Monday, December 22, 2008

New Pick: NVD, NovaDel Pharma - Updates on EPCT, CPST

The stock for NovaDel Pharma (NVD) caught many by surprise today by running up to a high of 88 cents after a previous close of 32 cents. The 32 cents close came after a run from about five cents where NVD was trading not too long ago.

I hate being on the sidelines for a runup in a stock on my watch list, but today I was on the sidelines- until the end of the day.

Before today, I had no confidence that NovaDel's Zolpimist, a short term Oral Spray treatment for Insomnia, would receive approval from the FDA, hence my not investing in the company, but today the FDA did, in fact, approve Zolpimist leading to the sharp rise in share price.

The temptation to chase a stock is there as you're watching it go higher, but NVD's jump did not last long and the stock price slowly retreated back down throughout the second half of the trading day before closing at 46 cents. In my opinion, the drop was most likely due to the big boys wanting to load up with as many cheap shares as they can get.

In a more stable market, this stock may have seen nearly two bucks today, but with market conditions as they are, drug approvals mean nothing- at least not in the short term. I've watched the stock price for EPCT (Epicept) and AGEN (Antigenics) drop after receiving approvals this year, so it was no surprise to see NVD also drop back down. NVD, however, is the only one of these three that has a drug approved in the USA; Epicept has Ceplene approved in Europe and Antigenics has Oncophage approved in Russia.

I took advantage of the afternoon drop and bought in at fifty cents. NovaDel now has two FDA approved drugs; the aforementioned Zolpimist and the previously approved Nitromist with six other drug candidates (or modified dosings of current drugs) in early stages of development, all using NovaDel's proprietary NovaMist oral spray technology.

A company with two approved drugs equals a good buy (in my opinion), especially in this depressed market.

In the long run, NVD (as well as EPCT and AGEN) should rebound when the market rebounds, but a short term run is also possible pending any news of a partnership.

Caveat: There's a million stock market bargains out there right now that may be a lot safer than a small biotech with a just-approved drug. However, these biotechs with recently approved drugs could outperform the market (in terms of percentage gain) when the rebound occurs.
ShareBuilder - Welcome page

STOCK NOTES:

EPCT, Epicept: After recently receiving approval to market Ceplene in Europe, Epicept is preparing to file a New Drug Application that will allow the company to market Ceplene in Canada, according to recent Press Releases.

With an approved drug and the potential for a partnership announcement early in 2009, I still believe that EPCT is a great buy- especially when it is trading for sixty cents.

CPST, Capstone Turbine: I still love CPST and their microturbine technology. We got a gift, in my opinion, when the stock price dropped to about sixty cents a few weeks ago, and I took advantage of the drop by placing trades at 88, 78 and 68 cents in an attempt to average down.

CPST is again trading for over a dollar, but I'll be taking advantage of all dips below a buck in this crazy market.

The orders and contracts are rolling in for Capstone, now its time to see this company turn a profit. We're likely still a few years away from that, however.

VFC's Bear Market Stock Picks Part I
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part II
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part III
VFC's Bear Market Non Picks Part
VFC's Stock Updates
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part IV; CRYP, CSUH.OB
VFC's Biotech Picks
VFC's Quarterly Updates
INSM Update, IPLEX Back In Action

GET THE LADY SHOPPING! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HER ROOM'S 70% SEASON CLOSEOUT DISCOUNTS!
HerRoom - Huge Clearance Sale

Thursday, December 11, 2008

CSUH.OB, Celsius Holdings Secures a Line of Credit

The biggest uncertainty for Celsius Holdings, financing, has just been eliminated. An 8-K filed yesterday revealed that Carl DeSantis is willing to commit money to Celsius Holdings as his company, CD Financial LLC, has provided Celsius Holdings a one million dollar revolving line of credit. The terms of the LLC credit are more favorable than the terms of Celsius' previous financing, and Celsius has already tapped into this line of credit to pay off its remaining debt.

This 8-K is the confirmation that I was waiting for that shows that Carl DeSantis is committed to keeping Celsius Holdings afloat as they move towards profitability. With financing now a non issue, we can wait for the advertising campaign to kick into full swing and possibly create a nice spike in new sales and reorders as Celsius becomes a well-known brand.

Since consumers are keeping their money in their pockets during this recession, growth may be slower than expected, but Celsius now has the ability to weather the economic storm until things turn around. Growth should still be there as consumer awareness grows, but the significant growth won't come, in my opinion, until this economy starts to turn around.

In the meantime, I'm confident enough to continue adding to my position of CSUH.OB.

Comments from Celsius CEO Steve Haley

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Comments From Celsius CEO, Steve Haley

On the heels of VFC's latest Celsius (CSUH.OB) update, I popped a few more questions over to Celsius Holdings CEO, Steve Haley. As usual he responded in timely fashion and provided just enough information to keep VFC just as confident in the stock and product as ever.

CSUH.OB has taken a beating over the past year. There were sharp spikes to the upward that gave traders a chance to flip some shares, but for the most part, the trend has been downward. With the downward trend, I've taken the chance to accumulate shares and lower my cost average. I'm confident that I'm sitting pretty with Celsius and look forward to the good things to come.

In previous posts, I've stated that I do have some concern regarding the company's ability to raise cash to survive. My own opinion is that Carl DeSantis will use his deep pockets to keep things running, until which time that the media campaign hits full swing and the company becomes self sufficient.

I've also posted that much of my confidence in the stock stems from my confidence in the product and the solid management team. It's not easy building a company and introducing a new product in the beverage industry that is already dominated by the big boys, yet the team at Celsius has slowly and methodically carved themselves a foothold in the market. With targeted advertising and growing consumer awareness, Celsius could be close to hitting mainstream.

In my opinion, the biggest obstacle, aside from financing, is the economy. Consumers may not be willing to shell out two bucks for an energy/weight loss drink when their jobs may be on the line.

That said, here's Mr. Haley's latest comments (his comments in bold):

Just a couple of questions from my myself and some of the blog followers, I appreciate any answers you're able to give us: I like to be as open and transparent as possible. It’s how I would like to be treated as an investor. But, please understand that I can go only so far on some of the questions. Whether because of fair disclosure issues or competitive ones, some of what we are doing, we would like to keep quiet until we are ready to announce. Thanks for understanding.

