Thursday, February 28, 2008

Celsius Holdings (CSUH.OB), VFC's Take on the Conference Call

I just got done listening to today's Conference Call with Steve Haley, the CEO of Celsius Holdings.

Earlier in the day the company released it's financial statement for Fiscal Year 2007, and results for the fourth quarter of last year. The fourth quarter results were what I really wanted to see, and the $519,000 revenue came in just a tad bit lower than I would have liked to see. Good news did come from that number, however, as the CEO stated that 70% of the revenue in that quarter came from re-orders. This is great news and it quells my concerns about stores re-ordering the product after selling out. Fourth quarter is a historically slow quarter for the company, so the fact that revenue was up almost 30% from Q3 and a whopping 96% from Q4 last year also demonstrates substantial growth.

One item of note to take away from this conference call is the fact that this company needs financing. With the proper financing, the company could afford to market and distribute at a faster pace. According to the CEO, that due to financial constraints, the company is forced to grow at a 'disciplined' pace and look to grow in areas that already have distribution vice looking to distribute to new areas. I happen to like the disciplined route they are taking to grow the product, but I'll feel a whole lot better once they get the proper financing going.

They have a financing deal in place now, although on hold, with Fusion Capital. The deal allows Celsius to pull up to 16 million dollars from Fusion in exchange for registered shares from the company. The only catch is, for the company to draw this money, the stock price must be at least .45 cents. As the company searches for solid financing, the insiders are buying the stock, both registered and unregistered shares. I like it when the big boys put their money behind the company.

Aside from the financing aspect, I liked the sound of this call. Distribution is coming along just fine, and the CEO announced that two more major retailers in Texas will soon have Celsius on their shelves.

Mr. Haley stated that they will not announce distributors or retailers until the product is already on the shelves, so once we hear about the pacts, the company is already making money on that pact. That's a great way to do business. It's pretty annoying when you make the trip to a store for a particular product only to find it's not in stock. Mr. Haley is making sure that doesn't happen.

Some more notes on distribution:

- Mr. Haley stated that Celsius Holdings has grown to the point where the company can now be more selective in choosing distributors, instead of letting the distributors choose Celsius. Nice.

- Many retailers and distributors had been taking a 'wait and see' approach towards the product, to see if the product would stick. VFC thinks these retailers will now start jumping on board since the product, and the 'negative calorie' genre is growing.

- Placement is improving. In Meijer, for example, Celsius began with placement in the pharmacy, and now the bottles will be sold in the New Age section and the cans in the weight management section. I like that. When I went to Albertsons in San Diego, I thought to myself it would be a pretty good idea to have some Celsius cans right around the Slim Fast cans. It looks like the company beat me to that thought. That's why they get paid the big bucks and VFC scrapes by on bread crumbs.

- The Bermuda deal is turning out to be a good deal. No exact figures, but positive feedback from Bermuda.

Since I began investing in this company, I was wondering about the necessity of the clinical science behind the product. The general public doesn't really care about science and studies, otherwise we wouldn't have all the obesity in this country that we do. Mr. Haley made the light bulb go off in that rock I call my head today while responding to a caller who asked how the international deals are coming. Mr. Haley said the deals are in the works, but since Celsius is being considered a weight-loss product, it must pass regulatory review in many countries. Hence the need for proven science. Once again the smart people are out there making the big bucks while VFC is left wondering what the hell is going on.

An update on the new product talked about previously; still in R&D and it will be released when the balance sheet is looking better, but we still don't know what the new product is.

For those looking for forward guidance, the company is still a bit too young to report it accurately, so Mr. Haley refrained from giving numbers that he couldn't back up with history or financials. One item of note, profit margins should increase as the product gets more release in the can vice the bottle.

What all this shows me is that this is no pump and dump organization looking to have a tax write-off or a laugh with investor money. These guys are setting into place a well thought out plan with a definitive goal of marketing, sales and execution. This product started from nothing and it takes time to build a solid distribution network, especially when competing with a brand name like Coca Cola. The good side to that is the fact that Enviga, being a Coke product, validates the negative calorie genre. Of course Enviga doesn't taste near as good as Celsius.

