

The CFTC document claims that FXCM was anticipating between 25% – 30% of all orders would be routed to HFT Co. However, in marketing materials FXCM did not even mention HFT Co. as one of their primary dealers – they listed the firm’s volumes under the label “Citi-Prime brokers – other”. FXCM did not disclose HFT Co. as one of their market-makers until 2012.

National Futures Association (NFA) compliance staff questioned Niv about FXCM’s relationship with HFT Co. and was told that the firm had no relationship with HFT Co. except for a prior relationship at another market-maker. That event began investigations into FXCM and HFT Co. which have now ended in the firm’s banishment from the American market based on the CFTC finding that, among other violations, FXCM Inc. misrepresented and/or omitted material information to their clients that would have revealed a beneficial financial relationship between one of their primary market-makers (HFT Co.) and the firm.

FXCM has agreed to pay a $7 million fine and to never seek a CFTC registration. Dror Niv and William Ahdout, have admitted to no wrongdoing but will voluntarily withdraw their CFTC registrations. Expectedly, lawsuits are being filed and potential plaintiffs (former FXCM clients) are being sought.

Shares of Gain Capital Holdings are up almost 5% at the time of this writing.

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.

Sevcon, Inc. (Nasdaq: SEV) Shares Rocket on Deal

Sevcon Inc. – Nasdaq: SEV

Early today, Sevcon, Inc. today reported that it has been contracted by a major manufacturer of electric vehicles for an on-road development & production program. This is Sevcon’s sixth major project in the development pipeline and almost doubles the company’s project backlog. Shares (Nasdaq: SEV) are up over 17%.

Sevcon is a global supplier of control and power solutions for zero-emission, electric and hybrid vehicles and had been working with the customer throughout 2016 to help optimize the drivetrain for the project. Start of production is expected to be in the fall of 2018. Over the initial three-year production period, revenues are likely to total in the range of $150 to $200 million.  The agreement contains two near-term milestones, including the initial product sample and proof-of-concept in the current second quarter of fiscal 2017, and performance testing in the customer’s vehicle in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.

Sevcon has a presence in the USA, Europe, and Asia but derives most of its revenues from Europe and is based in the UK. Sevcon shares are listed on the Nasdaq and trade under ticker symbol SEV. SEV shares are very thinly traded. Prior to today the average daily volume did not exceed 9,000. However, by early afternoon trading today over 450,000 shares had traded hands and SEV has gained over 20% since Friday’s close.

Knowledgeable industry sources believe the counter-party to the agreement is the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely). Geely has been one of the China’s top 500 companies for ten consecutive years and has been ranked in the top 10 automobile manufacturers for eight consecutive years. They are most noted for their acquisition of Volvo in 2010. Additionally, they purchased Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC, the holding company of the company that manufactures the British Black Cabs. Geely also bought, in 2014, Emerald Automotive – a British electric car start-up manufacturer. The company boasts of over $23 billion in annual revenues.

Investors or traders should take note of the high level of institutional ownership of SEV – over 50%. Combined with the historically ultra-thin trading volumes, this is a stock that could present challenges if one wanted a quick exit while holding onto gains or minimizing losses.

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 SEV
Last Price a/o 2:03 PM EST  $                    16.51
Average Volume                        8,700
Market Cap (mlns)  $                    47.69
Sales (mlns) $49.80
Shares Outstanding (mlns) 3.53
Share Float (mlns) 3.45
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 62.48%
Short Float 0.14%
Short Interest Ratio 0.56
Quarterly Return 48.95%
YTD Return 58.20%
Year Return 43.72%

Keryx Therapeutics (Nasdaq: KERX) Up over 15% on Heavy Volume

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. – Nasdaq: KERX

Boston, MA-based Keryx Pharmaceuticals are up over 15% on heavy volume and have gained almost 40% in the last year. KERX, traded on the Nasdaq, has an average daily volume of 1.58 million but have already traded over 2.5 million at the time of this writing.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative medicines that provide treatments to people with renal disease. In September 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Keryx’s first medicine, Auryxia tablets.

On January 12th, the company announced the publication of results from its pivotal Phase 3 study evaluating ferric citrate for iron deficiency anemia in non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease in the online issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

“The results shown in this pivotal study demonstrated that ferric citrate, if approved for this indication, could provide an important new treatment option for people living with chronic kidney disease and iron deficiency anemia who are not on dialysis,” said Steven Fishbane, M.D., chief of nephrology for North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals sales have increased each year since 2013 and posted a figure of $13.7 million in 2015. KERX shareholders have not experienced the same increase in their EPS. KERX EPS has been negative for the past five years and in 2015 KERX had an EPS loss of $1.19. Eight firms follow Keryx and five rate KERX shares as a “Hold”, one rates it as a “Buy”, and two rate KERX shares as a “Strong Buy”. Their consensus price target is $7.