1. Can we have an update on the status of the television commercials; When will they begin airing and in which markets? We are finished with all the creative, final story boards, etc. We are in the production phase but have not completed any of the filming. I am not sure where they stand on the casting. Had to finish the creative before we knew the talent that would be needed. As for markets, we have not bought the media yet. You might call it the negotiation phase. We are working to get the best value in areas that matter. We will probably start in the northeast and Florida. Not sure how fast yet we will grow it. Depends a little on the rates we can get.

2. Has there been an increase in sales in the markets where the radio ads are currently playing or is it still too early to tell? It is a little early to tell but we ‘believe’ that it has had a good impact. Things that we can actually monitor show that we get tons more traffic to the website during a media buy in an market. Sales seem stronger. Not just the trend up but that actual number of accounts in a market with an increase. In other words, not just a few stores with an increase but more of an increase across the market. But still too early to do any quantitative projections from the lift.

3. To the best of your knowledge and ability to answer, is there any indication that re-order sales are looking better this quarter than last? Re-orders are better. Don’t want to say too much more about where we believe we will come in for the period. Will say it won’t be like last quarter.

4. From recent press releases, we get the impression that Mr. DeSantis is willing to keep this company afloat for the time being, is this assumption correct and are there any other financing options on the table? Again, don’t want to say too much. Mr. DeSantis is giving us invaluable guidance on many fronts. On the retail shelf optimization, we believe the new packaging is having an impact but again too early to tell quantitatively. They are also helping us strengthen our balance sheet. The recent 8k describes what we hope is just an interim step. If/when we complete the rest, we will be able to describe the whole plan.

5. Is the sale of the company or an option? We are not currently looking to sell the company. We want to maximize shareholder value however and would of course listen if approached. That said however, we strongly believe that to best deliver the optimum return would be to grow the company both top and bottom line and then see what makes sense. That is what we are focused on right now. We just about have the foundation in place to then grow sensibly with more predictability.

Thanks for any insight you can give us.

Still excited about the product! The wife loves the Green Tea Peach Mango! The teas are doing well. Peach Mango seems to be favored a little more than the Raspberry/ACAI but not by much. Having the non-carbonated line is helping us get into more places quicker.

Mr. Haley provided more information than I thought he would, and I appreciate his candidness.

Some positives from his statements above:
ShareBuilder - Welcome page
- The increase in traffic at the website after radio ad runs. As Mr. Haley stated, it is still too early to tell how much of an impact the ads are having in stores, but the fact that they are drawing interest to the website is positive. It's world wide web world we live in, and if people hear the add then get online researching the product, that can only be good news.

- Interesting comments regarding re-orders. The re-orders, in my opinion, will be the real indicator if the radio ads are working.

- Regarding a potential sale, Mr. Haley's preference to grow the company and give shareholders a return on value is consistent with all of his previous statements. Of course every CEO will say that, but I believe that Haley and the rest of the management team have demonstrated their ability to get the job done.

The only negative that I can note is that the TV ads are not yet completed. Those ads would have great impact right around the New Year when half of the country resolves themselves to losing weight.

Mr Haley, Carl DeSantis and all others involved have come too far to consider shutting off the lights. Celsius is a growing story, growing product, growing brand and if things continue as planned, sometime soon it will be a growing stock!

All that invest could be in on the bottom floor of something big. I'm fully loaded and ready.

Another reason that I'm so confident in the product- Celsius combined with a nice workout plan has helped me lose 15 extra pounds that I had around that VFC waistline. But more importantly, I've been able to keep it off a lot easier by drinking a can a day. A can a day keeps the pounds away, that's what VFC has got to say!

Latest Update on the CSUH.OB Stock
STEVE HALEY's PREVIOUS COMMENTS

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stock Updates: Auto Stocks, ETFs, Celsius, Epicept, Cryptologic, Insmed, Antigenics

The stock market is still dishing out some great bargains and as a small investor, you really can't go wrong anywhere right now, aside from a few obvious exceptions.

I'm still staying away from the auto stocks even with a possible bailout coming. I may miss out on some gains by staying away from these stocks, but since I don't think that the American auto industry will ever reach its previous strength, I cannot justify buying their stocks. It'll be years before these companies even remotely recover and in the meantime the overseas automakers will continue to dig into the US market share.

The auto companies have ran themselves into the ground by overestimating the strength of the American SUV and pickup truck and then by underestimating the ability of the foreign automakers to inflict serious financial damages by slowly chipping away at that SUV/Pickup market and gaining more market share than the Big 3 thought possible. The American automakers are also years behind the rest of the world in the manufacture of small, economic vehicles and hybrids.

All these negatives come before one takes into account the union contracts that continue to drag the Big 3 down.

There's too much going on there for me to feel real comfortable in a long term investment, especially with all the safer bargains out there. If the companies do enter into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and are allowed to restructure their business plan and the UAW contracts, I may reconsider my decision to stay away. At that point I would have more confidence in these companies as a long term investment.

Aside from the auto sector, VFC is still staying away from the financials, I don't want any part of them right now.

On the positive side, now is the time to throw money where I normally wouldn't. I don't touch an Electronically Traded Fund (ETF) in an up market because the percentage gains just aren't there, but right now I'm putting money into them. When the market rebounds, the ETFs will follow the market and should return some pretty healthy gains. Those are the safest bets right now, especially those that pay back dividends.

In October and November I posted a long list of stock bargains that I like in this market, and there are still plenty of more out there for those that are not too scared to buy into a down market. It won't be any fun chasing the market up when the rebound arrives, so its important to be in before that time comes.

A few updates on the stocks I've been following:

CSUH.OB, Celsius Holdings:

There's a lot of stocks out there at rock bottom prices that are a lot less risky than this one, but I still believe in the Celsius product the business plan and am willing to ride this one out for a while. If the product reaches its full market potential, we could be in for huge gains with CSUH.OB.

Since Celsius is a luxury item and not a necessity, the recession is probably hampering sales and hurting reorders, but investors should be in good shape if the company can stay afloat for a few more quarters while the advertising campaign kicks in.