All being said, I'm confident in the product and the investment, in fact I'd even love to double down if the stock drops to the low teens again. What we need now is a good financing deal or for the stock to hit the floor of .45 cents and maintain that price for the Fusion deal to kick in.

Now I'm going to go to the La Jolla, California Sports Club Cafe and buy myself a couple of more cans of Orange Celsius to help me get through the big water day I've got tomorrow!

Volume, What Does it Mean?

If I'm being redundant to some of you, sorry, just wanted to emphasize the importance of trading volume. If you look at a stock ticker, you'll see the volume of the stock for that day, meaning the number of shares traded. You'll also see what the average volume for that stock is, meaning the average number of shares traded over the course of a three-month period (depending, but three months is pretty standard).

As a little guy investor, you can tell a few things from the volume. If a stock is pretty much trading sideways on average volume, it's just a normal day in the market for the stock.

When you get above normal spikes or drops in the stock, follow the volume. It's pretty simple, if a stock is rising on above average volume, good news has hit the wires or is about to. If a stock is tanking on above average volume, then bad news has hit or is about to.

This comes into play a lot in after-hours. You can see drastic price swings in stocks after hours, but if you don't look at the volume it could be deceiving. You may see a 15% decline in a stock after hours and panic, but if it's only 800 shares or something minuscule, the stock is most likely going to trade normally the next day, the AH drop was just someone playing games. Vica versa for an AH spike on low volume.

Just something to look for. Don't you love the market?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Epicept (EPCT), European Medicines Agency Gives Trend Vote on Ceplene, and Tomorrow the Company Reports Quarterly Results!

A little more than a month ago I talked about the Epicept (EPCT) stock, and I liked the risk-reward profile that came along with it. I still do.

However, a bit of bad news came today when the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) gave a negative trend vote for Epicept's Ceplene drug, currently being reviewed for approval in Europe.

A trend vote is similar to our FDA advisory panels; the advisory panel gives it's recommendations for approval or disapproval after reviewing the data. Generally, although not always as the Provenge case showed us, the main regulatory body will follow the suggestion of the advisory panel. In the case of the Ceplene review, Epicept gave an oral presentation to the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), the scientific committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), regarding the outstanding issues of the drug's marketing approval application.

After reviewing the data, a slight majority of the committee gave a negative vote for Ceplene's approval. But here's where it gets interesting. Ceplene's application was for the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in first remission, of which the committee states Ceplene demonstrated it's safety and efficacy. Then the committee stated that another trial may be needed to confirm these results since Ceplene failed to meet the intended endpoints in a DIFFERENT trial for the treatment of malignant melanoma. I'm trying to understand why the committee is taking results for a trial other than the one that tested the drug's saftey and efficacy for the condition which Epicept is seeking approval.

The CEO of Epicept, Jack Talley, will host a conference call for the company's quarterly results tomorrow, and hopefully he addresses this issue, if not he'll most certainly be asked to clarify the Press Release by an analyst. If Ceplene demonstrated safety and efficacy in the AML trial, why are they comparing the trial to another condition? I've never been accused of being smart, but this doesn't make much sense to me.

Next month will be the final decision for approval, and hopefully those on the committee that make up the minority to the 'slight majority' can be swayed to accept this drug for the treatment of patients who may desperately need it.

According to his words in the press release, Mr. Talley and Co. are also considering an appeal in the case of a negative outcome next month.

Another option could be conditional approval, a situation that would allow the drug to hit the market while awaiting results for an additional trial.

Celsius Holdings Conference Call Tomorrow! CSUH.OB

Celsius Holdings, CSUH.OB will be reporting their fourth quarter and 2007 fiscal year financial results tomorrow after the market close.

The company's stock has been trading in a pretty tight range between roughly .165-.20 cents ever since the stock popped up to .28 cents on January 30th, and VFC said the last call is coming for this stock! I'm thinking the tight trading has been the market awaiting these financials that will be released tomorrow.