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 KERX
Last Price a/o 2:33 PM EST  $                      5.39
Average Volume                1,580,000
Market Cap (mlns)  $                  506.49
Sales (mlns) $28.20
Shares Outstanding (mlns) 105.96
Share Float (mlns) 101.78
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.69%
Short Float 20.54%
Short Interest Ratio 13.21
Quarterly Return 5.99%
YTD Return -18.43%
Year Return 38.95%

NetScout Systems (Nasdaq: NTCT) Beats Estimates and Shares Rise

Netscout Systems, Inc. – Nasdaq: NTCT

Shares of NetScout are higher after earnings beat street estimates. NTCT, traded on the Nasdaq, was expected to earn $0.55 EPS but NetScout came in at $0.60. The firm also reported a net income of $21.2 million after reporting a loss for the same period last year. NetScout develops, sells, and services application and network performance management products and solutions.

Anil Singhal, NETSCOUT’s president and CEO. “While the service provider spending environment remains muted, we are seeing momentum build for our newest offerings, including the software version of the InfiniStreamNG, our next-generation, real-time information platform. We have continued to execute well on our development roadmaps that align with a range of exciting opportunities spanning each of our major product areas and customer segments globally. As we move forward, we are focused on achieving our fiscal year 2017 financial, product and operational objectives while also setting the stage for further progress that can drive shareholder value in the next fiscal year.”

NetScout sales have increased year-on-year with the largest increase in 2016 when they reported sales of $955.4 million. EPS for NTCT had also increased year-on-year until 2016 when NTCT posted a loss of $$0.35. Eight firms follow NetScout Systems. Four rate NTCT shares as a “Strong Buy” and four rate the shares as a “Hold”. Their consensus price estimate for NTCT shares is $31.

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 NTCT
Last Price a/o 3:59 PM EST  $                    33.25
Average Volume                    651,860
Market Cap (mlns)  $              2,880.00
Sales (mlns) $1,130.00
Shares Outstanding (mlns) 91.57
Share Float (mlns) 87.78
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.60%
Short Float 10.08%
Short Interest Ratio 13.57
Quarterly Return 15.20%
YTD Return -0.16%
Year Return 45.94%

Endo International plc. (Nasdaq: ENDP) Settles FTC Lawsuit – Shares Continue Slide

Endo International plc. – Nasdaq: ENDP 

Shares of Ireland-based Endo International plc. continue their 2017 slide. ENDP shares, traded on the Nasdaq, have lost around 1/3 of their value this year. Today Endo International settled allegations that Endo Pharmaceuticals violated antitrust law when it agreed to pay rivals Watson Laboratories and Impax to delay introducing generic versions of two painkillers. The FTC’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleged that certain aspects of the Opana® ER and Lidoderm® settlements constituted unfair methods of competition in violation of federal law and sought injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as other remedies including restitution and disgorgement. 

Endo develops, manufactures, markets and distributes quality branded pharmaceutical and generic pharmaceutical products as well as over-the-counter medications through its operating companies worldwide. 

Eighteen firms follow Endo International. Seven rate ENDP as a “Strong Buy”, one rates the shares a “Buy”, and ten rate ENDP as a “Hold”. The consensus price target is $20. 

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 ENDP
Last Price a/o 3:26 PM EST  $                    12.10
Average Volume 5.72 million
Market Cap $2.8 Billion
Sales $3.84 Billion
Shares Outstanding 233 million
Share Float 221.48 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.20%
Short Float 6.29%
Short Interest Ratio 2.43
Quarterly Return -37.96%
YTD Return -25.08%
Year Return -78.11%

Novocure Ltd. (Nasdaq: NVCR) Releases Big Announcement

Novocure Ltd. – Nasdaq: NVCR

Novocure Ltd. shareswere were up over 17% on news that physicians at 500 cancer treatment centers in the U.S. have been certified to prescribe Novocure’s Optune® to newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) patients. Optune is Novocure’s wearable, portable, FDA-approved Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) delivery system. Physicians at an additional 291 medical institutions throughout the world also can prescribe Optune to GBM patients.

Novocure Ltd. shares are traded on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol NVCR. Shares of NVCR are held by ETFs IBB, IWM, IWO, VB and VBK. Pre-market volumes are heavy.

UK-based Novocure is a commercial-stage oncology company developing a proprietary therapy called Tumor Treating Fields, or TTFields, for the treatment of solid tumor cancers. Novocure’s commercialized product, Optune, is approved for the treatment of adult patients with glioblastoma. Novocure has ongoing or completed phase 2 pilot trials investigating TTFields in non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

 Five firms follow Novocure Ltd. and give it a consensus price target of $14.50. Two rate NVCR as a “Strong Buy”, two rate NVCR as a “Hold”, and one rates NVCR as a “Sell”. 