Meanwhile, a few recent Press Releases can give investors some confidence.

The first PR was released last week and gives an indication that Carl DeSantis is willing to keep the company afloat for the time being. The fact that Mr. DeSantis would step in was an assumption that many investors had already made, and provides some comfort that he means business.

The second recent PR was a new distribution agreement with Kum & Go in the Midwest. Over 400 sales locations were added in that deal. Hopefully the new distribution will be backed by radio or TV ads so that the product catches on enough to bring reorders.

Another PR announced that Celsius was participating in a promotion called 'Drop While You Shop' at a popular shopping location in Boston. While awaiting TV and Radio ads to take effect, I like this promotion during the busy holiday season. Not only does it provide consumer awareness to the product, but it shows that the management team is thinking outside the box.

I'm fully loaded with CSUH.OB at this time, but another drop down to .025 will trigger another BUY.

VFC's DEALS AND STEALS

Monday, December 1, 2008

VFC's Christmas Gift Ideas, Holiday Sales and Discounts!

MORE HOLIDAY SALES AND DEALS

Take advantage of the deep discounts that this Holiday Season, because of the recession, is bringing us.

Aside from the great sales and savings, most online vendors are offering free shipping.

Here's a few gift ideas for you online shoppers:

DAVID'S COOKIES. You can never go wrong sending out a Christmas sweets as an inexpensive gift choice. David's offers Gift baskets and boxes of most of your holiday favorites including cakes, cookies, brownies, truffles and more.
Sweets are always a holiday favorite, and David's is offering free shipping through the New Year.
Christmas 2008

APPETIZERS TO GO
Sticking with the food theme (food is always a great way to warm the heart around the holidays), Appetizers To Go can make your life a lot easier while planning for parties and holiday festivities. The appetizers offered on the web site are seemingly endless and delicious, and the company is offering a 20% discount on most goods due to the economy. VFC will be digging in around the holidays, that's a given.
When the Party Must Go On… Save 20% on Party Appetizers

JUST BECAUSE BASKETS
Although Christmas in not 'Just Because', this company offers you the opportunity to handpick specific items to create a personalized gift basket for your friends or loved ones. You put together the gift basket with a few online clicks, and they do the rest of the work. 'Just Because Baskets' is offering a variety of holiday discounts, including 10% off your first purchase or a blanket 5% discount. You'll also receive free shipping on select baskets.
Build Your Own Basket & Get Free Shipping on Select Baskets + 10% off Your First Order! <br />Enter Code save10 at Checkout.

SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO
SatRad is neat new fad, offering dozens of commercial free music channel, but more importantly, its the Sports packages why the 12.99/month subscription is well worth the price. Sirius XM offers complete-game live airings of all the major sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, etc), including some English Premier League Soccer coverage.
Most of the SatRad devices can also be used as MP3 players and media storage devices and also allow you the option of one-click recording a song that is playing on the airwaves.

Aside from the immense Sports selection and huge variety of commercial free music, Sirius XM features Howard Stern, Oprah, Playboy Radio, the Mad Dog Chris Russo and much more. A great gift for anyone, but especially the sports lover, in my opinion.
Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.

THE WINE MESSENGER
Give the gift of wine without having to hassle with the packaging, packing and sending. You select the wine that you want to send at The Wine messenger, and they do all the rest.

Good wine is always a perfect gift. The Wine Messenger is offering various holiday discounts.
The Wine Messenger

AMAZON.COM
You can't go wrong shopping at Amazon.com.

Amazon offers everything, from books and movies to toys and electronics. If there's any doubt as to what to buy, just send an Amazon gift card as a gift!


GIGA GOLF
If you're shopping for that golfer in your life, you can't go wrong with Giga Golf. Giga Golf offers all sorts of Golfing accessories and they're also offering various holiday discounts. Make your Christmas shopping for the Golf fan easy by shopping at Giga Golf.
Classic Gifts For Golfers

WIREFLY
Wirefly has absolutely the best online discounts for cell phones, cell phone accessories and other electronics.

The heavily discounted Blackberry Bold Smartphone is just one of many amazing holiday deals that you'll find at Wirefly.
Wirefly: BlackBerry Bold Smartphone - Save $250 with a new AT&T account!

Among the other bargain deals that you'll find at Wirefly: a FREE Motorola Krave flip phone (with the purchase of a new Verizon contract) and the heavily discounted Sprint Instinct or Verizon LG EnV.

Browse Wirefly for more discounts and deals on cell phones, cell phone plans and cell phone accessories!
Wirefly - FREE LG EnV2 after instant discount for all new Verizon Wireless customers + FREE Bluetooth Headset. Enter coupon code BDAYACCD4B02552 at checkout.

DIAMONDS INTERNATIONAL
If you want to give the gift of fine jewelery, take advantage of Diamonds International discounted holiday prices!

Whether its earings, necklaces, bracelets or rings, Dimaonds International has the deal for you.

In light of the economic recession, Diamonds International is now offering 20% discounts for holiday shoppers. Take advantage of those holiday discounts if you're in the hunt for Diamond discounts!
Diamonds International

Just a few gift ideas for now.

VFC is always on the hunt for holiday sales and discounts, and i'll post more as I find them!

MORE HOLIDAY DISCOUNTS AND SALES

Sunday, November 23, 2008

OFF TOPIC: But Worth It, The Sniffle Sleeve

An old friend of mine launched a novel and new product that VFC believes is long overdue.

I'm more than happy to advertise this great innovation on my website. The sniffle sleeve is so simple, yet so innovative, that you wonder how we've been missing this idea until now.

I've cut and pasted Wendy's email to her fans, and friends (even though we disagree on the proper employment of room fans), and please take advantage of her superb product!

www.snifflesleeve.com

Some of you are aware that I've been playing with a new business idea for the last year or so called a Sniffle Sleeve. For those who haven't heard anything at all, I've made, patented, trademarked and just finished my first phase of production for a small, very simple children's product, the aforementioned Sniffle Sleeve.