Although the company is growing it's distribution network, including the first international deal, it's still too early in the Celsius story to expect them to report a profit. However, if they get close to a profit for Quarter 4, we could see a nice little pop in the share price. Ten cents looks like the bottom for CSUH.OB, but I don't see the stock dropping to that range unless there are terrible fourth quarter results, and I don't foresee that happening.

For Quarter 3 2007 (ending September 30th), Celsius reported revenue of $508,000. That was up from $376,000 in Quarter 2. We're heading in the right direction here and the more distribution deals the company signs, the quicker the growth will come, but without any forward-looking guidance from the company, it is hard to predict future earnings. In the last quarterly statement the CEO Stephen Haley stated that with the current pace of growth, future earnings will be easier to predict, so maybe we'll get some good forward looking guidance tomorrow.

The company also signed quite a few distribution deals in the fourth quarter, but we won't necessarily see the fruits of those deals until results come out for this quarter, but we may see some benefit from the deals that were signed earlier in the quarter.

For the nine months ending September 30th, 2007, the company reported revenue of $1,125,547, so in VFC's opinion, so we should approach the $2 million dollar mark for FY 2007, which I believe could bump the stock to the high .20s, then start a trend up.

The only worry I have with the growth, is I'm not completely sure if all the stores that are selling Celsius are actually re-stocking once they sell out. I did a trip to southern California not too long ago and I hit a few Albertsons stores in Santa Barbara and San Diego. I didn't find Celsius in any one of them. One store manager in San Diego stated that Albertsons had discontinued the product and he called around for me to see if any of them had any left. So the good news is that they all sold out, but the bad news is that they didn't re-stock. I contacted Celsius and they told me that they are in negotiation with Albertsons to get better product placement, but they that they should be re-stocking.

On the other hand, I've visited Vitamin Shoppe's in three different states and they all say the Celsius sells well.

We'll see where this all gets us tomorrow. Regardless, I'm in this one for the long haul. I love the growth potential and the product, and I think they have a good management team, a key to a good stock.

I would love one more dip down to ten or eleven cents, though, so I could back up my new truck and load up some more CSUH.OB!

Also See:
Celsius, The Calorie Burning Beverage
CSUH.OB Buy it in a Down Market!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Capstone Turbine is Rising, CPST

In January, I wrote about VFC's choice for a green stock, Capstone Turbine (CPST), and I liked their growth potential in the business of low-emission microturbine systems.

I've done pretty good with this one so far, most of my purchases were between a buck and a buck ten, but I've been buying on the dips as this baby inches up. I didn't get into Capstone for a quick buck, rather for the long term growth potential of the company as the world goes greener and greener.

On February 20th, Capstone issued a Press Release stating that they had just received a $1.9 million dollar order from a multinational oil and gas company. It's ironic to me that the oil and gas companies are wanting to go green, too, especially when they love taking our greenbacks these days, but that's fine with me, especially if they're throwing their money at Capstone.

Only five days later, today, the company issued another release announcing the signing of a new Distributor agreement with Proetel Ingenieros Asociados Cia.Ltda for all applications and market segments in Ecuador.

It looks like business is picking up at the same time Capstone is advancing their technology. The products page of their website keeps growing, and that could only mean good things are coming.

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The volume and stock price picked up during the last half of the trading day today before closing at $1.78, and I wonder if it was just the Ecuador deal that made that happen, but that's purely speculation on my part. The company may have more news coming that only the big boys know about right now (not that the little guy is ever the last to know).

I believe this company will continue to grow, and I'll continue adding up to about the two dollar, two fifty range before I sit back. By no means am I a high roller, so I'll just hang back and get enough bread crumbs to take the family on a nice long vacation or six while the big boys get rich.

VFC believes a lot of people will get rich off CPST in the next few years. Flowers

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sitting on the Sidelines.....Encysive Pharmaceuticals (ENCY)

There was a time last month when Encysive Pharmaceuticals was sitting at about sixty cents and VFC was saying, "Man, I gotta get back in this stock!" There's a time right about now where I wish I would have done just that so I couldn't enjoyed the easy triple, as ENCY closed the day at $2.27 on news that Pfizer, Inc is going to make a cash purchase of Encysive for 195 million bucks.