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 NVCR
Last Price a/o 6:15 AM EST  $                      7.05
Average Volume 431,250
Market Cap $559.7 million
Sales $65 million
Shares Outstanding 86.77 million
Share Float 63.34 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 10.40%
Short Float 6.85%
Short Interest Ratio 10.06
Quarterly Return -11.89%
YTD Return -17.83%
Year Return -62.19%

Benitec Biopharma Limited (Nasdaq: BNTC) Secures EU Exclusivity

Benitec Biopharma Limited – Nasdaq: BNTC

Benitec Biopharma Limited shares are up over 75% from their Friday close of $1.85. The Australian company trades on the Nasdaq as an American Depository Share (ADR) under ticker BNTC. Investors seem to be responding to news that the European Union designated Benitech Biopharma’s BB-301 as an Orphan Drug for the treatment of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy. The designation of Benitec’s drug as an Orphan drug carries with it a 10-year exclusivity for the EU market.

Benitec Biopharma is a biotechnology company developing a therapeutic technology platform that combines gene silencing and gene therapy with a goal of providing sustained, long-lasting silencing of disease-causing genes from a single administration. The company belives their technology has the potential to be a “one shot” cure for a wide range of diseases that are currently addressed by strict ongoing treatment regimens or that have no effective treatment or only palliative care options. Using proprietary technology, Benitec is developing a pipeline of product candidates for the treatment of several chronic and life-threatening human diseases. They expect a Phase 1 and 2 study to begin in 2018.

The single firm that follows Benitec Biopharma Limited rates shares of BNTC as a “Hold”. As of this writing, BNTC has no reported EPS and sales of $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.


Straight Path Communications Inc. (NYSE: STRP) Gaps up – Comes Down

Straight Path Communications Inc.- NYSE: STRP

Straight Path Communications Inc. opened Thursday at over $50 after closing Wednesday at $31.41. The shares, traded on the Nasdaq under ticker STRP, are heavily shorted by the market– with a short float ratio of over 46%.

Shares of STRP benefited from the termination of an FCC investigation. Straight Path can now move forward with the vast majority of its nationwide 39 GHz spectrum fully intact, and its 28 GHz spectrum unchanged. Both of these spectrum bands, 28 and 39 GHz, were the recent beneficiaries of a July 2016 FCC rule change. The change allows these bands to be used for mobile wireless and is central to the industry-wide push to 5G, in order to provide higher speeds to hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses throughout the U.S. Straight Path agreed to pay the FCC 20 percent of the value received from a sale of its spectrum assets. If Straight Path does not announce a transaction within 12 months, it will pay another $85 million to the FCC (or return its spectrum licenses to the FCC).

CEO Davidi Jonas commented “We are pleased that we were able to achieve a comprehensive settlement with the FCC, which allows us to move forward as the largest holder of 39 GHz spectrum, with about 95 percent of the total licenses commercially available at this time, as well as a significant holder of 28 GHz in major markets, including New York and San Francisco. These licenses allow us to continue as a leader in the next frontier of telecommunications.”

STRP opened the trading session at $51 before trading pushed shares lower and eventually settled at $41.13 on heavy volume. Straight Path Communications Inc. is not followed by any analysts. In 2016, Straight Path Communications reported an EPS loss of $0.70 on sales of $700,000.

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 STRP
Last Price a/o 4:00 PM EST  $                    41.13
Average Volume 168,000
Market Cap $531 million
Sales $600,000
Shares Outstanding 12.9 million
Share Float 5.82 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 4.40%
Short Float 46.51%
Short Interest Ratio 16.09
Quarterly Return 32.59%
YTD Return 21.29%
Year Return 218.00%

Derma Sciences (Nasdaq: DSCI) Soars on Buyout

Derma Sciences Inc. – Nasdaq: DSCI

Derma Sciences Inc. shares shot up over 39% on news that the company has agreed to be bought out by Integra Life Sciences (IART). Derma Sciences Inc. shares, traded on the Nasdaq under ticker DSCI, settled at $6.95 – five cents below the buyout price of $7.00.

Derma Sciences is a Tissue Regeneration Company that claims to be at the forefront of research and innovation for the management of acute and chronic wounds, and burns. Stephen Wills, executive chairman at Derma stated “”Both Integra and Derma have a significant commitment to tissue regeneration, wound care and patient care. Derma’s portfolio of biologics and advanced wound care products are a natural extension of Integra’s business, and with Integra’s global presence, our products will reach a much larger and broader set of clinicians and patients.”

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.