I won't launch into a long explanation, I'll just say that it's an educational tool for children to learn more easily to cough and sneeze into their elbow instead of their hands. The CDC and the American Pediatric Association have made a big push in the last two years to try and train children, and retrain adults, on this new policy.

What I'm hoping you can do for me is read through my newly launched website, give me any feedback you are willing to share and if you know of a store or children's boutique you think would be interested in carrying the sleeve, to pass me their name. My website is:
www.snifflesleeve.com


A very funny video on this policy is:
Why Don't We Do It In Our Sleeves?

Monday, November 10, 2008

VFC's Stock Pick Update; INSM, Insmed's IPLEX is Back in Action; SIRI, Sirius Reports Third Quarter Results

INSM, Insmed Incorporated:

Previous Insmed Posts:
VFC's Follow-on Biologics Pick, INSM
INSM: Signs of Life
Insmed Update
VFC's Bear Market Picks, AGEN, MVL, INSM, CSUH.OB

I've previously discussed Insmed as a great long term pick because of this small biopharmaceutical company's cancer treatment and follow-on biologics pipeline; not to mention it's ownership of the already FDA approved IPLEX, which is currently in experimental trials for the treatment of various conditions.

A couple of years ago, Insmed lost a patent case (read about it here) which sent it's share price tumbling to below a dollar and it hasn't recovered since. In fact, the latest economic turmoil sent the stock price to near thirty cents, a price where smart investors were loading up for the future (in VFC's opinion).

VFC's Brief Review:
What are Follow-On Biologics?
Follow-on biologics are versions of approved biologics that are developed after the original product has been created with the intention of marketing them after the patent on the innovator product has expired, thus bringing competition to monopolistic markets. In other words, when the patents on current drugs expire, other companies can step in with their own, possibly cheaper, products to create competition in the drug market.


IPLEX- Almost two years ago, Insmed lost a patent-violation court case where it was argued that Insmed’s drug Iplex violated Tercica’s patent for it’s similar drug, Increlex. Both drugs were administered as insulin-like growth factor for short-statured patients, but Insmed’s drug, Iplex, is the superior drug. Iplex only needs to be injected once a day while Tercica’s drug, Increlex, is a twice a day shot. Insmed is also currently conducting various-phased trials for Iplex treatments for other indications, such as ALS, HIV and MMD. Eventually, Iplex itself has the potential for blockbuster status, although some of that money will be dished out to Tercica thanks to the patent infringement case.

Today, Insmed released great news regarding IPLEX. In a joint release, Genentech, Ipsen/Tercica and Insmed announced that in an amendment to the previously-mentioned court agreement, Insmed will be permitted to supply IPLEX in connection with named-patient ALS programs worldwide on a royalty-free basis. This amendment is in response to the expressed desire of ALS patients to receive IPLEX for the treatment of their indication.

Although IPLEX is not yet approved for the treatment of ALS, it's been used in that capacity in Italy for a while now, and the results from Italy could be used to show efficacy for future approval.

According to today's Press Release, Ipsen/Tercica may jump on board the IPLEX bandwagon and partner with Insmed for future commercial development and marketing of IPLEX to treat ALS.

In addition, Insmed, a leading developer of follow-on biologics, could be a benefector of the new Democratic Administration, as new follow-on biologics legislation should be on the agenda of the next Congress. Congressional attention to follow-on biologics has taken a backseat to the current economic crisis, but once the issue is re-visited, Insmed will be ahead of the game with four follow-on candidates in the pipeline.

Representatives from Insmed will be presenting at a couple of upcoming Health conferences, so it is possible that the Press Releases are just beginning, and in response, the share price could approach, if not surpass, the dollar mark in short time.

RISK:
- IPLEX, although already approved to treat Short Stature, fails to demonstrate results in other indications.
- Insmed fails to bring any of their follow-on biologic candidates to market.
- Insmed fails to bring any other pipeline drugs to market.
- Insmed fails to get the share price above a dollar and faces delistment from the NASDAQ.

REWARD:
- IPLEX begins to bring in cost-recovery revenue from it's ALS named-patient programs.
- IPLEX ultimately receives approval to treat ALS or another indication.
- Follow-on biologics partner is announced.
- Follow-on drugs are approved.
- Other drugs in the pipeline gain approval.

TIMEFRAME:
I've been slowly accumulating INSM for about two years, and the lower the stock price dropped, the more shares I bought. As long as the stock price is below a buck, I'll still be buying as much as I can and I'm ready to wait a few years for the IPLEX story to development and for the follow-on candidates to reach approval stage.
ShareBuilder - Welcome page

SIRI, Sirius XM Radio:
Shares of SIRI remail beaten down in the twenty cent range, and although revenues increased this past quarter, the 3Q results looked terrible thanks to a $4.8 billion dollar, merger related markdown.

Growth has slowed, in large part due to the failing auto industry, and until the economy picks up, sirius growth of the past cannot be expected.

Investor confidence in Sirius XM will remain downbeat until financial terms of the huge debt bill coming in 2009 are announced.

All looks bad for SIRI, doesn't it?

I believe that this company is going through it's absolute worst time right now, but once things begin to turn around, the patient investor will be rewarded. SIRI has crushed many a hopeful investor over the past year, and the FCC and DOJ have a lot to answer for that by taking 18 months to approve the merger.

Many investors have taken the loss and sold their SIRI shares, which I think is a mistake at this point. Granted, the immediate benefits of the merger went out the window with the slump in the auto industry (and consequently, the slump in SIRI XM growth), but once the Politicians quit telling the country that we are in a Great Depression and people start feeling positive again, money will flow back into the economy, jobs will be created, people will again be buying cars and subscriptions, and SIRI XM will have announced terms of their debt refinancing.

Our economy is not finished, and neither is SIRI XM.

Unless you're a trader looking for a quick buck, It's worth holding, and even adding shares of SIRI, to wait and see what this company brings in the next year.

RISK:
- SIRI XM cannot refinance their immediate debt at resonable terms.
- SatRad loses steam and as a result SIRI XM loses subs.
- The company never turns a profit.

REWARD:
- Re-finacing of debt is announced.
- Economy picks up, auto industry recovers and subscriber growth returns.
- Those investors buying now are rewarded down the road when the economy is turned around and debt issues are settled.