The truth is, I intended to get back into ENCY pretty soon, but I wanted to solidify my Celsius Holdings (CSUH.OB), and add to my Dendreon (DNDN) and CEGE stashes. Although all three of these are hugely speculative, CEGE and CSUH.OB have already started paying me back, but none are yet the triple that ENCY earned.

The truth is, ENCY would not have been a true triple for me, since I would have been just making back some of the losses I took when Encysive's Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension drug Thelin took a major hit by recieving a third approvable letter from the FDA this summer, dropping the stock from about the five dollar range to under a buck.

Luckily, I had taken some March DNDN winnings and bought a few ENCY call options to await the FDA's decision. I knew the FDA was concerned about some of the Phase III data for Thelin, but the company stated the problem related to the formatting of data rather than a request for a new trial. It turned out that the FDA wanted a new trial, claiming the existing trial left the data incomplete. The stock tanked and so did my stock options.

After the CEO's a grievance against the FDA was pulled, the company hired themselves a new CEO, stated they would honor the request for a new trial and hired an investment banking firm to find a strategic way out of their newfound financial mess. That's where Pfizer came in, as now they will finish the Thelin trials, rake in the European profits from the drug and then market Thelin in the US, pending FDA approval.

Luckily, VFC didn't put all the PAH eggs in one basket, I had also bought stock options in Gilead Sciences, Inc (GILD) and made out pretty good on those when their PAH drug, Ambrisentan, gained approval over Thelin, however on the condition that it recieved the 'black label' for dangerous side effects. Cramer originally hyped GILD on his show in January 2007, so a little DD for me and I was sold on GILD anyway.

In VFC's humble opinion, I figured Ambrisentan would gain approval, but I thought that Thelin would have also gained approval, possibly even without the black label. Although small pharma usually doesn't stand a chance when going head to head with big Pharma, Encisive was approved in Europe and couldn't possibly be stupid enough to recieve three approvable letters from the FDA. After two approvable letters, I couldn't imagine the company not complying to what the FDA wanted done. I thought the odds were looking pretty good for the third time being the charm for Thelin in the US. I was wrong.

Now, this is VFC's opinion, and VFC's opinion only, but it just so happens that the honorable Donald Rumsfeld (yes, that Rummy) served on the board of directors for Gilead in the past and had(s) a whole lotta money (at least by our standards) wrapped up in Gilead still. I am by no means a conspiracy theorist, but when something doesn't pass VFC's smell test, I get suspicous. I am not naive enough to think that our government officials and agencies always make decisions based on facts and science rather than politics, money and influence. I'm also not a scientist, so I cannot definitively state why Thelin looked good for approval or not, but from what I do understand about the drugs and their respective side effects after reading through the public trial results, I can't understand why one got approved and not the other. I think Rummy's influence had a little something to do with that. Gilead's stock has had a pretty good year.

Things like this are along the same lines of people accusing the government for not controlling the oil prices better, some Big Oil companies are getting pretty rich off those high oil prices.

The point being: the stock market is a risky business and when you're into biotechs and Pharma, you never know what you're going to get because of the human factor from the FDA. You're betting on how a federal agency and it's employees are going to interpret data, and you hope they interpret that data with morality, conscience and science in mind and not lobbies and political or monetary gain. Just like you hope oil companies set their prices at a reasonable price for the consumer rather than whatever price is going to help them set records for quarterly profits.

I'm not happy I missed out on the latest ENCY run, but hey, it happens every day in the market.

Now let's see what the FDA says about the interim Provenge results due out sometime later this year. This could be another huge triple (or more) or another drop down around a dollar for DNDN.