TIMEFRAME:
At least a year, but in a few years from now investors should be happy (in VFC's opinion). I've got to give Sirius (as I did with Celsius) a pass for at least this quarter and next as far as subscription growth goes, due to the weak economy. People simply are not spending money, especially on luxury items such as SatRad. Once the debt issue becomes clear, that should boost investor confidence and as that confidence returns, the short sellers should cover. If the economy remains in a slump, and if debt terms are not announced soon, a reverse split could be a possibility.

SEND THE TASTE OF FINE WINE FOR CHRISTMAS!
Personal Wine Holiday Sale 08 - 125x125

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quarterly Updates, CSUH.OB, EPCT

Celsius Holdings (CSUH.OB) Third Quarter Results:

Celsius released disappointing third quarter results yesterday, but my opinion on CSUH.OB as an investment has not changed. For some time, it's been my view that the next three quarters will be crucial for the company. If the company cannot demonstrate that the product is catching on and showing growth in the next three quarters, then it may be time to re-evaluate our positions in the stock. I did not expect overwhelming results for this quarter, but I did expect to see an increase in sales over last quarter, which we did not, even without taking into account the huge Lebanon order of last quarter. The product is great, it's a matter of marketing, at this point.

CEO Steve Haley reported shrinking growth this quarter. Net sales were $435,000 compared to sales of $508,000 in third quarter 2007. These results definitely do not show that the product is catching on or that re-orders are coming in. A few factors contributed to this decline in sales, including losing two distributors and switching over to new distributors in certain areas.

Now for the good news. According to Mr. Haley, Celsius sales are increasing at The Vitamin Shoppe, which is encouraging because the Vitamin Shoppe is a national chain and the biggest name retailer selling Celsius, to date. Also, Polar distributors, the nations largest independent soft drink bottler, just signed on and will distribute Celsius throughout the Northeast.

Celsius faces stiff challenges. Not only are they launching a new product in a competitive environment, but the weak economy has consumers holding onto their money and not willing to spend their money on $2 Energy drinks. In that regard, I give Celsius a pass for this quarter, and probably next. But that does not detract from the fact that someone needs to keep this company afloat (DeSantis?) before a great product goes bust due to lack of financing.

The actions of management indicate that they are confident of maintaining operations and receiving financing:

-They have recently purchased the rights to "Burn, Baby, Burn" and have began using the catchy tune in targeted radio ads.

-A new product is in the works, in addition to the previous Green Tea, non-carbonated launch, and that product should be out early next year.

-TV ads are in the works. Once those ads start rolling, that should attract solid business. Earlier in the year Mr. Haley informed us that they would hold the ads until after the elections, but in yesterday's conference call, he stated that the TV ads were still not complete. I had hoped that they could have had those ads ready to go, post-election. I know the Florida weather is nice these days, but "Chop, Chop, Guys!"

All things considered, it's time for management to kick it up a notch and bring this product to fruition. Heavy investment went into advertising this quarter, including the licensing rights to "Burn, Baby, Burn", so management is now on the clock to show results. The TV ads need to get done.

Despite the disappointing Third Quarter results, in VFC's opinion, nothing has changed moving forward. The weak economy is killing sales as much as anything else, but if the company survives a few more quarters, we could see a real turning point in sales, and in stock price.

Risk:
- Financing. No financing, no company.
- Prolonged recession would kill sales.
- Product does not catch on, despite new advertising.

Reward:
If the company survives a few more quarters, and advertising kicks in, the product could take off and the stock price will follow. Hardly a risky investment trading at under 10 cents, especially if you trade in and out to cover your risk.

Timeframe:
Will re-evaluate after three quarters.

Steve Haley Answers Some Questions

LinkShare Referral Prg

EPCT, Epicept Third Quarter Results:
Financial results for speculative biotechs mean little. As long as the management is not irresponsibly burning through money, a loss is not a big deal and highly expected.

What is important from the quarterly reports are the updates on the drug trials.

Epicept (EPCT) is still a great bargain at these prices, in VFC's Humble Opinion, since their lead drug candidate was approved for marketing in Europe last month, and the company plans it's European launch during the first quarter of 2009. The only questions remaining, are the questions of a partnership, which they also plan on finalizing early next year, if not sooner. Ceplene is almost assured to produce revenue next year, which makes 70 cents an attractive price to buy.

Epicept will also provide an update on NP-1 early next year. NP-1 is (taken from the Quarterly Report) a prescription topical analgesic cream designed to provide long-term relief from the pain of peripheral neuropathies which is currently nearing completion of Phase II trials.

Updates Myriad's Azixa trials are also possible within the next year.

Risk:
- Epicept does not receive favorable terms from it's marketing partner for Ceplene in Europe.
- Ceplene does not produce expected revenue.
- Azixa and other drug candidates are unsuccessful in trials.

Reward:
- Ceplene is already approved in Europe and will almost assuredly start generating cash next year.
- Azixa or NP-1 are successful.
- This stock could double at any time.

Timeframe:
The time to be in is now. You don't want to miss the run when it happens (VFC's Opinion).
ShareBuilder - Welcome page

Monday, November 3, 2008

VFC'S Biotech Stock Updates: BVTI.OB, CEGE, CVM

BVTI.OB, Biovest International Inc:

Awaiting Phase III Results, BVTI
Why VFC Sold Out of BVTI
BVTI.OB Not Acting Like a Stock With Good News Pending
BVTI, We'll Know In September

Since selling all of my holdings of Biovest International Inc (BVTI.OB), I decided to buy back in last week after the company told us that Biovax ID will be sold under a named-patient program in France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain and the United Kingdom with sales expected to begin in the first quarter of 2009.
Biovax ID is Biovest's cancer immunotherapy vaccine for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Biovest is a majority-owned subsidiary of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals (ABPI).
I'm still sceptical that BiovaxID has demonstrated enough efficacy in it's recent Phase III trial to garner approval, but this recent news indicates that there may be a future for this immunotherapy treatment. And with the stock trading at 25 cents, the risk-reward is well worth the investment, in VFC's opinion.

While this news does nothing to boost the chances of approval here in the US, it's a strong indication that the company is looking towards approval in Europe.
Antigenics (AGEN), the producer of the world's first approved cancer immunotherapy vaccine, followed a similar path; after not receiving approval in the US for it's kidney cancer immunotherapy, Oncophage, Antigenics looked to Russia for approval - and got it.

Biovest's agreement to distribute in Europe will create a revenue flow, and they'll be able to continue to build a case for approval while doing so.

Investor confidence is low, and parent company Accentia BioPharmaceuticals was delisted today and will start trading on the pink sheets beginning tomorrow. These facts, combined with the previous 'fluff' PRs put out by the company, have dropped the BVTI.OB stock price down to a level where I'm willing to buy.

BVTI.OB is still a risky play, but one that could pay off big down the road, especially if the patients that will receive Biovax in the patient-first program show improvement. The way I see it, this program will keep the company treading water until they either solidify the case for Biovax approval, or decide that Biovax doesn't work.

For a quarter, it's worth the risk, in VFC's opinion.

RISK:
- Biovest likely does not have confidence that the recent Phase III results will be enough to convince the FDA to approve. It's possible that Biovax will never be approved in the US.
- Patients receiving Biovax in Europe do not show any improvements after receiving the Biovax treatment.
- Biovax fails to be approved in Europe or anywhere else in the world.

REWARD:
- Biovax begins to see revenue from Biovax use in Europe.
- Biovax eventually receives approval in Europe, the US or both.

TIMEFRAME:
This one is risky and unpredictable. I'm looking a couple of years down the road, maybe sooner, to see how the company plays Biovax. Filings in the US and Europe are sure to come. If either one pays off, this could be the best quarter you ever spent.
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UPDATE- CEGE, Cell Genesys:
If you didn't listen to me when I last posted about CEGE, you would have made about 80% on your money.

I still think CEGE is still too risky right now, there's no guarantee that a buyout or partnership is in the works, and while CEGE has performed terrific over the past couple of weeks, I'm not willing to risk my money there right now.

I've got a huge tolerance for risk, but not huge enough to play with CEGE right now, not with GVAX out of the picture.

RISK:
- Huge risk. No guarantee of buyout or partnership and no evidence that GVAX is worth anything at this point. In one day you could lose it all.

REWARD:
- A buyout or partnership could bring in hefty returns on your investment.
- Stock could continue upward trend on speculation.

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CVM, Cel Sci Corporation:

Since last posting about CVM, the company has announced an additional licensing agreement for Multikine, a treatment for head and neck cancer that is about to enter into Phase III trials.

Recently assuming control over the Multikine production facility near Baltimore, Marlyand, Cel Sci extended thier marketing agreement with Taiwan-based Orient Europharma Co., Ltd. ("Orient Europharma") to cover South Korea, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.

Already listed as a potential billion dollar blockbuster by MedAdNews, Multikine is poised to gain worldwide traction for the treatment of head and neck cancer, once approved.

I've been accumulating CVM for a little over a year now, and will continue to do so for as long as this stock is trading below a buck.

Cel Sci is a one trick pony, an investment here is an investment in Multikine. Usually I don't do one trick ponies, but I like what I've seen from Multikine, and I'll be watching the Phase III trials pretty closely.

At around thirty cents, the possible rewards well outweigh the risk, in VFC's opinion.

RISK:
- Multikine is a dud.

REWARD:
- We're in on the ground floor of a groundbreaking new cancer treatment that is poised to launch world wide on approval.

TIMEFRAME:
Years.

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MORE VFC STOCK PICKS BELOW:
VFC's Bear Market Stock Picks Part I
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part II
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part III
VFC's Bear Market Non Picks Part
VFC's Stock Updates
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part IV; CRYP, CSUH.OB
Bubbles

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Stock Update; JWN, CPST, CEGE, SIRI, DNDN

An update on stocks previously listed as good Bear Market Stock Pics and have entered my BUY zones:

JWN, Nordstrom
Previous posts regarding JWN:
JWN, Down But Not Out
VFC's Stock Market Crash Picks Part I
Bear Market Picks Update

As I've previously posted, I like JWN more and more the lower it drops. It's a given that the luxury retailers such as Nordstrom and Macy's are going to take a hit in an economic downturn, but there's no reason to believe that Nordstrom, and it's stock price, will not recover when the economy as a whole begins to recover.

The next few quarters will be tough on Nordstrom, and corners will need to be cut, (the company has already began reducing employee hours and turning full time employees into part time employees), but there is a solid base of clientele that can afford to shop at the luxury retailers even in an economic downturn.

Pessimism dominates our economy right now, much of it created by politicians or economists with political agendas, but once the bailouts begin to take root and people begin looking towards the future again, that pessimism will subside and money will start pouring into the market. In VFC's opinion, some of that will begin to materialize shortly after the elections when the market can price in the next President's economic plans.

For now, this pessimism is giving the little guy a great buying opportunity. Times like this are when the little guy should be buckling down and looking for bargains that will pay off when the economy rebounds. JWN, in VFC's opinion, is one of those bargains that will pay off in the future.

Now that the Nordstrom stock is trading in the mid teens, that's my personal indicator to pick up my accumulation of JWN, but I'm holding back on the real share purchases until it trades right around ten dollars, a price target that I believe this stock will hit.

Risk:
- A prolonged economic slump of 2-3 years could let Nordstrom's debt catch up and, hampered by a credit crunch, the company is unable to deal with this debt without liquidating assets. In VFC's opinion, this economic downturn will not be counted in the years that the Politicians and 'Experts' are now predicting. After the elections, I have a feeling the Politicians will be speaking a lot more positively about the true economic state of our country.

Reward:
- Nordstrom weathers the storm and the company, and it's stock price, rebound when the economy begins to rebound.

Timeframe:
In 2-3 years we'll be enjoying a rebounded stock price, in my opinion. This could change depending on the rhetoric of the next President after the elections.

VFC's Bear Market Stock Picks Part I
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part II
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part III
VFC's Bear Market Non Picks Part
VFC's Stock Updates
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part IV; CRYP, CSUH.OB
Bubbles

CPST, Capstone Turbine Corp:

CPST has almost come full circle since the first time I began buying shares when it traded for under a buck.