I won't be on the sidelines for that one, win or lose!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

VFC's Investing Term for the Little Guy: Shaking Out the Weak Hands

We all know that the big boys control the markets. By Big Boys, I'm referring to large brockerage houses, hedge funds and capital investment firms, among others. The Money Managers and Market Makers control the prices of stocks, and us little people gotta get in and out when we can, hopefully selling for higher than we bought for.

The goal of all of the above entities is to make money, and to make money at any cost. They don't care about the little guy trying to get in and out with a profit to send his kids to college, they just want you to buy their shares for a high price when the stock is going to drop and they want you to sell your stock cheap right before the stock price rises. You know that successful investing means 'Buy low and sell high', but these guys want you to do the opposite, they want you to 'Buy high and sell low'. Sounds a bit unethical, huh? Welcome to the world of investing.

Many people don't have the stomach to watch their investment drop and drop, so they end up selling on the low only to be on the sidelines when it moves back up. That is not a good investment strategy. If you've done your homework on a stock, you have a good knowledge of what to expect from the stock, and you won't lose confidence just because the market takes the stock down, or up, unexpectedly. A loss or a gain is not a loss or a gain until you sell, so make sure you have a good buying and selling strategy before you put your money into a stock (or any investment).

Sometimes the Money Managers and Market Makers are tipped off to positive or negative events before the general public (of course that's not supposed to happen but it does). If they get tipped off to a positive event regarding a certain company's stock, they all begin a mad dash to purchase more shares of that stock, and they want in cheap before the good news is released. In order to do this, they may attempt to 'shake out the weak hands', which simply means dropping the price of the stock in order to scare people into selling their shares cheap. The weak hands are the ones that cannot stand to watch their investment drop, so they sell for a loss. It's a shame that so many people fall for this, and people that do should not be investing with their own money.

Carefully do your homework on your stocks and come up with an exit strategy and stick to your strategy. Don't sell just because you're scared, sell because you've reached your exit strategy point. Don't be a weak hand.

It sucks to be on the sideline when the stock you sold out of starts a nice steady climb up. I know it because I've been there myself. VFC was a weak hand once, but not any more!

Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTP) Insider Purchases

Since the beginning of the new year, four Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTP) insiders have made large-block share purchases. As I mentioned when the Chief Operations Officer of Celsius Holdings (CSUH.OB) made a large share purchase last week, insider buys can be an indication that positive events are forthcoming!

When high-ranking members of a company put their own cash on the line, it gives investors a great deal of confidence that they just might see a nice return on their investment.

Since the start of the new year Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTP) Robert Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Rubin, Executive VP and Chief Operations Officer Sunil Bhonsle and Director Joachim Kapp collectively purchases approximately $110,000 worth of Titan's shares. These insider share purchases increased my confidence that Titan Pharmaceuticals is a great speculative buy right now.

As I've described here, Titan Pharmaceuticals should be providing quite a bit of pipeline updates this year, the first will probably be the Phase III trial results for it's drug-delivery system Probuphine, followed by Spheramine and DITPA Phase II trial results. Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA) schizophrenia drug Iliperidone, of which Titan will recieve up to 10% of total sales, is currently under review by the FDA and a decision for approval of the drug should come by summer.

Positive outcomes on any of these events could provide a solid spike in share price, and if Iloperidone is approved, Titan will finally have a steady influx of cash.

Today, February 14th, Titan's stock was down on high volume, usually a negative sign, but in the cas of such a speculative, highly manipulated stock like TTP, it is hard to determine whether this is negative or not. The big boys could be swapping shares to keep the stock price low and allow their 'friends' to get in at such a cheap price, they could be 'shaking out the weak hands', or bad news could be pending and we don't know about it yet. If the latter is correct, and bad news is pending, I've said before that I like Titan's prospects because they are not a one trick pony, so even with a quick sell-off, we'll still have opportunities to recover losses.

I've seen Titan drop only to recover then drop again many times, so I'm not scared off by today's high volume drop in price, rather I wish I had some money on the sidelines to jump in with more!

I think insiders buying shares is a very positive sign that positive Press Releases may be on the way.

Titan insiders bought TTP, and VFC is still positive on this stock!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Celsius update! COO Share Purchase!