Use the Google Search Box located at the top of the page to search VFC's Stock House for previous posts regarding Capstone (CPST)

When gas prices began to skyrocket and the country turned towards alternative energy, I began looking for a 'Green' stock (environmentally green, not green for the portfolio, although CPST brought both). I had missed the ethanol boat, but I never believed that was our answer to rising gas prices anyway, and the wind and solar stocks were no longer 'unknowns'.

I stumbled across CPST from a stock message board tip, and I liked what I saw. The stock was still somewhat undiscovered and the established, low-emission microturbines that Capstone produced were already being shipped worldwide and served as an alternative to the high oil prices.

In that time, CPST reached a high of the mid fours before slowly declining back to it's current level.

I believe the economic conditions have created another great buying opportunity for CPST, and the stock is once again trading below the radar.

Capstone could still be a couple of years away from making a profit, but there is a large log of backorders that are shipping early, according to the company's reports.

I'll be adding to my shares during that time, especially when the stock is trading this close to a buck.

Risk:
- The company never turns a profit and the demand for Capstone's microturbine technology dissipates.
- The current drop in oil prices keeps companies from heavily pursuing alternatives such as Capstone's microturbines.

Reward:
- We're in on the ground floor, as far as stock price is concerned, and any spike upwards gives investors a good selling opportunity.
- Any significant positive news can cause shorts to cover, leading to a price increase.
- Orders for the microturbines continue to roll in and the company marches towards profitability. Big investors line up and accumulate CPST, causing the price to rise higher.

Timeframe:
I'm in for at least five years. I may take advantage of any unsuspected spikes in price to flip some shares.
optionsXpress

Don't Believe the Hype Stock
CEGE, Cell Genesys:
CEGE rose 50% today and closed at 15 cents. A great one day return on your money, but at this point, I'm not buying into the Cell Genesys story, post-VITAL-trials.

The company recently halted both of it's VITAL trials for GVAX, and I see little reason to remain invested in this company at this point in time. There is rumor of a buyout or a merger, and the company still has some cash on hand, but CEGE is no longer a speculative investment, it's a speculative trade.

I don't like getting into stocks (or back into them) solely for the purpose of trading or waiting for a possible buyout, and CEGE is no exception.

CEGE may pay great gains for traders, and there may be a buyout in the works, but the risk-reward does not work out for me here in CEGE.

Risk:
- All speculation at this point.

Reward:
- In the volatility, you could gain 50% in one day (or more if a buyout materializes).

Timeframe:
If a buyout is in the works, I'd expect news soon, within weeks.
LinkShare  Referral  Prg

Believe the Hype
SIRI, Sirius XM Satellite Radio:
SIRI was another good gainer today, closing at 38 cents, up 30%.

The only investors that have enjoyed SIRI for the past couple of years have been the shorts, many who rode the stock down to it's current levels from it's high of over nine dollars.

The DOJ and the FCC simply killed this company by taking so long to approve the merger, and when the merger was finally approved the economy tanked and XM's huge debt bill sat on Mel Karmazin's shoulders like a big pink elephant.

The market and the shorts will continue to keep downward pressure on the stock, but once the XM debt issue becomes clearer and the merger synergies take effect, SIRI may actually begin to rebound.

A reverse stock split is another possibility.
Gerber Life Insurance

DNDN, Dendreon:
Dendreon recently released the interim results from it's IMPACT trial measuring Provenge's effectiveness in extending the lives of patients with advanced prostate cancer.

These results, while not conclusive, showed that indications are that Provenge works, but it might not work enough to garner FDA approval.

While cancer immunotherapies have been dropping like flies lately, Provenge may be the holy grail that launches cancer immunotherapy treatment into the mainstream of America. For that to happen, final results need to indicate that Provenge increases the life of patients by roughly 22%.

Results are due out mid 2009.

Since the interim results were released, shorts have quietly begun to cover their positions. No one on Wall Street gave Provenge a chance, not even on the interim, and now the shorts are jitterey, covering almost four million shares since the release of results, according to recent news.

Last March we saw how the DNDN stock price reacts to the potential of a Provenge approval, and that prospect doesn't bode well for someone short if the price jumps up twenty dollars in a short runup.

DNDN is always on my accumulate list until we hear a final decision on the Provenge story, a story laced with controversy.

Search VFC's Stock House for previous posts regarding Provenge and Dendreon.
ShareBuilder - Welcome page

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

VFC's Bear Market Stock Picks Update: AGEN, MVL, INSM, CSUH.OB

An Update
AGEN, Antigenics:
Back in April, Antigenics Inc received approval in Russia to market and distribute it's kidney cancer vaccine Oncophage.

That approval in Russia made Oncophage the first cancer immunotherapy treatment approved in the world.

A few week ago, I listed AGEN as a great Bear Market pick because regardless of where the stock is trading right now, chances are the stock price will rise when revenues start rolling in. Since the stock has been trading in the one dollar range, I've been buying.

Today the company announced that they have submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) requesting approval for Oncophage in Europe. The approval process in Europe usually takes 12-18 months, so this news will not affect the stock price in the short term (in a bull market news like this usually leads to a short-term spike in price for the small biotechs). The fact that the European marketing request is under the conditional approval program could give Antigenics an additional edge since Oncophage provides treatment for a currently unmet medical need.

AGEN, with it's low volume and little analyst coverage, is an easily manipulated stock that has sunk in the Bear Market. As is the case with the market as a whole right now, the average investor gets scared into selling when they should be buying, and that is the case with AGEN right now.

With an approval in Russia, revenue is on its way, and we should see a nice jump in stock price when the company begins reporting that revenue.

In the meantime, I'm taking advantage of shopping at the dollar shop for AGEN!

RISK:
- Sales of Oncophage do not meet expectations in Russia.
- Oncophage does not receive marketing approval in Europe, or anywhere else in the world.
- A prolonged economic slump continues to put downward pressure on the AGEN stock.