This is NOT a Celsius Holdings blog, I know I've said that before, but since the new year rolled in the company has been on a Press Release tear. New distribution pacts are always good for growing companies like Celsius (CSUH.OB), but I like the new piece of positive information realeased today; the Chief Operating Officer of Celsius, Richard McGee, on February 11th, 2008, purchased 781,250 shares for a total price of about $78,125. The lucky COO bought the shares for a price of ten cents per share, a nice 50% discount to where the stock was trading at the time, but anytime an insider makes a large purchase, it's viewed as good news. An instant double makes it even better for him. Insider purchases give the investors a nice warm and fuzzy since it indicates that the big guys believe in their company enough to open their own wallets and risk their own dough.

One could look at the transaction and point out that at that someone sold 781,250 shares, and that's not very positive and there's truth to that, especially when the seller sold at such a discounted price. There could be a few reasons for a sell of that size. Some rich guy already loaded up with Celsius stock just needed a quick 78 grand for another investment (or a new car) and decided to sell. Transactions of that size are worked behind the scenes, so us little guys will never know why someone sold all those shares, but the fact that the Cheif Operating Officer of the company is buying is a positive sign, in VFC's opinion. Especially just before earnings.

I foresee the company releasing fourth quarter results sometime in February, and I wanted to be loaded up before then. If earnings are positive we could get a nice bump up (creating a nice opportunity to sell some of our profit), and if earnings are not so great for Quarter 4, then the stock will drop and create an excellent opportunity to double down. The way I see it, either way I win, because I believe we'll be seeing some good things from this company in the future. I originally got in with a five year timeframe in mind, but I've re-thought that since the stock dropped to ten cents giving a good opportunity to trade it, buy on the dips and sell on the spikes, while keeping a solid base in place so I don't miss out just in case it really pops.

Positive signs I'm looking at:

- Good product. The drink tastes great, offers various flavors, and is the standard for the calorie burning beverages. A good product does not guarantee good bottom-line results, but it's a pretty good start. America is full of lazy people, and those lazy people will jump on any shot they have at losing weight without doing something productive like hitting the gym, so they'll love Celsius. Again, studies show Celsius aids in weight-loss, but encourages an excercise regimen and healthy lifestyle along with drinking the beverage. It also provides a healthy alternative to sugary energy and soft-drinks at a time when America is looking for a healthy alternative (at least some of us are).

- The competition is weak. Don't know if anyone's tried Enviga, but the flavor choices are fewer and it doesn't taste as good as Celsius. They do have the marketing edge, however, since it is a Coke product.

- More products! The CEO stated in a couple of video conferences that once they ramped up the distribution network, they would ramp out some new products. They already own the patent on these products, according to the CEO, and we may see them as early as this year. More chance for growth.

- We still have not seen what Celsius could do with a targeted ad campaign. Once they gain national attention, whatever sales they have now should increase drastically. Celsius is still an unknown, and that needs to change.

- COO buying. I always like insider buys.

- International deals may be in the works, the Bermuda deal being the first hard evidence of this.

VFC will be keeping his eye on this one!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sirius-XM Merger Approaches One Year Mark

Last December I thought we would have a decision from the Department of Justice regarding the Sirius-XM sattelite radio merger. For some reason I had a short term lapse of good judgement while obviously demonstrating my ability to be a bit too naiive. I was counting on a Government agency to actually accomplish something in the time frame that they gave themselves to do it, and man, what was I thinking?

December 3rd, 2007 was the self-imposed deadline that the DOJ gave themselves to render their decision before punting of the Federal Communications Commision to give their approval or disapproval. Both stocks were rising steadily leading up to that date, both in anticipation and on an analyst rumor that a decision was imminent. When the deadline passed and a member of Congress wrote a letter to the DOJ warning them not to rush the decision (since when is almost a year a rush-job?) the stocks declined rapidly.

Those who had December stock options lost out; those who had January stock options lost out; so how much more time do they need already?

It seems like a no-brainer to the general public that the decision should be in favor of a merger as both companies are bleeding money trying to compete with each other, while the technological advances of the iPods, cellphones and countless other gadgets create more and more competition for SatRad every day.

While we sit and wait for a decision, I've slowly added to my SIRI, as I believe Sirius is the better option if these two companies have to go it alone. Sirius has the better sports package and Sirius has the Playboy channel. They've also got Howard Stern. If you were on the road during the Super Bowl, Siri carried the game for you. How can you argue with that?

Theories abound as to why the decision is stuck in the halls of the DOJ. Many see the legnthy decision as a good thing, and others see it as a bad thing. Some analysts have indicated there is a rift between the new school and old school of the DOJ and others state that the delay is due to the fierce opposition to the merger of the National Association of Broadcasters, a strong lobbying group. The NAB opposes the merger because they are threatened by the competition to terrestrial radio, but they also state that they don't believe terrestrial radio is threatened by SatRad.....HUH? In reality the NAB is just a bunch of lobbying idiots looking for a kickback somewhere. But that's just VFC's opinion.

The bottom line is the legnth of time this is taking is borderline ridiculous. Chop-Chop guys, lets get a decision one way or another. No wonder the Government has such a bad name about getting things done!

In the meantime, I'm sure glad I bought January 2009 options vice 2008.

VFC still likes SIRI, whether the merger passes or not.

VFC loves the Sirius Stiletto 2, the portable satellite reciever. Perfect for jogging, you can listen to ESPN radio, CNBC or the Beat Channel (only 3 of about 165 channels). Nice. It also has a record button that allows you to record the song you are listening to, and save it to your library, or you can store hour after hour of programming and replay it whenever you want. The Stiletto 2 also serves as an MP3 player, so you can save all your favorite songs to the reciever and play them back whenever. The live programming and the sports content of Sirius makes it an easy pick over the iPod. You can also buy the car-docking kit and listen to all you music, saved or live, in the comfort of your own car!

When you really want to relax, you go the outdoor whirlpool at the Marriott, sit back and listen to the Chill channel.....but don't tell the wife I'm relaxing that much!

Celsius Holdings (CSUH.OB) Goes to a Vacation Hot-Spot!

Today Celsius Holdings (CSUH.OB) informed us that Triangle Imports of Bermuda will offer the Celsius calorie-burning to it's customers. Triangle Imports pre-launched the beverage in November and they have already recieved positive feedback, according to the Press Release. This is good news.

The company has indicated that they are attempting to sign on some international distributors, and this looks like a good first step.

I mention this news because I believe time is running out to get into CSUH.OB at this low a price. A month ago we were sitting at ten cents, so today's close is already a double if you bought in at that price. I'm thinking there's a lot more of that to go!

Today's news drove the stock price up five cents to close at twenty cents on nearly four times the average volume. As volitile the market is right now, the stock may retrace a bit, as it did on the spike a couple of weeks ago, but buying anywhere in this range is a good idea (according to VFC).

Of course, even though I like the risk-reward of CSUH.OB, keep in mind that it is a speculative stock, so even though the reward could be great, it comes with great risk.

This one's a risk worth taking, in my opinion.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Yahoo! Doesn't Feel the Microsoft Love

According to recent reports, it looks like Yahoo!'s board will turn down Microsofts 44 plus billion dollar bid for the internet search pioneer. In the grand scheme of things, this doesn't affect the little investor much, unless you missed out on the chance to sell when Yahoo! spiked to almost thirty bucks. VFC did sell and used the profits to jump into the speculative CSUH.OB.

Bottom line is, if you sold some profit on the Yahoo! spike, like I hope you did, then you did the right thing. You could either put that money somewhere else or you can re-buy Yahoo! at a much lower price next week and pocket the profit on the trade. Yahoo! is bound to drop on news that the board will rebuke the Microsoft offer. As generous as an offer that we may believe the Microsoft's offer was, Yahoo! may have a plan that they believe will eventually launch their share price higher than the 31 bucks or so per share Microsoft was offereing. Hopefully this is the case, even though we haven't seen anything to justify it.