REWARD:
- AGEN is undervalued, regardless of additional approvals.
- A market rebound will reflect on the AGEN stock price.
- Oncophage receives approval in Europe.
- Antigenics begins reporting revenue for Oncophage.

TIMEFRAME:
If the market begins to rebound, possibly after the elections, AGEN should move up regardless of any additional news. When the company reports revenues, and we move closer to an EMEA decision in Europe, we're looking at a triple from here, at the very least (in VFC's opinion). A triple is good in any market, but I think we'll approach the six dollar range in the next 18 months.

VFC's Bear Market Stock Picks Part I
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part II
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part III
VFC's Bear Market Non Picks Part
VFC's Stock Updates
VFC's Bear Market Picks Part IV; CRYP, CSUH.OB

MVL, Marvel Entertainment:
One stock that is holding up nicely in this bear market is MVL. Weak economy aside, Marvel Enterprises has released two blockbuster movies this year, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man, and both will undoubtedly be hot item DVDs for the Christmas season as well.

Also released just in time for the Christmas season is the new Spider Man Web of Shadows video game, available now for the PS3, PS2, PSP, NintendoDS, Nintendo Wii and WindowsPC. Even in a down economy, people will be going to movies and playing their Playstations. If there's an entertainment company that could survive this economic storm, Marvel just might be that company.

While the market has dropped 40%, MVL has lost little value and shouldn't disappoint in the next earnings call when the movie profits and merchandise sales should be included in the totals.

I'm still hoping for a dip into the mid-twenties, but it may be wishful thinking, so I'm buying on any dip below thirty bucks for the time being.

RISK:
- A very pronounced and prolonged economic slump is the only thing that could seriously hinder MVL's future prospects at this point. They've already showed that they could make a blockbuster out of a 'B' hero (Iron Man) and the Marvel franchise has over 5,000 characters that they can play with.
- People stop watching super hero movies and quit playing super hero games while Kids give up their Spider-Man underoos.

REWARD:
- The Spider Man name is the strongest of all super hero names and will continue to bring in revenue for Marvel for years to come.
- Marvel continues to draw on it's long list of characters to produce successful movies well into the future.
- MVL stock rebounds when the market rebounds.
- Marvel increases it's world wide exposure with it's Dubai theme park.
- Merchandise and licensing sales continue to increase as the studio releases new movies.

TIMEFRAME:
MVL is one stock that has a chance to continue upward momentum during the economic slump. Iron Man and Hulk profits have yet to be entirely reported and the Christmas season could be a good one for Marvel with the release of Web of Shadows. In the short term the stock could rise if the market bottoms off or rebounds, and should go higher when the market recovers.
Long term, I'm in this one for a decade.


INSM, Insmed
Previously Posted:
VFC's Follow-on Biologics Pick, INSM
INSM: Signs of Life
Insmed Update

Insmed could be the biggest immediate beneficiary when Congress finally initiates legislation of follow-on-biologics.

What are Follow-On Biologics?
Follow-on biologics are versions of approved biologics that are developed after the original product has been created with the intention of marketing them after the patent on the innovator product has expired, thus bringing competition to monopolistic markets. In other words, when the patents on current drugs expire, other companies can step in with their own, possibly cheaper, products to create competition in the drug market.

Currently, Insmed has two follow-on candidates in early trials, and two others in pre-clinical stages to go along with the already FDA approved Iplex and an Oncology program. Insmed is far from a one-trick pony. Any failures or bad news along the way come with the support cushion of knowing that Insmed has many other potential money makers at various stages of development.

IPLEX- Almost two years ago, Insmed lost a patent-violation court case where it was argued that Insmed’s drug Iplex violated Tercica’s patent for it’s similar drug, Increlex. Both drugs were administered as insulin-like growth factor for short-statured patients, but Insmed’s drug, Iplex, is the superior drug. Iplex only needs to be injected once a day while Tercica’s drug, Increlex, is a twice a day shot. Insmed is also currently conducting various-phased trials for Iplex treatments for other indications, such as ALS, HIV and MMD. Eventually, Iplex itself has the potential for blockbuster status, although some of that money will be dished out to Tercica thanks to the patent infringement case.

With the potential of Iplex and the follow-on pipeline, INSM is well worth the risk while trading below a dollar, and right now it's trading below fifty cents.

Investors in INSM got another dose of good news recently when the NASDAQ suspended it's minimum listing standards until next year. That gives Insmed additional time to get the stock price above a dollar and any good news regarding any of the drug candidates could spike INSM to above a buck for good.

Congress has been preoccupied dealing with the economic crisis and the elections, so I believe we may not see any definitive legislation regarding follow-on-biologics until next year, but even with the delay, Insmed will still be conducting trials and advancing their pipeline.

I'm accumulating INSM, and I intend to accumulate as long as this stock is below a dollar. With the market conditions giving investors an opportunity to bargain shop, INSM is one of the best high-risk, higher-reward choices out there. VFC is playing accumulate, accumulate, hold with INSM.

RISK:
- Follow-on legislation fails and Insmed is unable to bring their follow-ons to market.
- Iplex fails to prove effective in any treatments other than short-stature.
- Company is de-listed from the NASDAQ because it fails to meet minimum listing rules.

REWARD:
- At forty cents, the risk is worth taking.
- Multiple drug candidates in the pipeline at various stages of development, inclding an already approved drug, Iplex.
- Follow-on legislation passes and Insmed is ready to take advantage.

TIMEFRAME:
Long term, aside from some possible opportunities to trade in and out. Follow-ons are at least five years from bringing in revenue, but Iplex could prove profitable before that time. I'm accumulating strong now and am thinking five to ten years down the road with INSM.
ShareBuilder- Welcome page

CSUH.OB, Celsius Holdings:
A quick update on CSUH.OB. After tripling to seven cents earlier this week, I thought we'd see an immediate retracement to around the three cent range, but that hasn't happened. Even in todays significant market drop, CSUH.OB remained level at six cents. I give it another week before I'm convinced we're strong at six cents, but I believe we've got some new buyers coming in, hence the large volume spike the other day and the support at five to six cents.

With the radio ads taking place and Celsius gaining traction with help from the Vitamin Shoppe and other promotions, we could be in for a real Bear Market Surprise!
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