In the meantime, Google will continue down the road of internet search and paid advertising dominance on their way to taking over the world.

It's interesting to see what comes of this story. Is Yahoo! just posturing for more money from Microsoft or do they really have a business plan that makes them think that a 30% premium on their shares just ain't worth it?

We'll see. Meanwhile, I'm liking the profits took from the spike to 29.68 the other day!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

WARNING: Last Chance for CSUH.OB

I couldn't start off a new month without pitching CSUH.OB, could I?

OB stocks are always risky for the simple matter that they are easily manipulated, unregulated by a major exchange and for the most part, penny stocks.

BUT, I emphasize that I believe we are seeing the last of the teens for Celsius Holdings, CSUH.OB. The stock has been kicked down hard over the past year while the distribution network has grown. Slowly the product is growing in consumer awareness and that is leading to quick sell-outs at it's various placement locations.

The company will start advertising as the distribution grows.

Indications are that an overseas deal may be in the works, as well as many domestic deals.

The stock hit 27 cents the other day on extremely high volume (over two million shares traded vs. the average of approx 300,000) before retracing back to as low as 16 cents (as VFC wanted so I could buy more with my Yahoo! profits today).

Now if only the stock would stay in the teens a little bit longer so I can really stock (pun) up.

But our time is passing us by. If you bought at 10 or 11 cents when VFC recommended it, you've more than doubled your money if you sold off some profit in the twenties. If not you're up 70% right now. Not too shabby.

VFC believes there's a whole lotta 'not too shabby' coming up, so lets jump on the growth potential of this company.

Quarterly numbers are out soon, and if they look good forget about ever seeing prices this low again.

Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTP) is Worth Buying at This Price

mentioned About 50 cents ago, I thought that Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTP) was a risk worth taking. I loved it as a good risk-reward play then and a screaming-buy (in my opinion) at the price of 1.20, roughly where it closed today.

TTP is a risky play. I get the impression Wall Street does not like this stock, probably due to some shady trading by then CEO of Titan Pharmaceuticals Louis Bucalo in 2002. Bucalo made out handsomely while Titan's stock price plummetted from all time highs to all time lows.

At the time, the stock had risen to about 65 bucks in anticipation of Phase III results for the Iloperidone trials, it's drug for the treatment of schizophrenia.

Now, almost six years later, Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA), to whom Titan has licensed Iloperidone, has reported positive Phase III results and filed a New Drug Application with the FDA. A decision is due this summer.

By no means do I believe TTP will approach it's all time highs (ever), but if Iloperidone is approved, but it will at least triple from it's current levels, in my opinion.

The heat is on, as one bio-tech columnist recently slammed the chances of an Iloperidone approval (while admitting the source for most of his information was short Vanda's stock VNDA). I attempted to contact the columnist to ask for sources of his information, especially the references to harsh side-effects, and I have not heard back. I'm sure because guys who are short the stock are more interested in taking the money out of people's retirement accounts and into their own pockets than they are providing the truth.

Iloperidone has had a rocky past, but if approved, Titan will recieve a nice percentage of sales.

Probuphine, a novel drug delivery system that allows patients to recieve once-every-six-month treatment for opium addiction, is currently in Phase III trials with results probably due in the summer also. Titan seems pretty positive Probuphine will be a success because they halted trials of their DITPA drug in order to focus on the Probuphine trials. Results of this Phase III trial, and the subsequent NDA filing, could be another catalyst for the stock.

Now on to what I believe is responisible for TTP's recent drop in price. Spheramine is a drug currently in Phase IIb trials for the treatment of Parkinsons. Titan, partnered with Bayer Schering, should be reporting Phase IIb results for the Spheramine trials at any time. Bayer has indicated they are positive on Spheramine's future potential, although they indicated they don't see distribution until 2012. A recent article appeared in the Wall Street Journal referencing one patient who was enrolled in Spheramine trials, then ended up in a wheelchair after being treated with Spheramine. The case was settled outside of court for an undisclosed sum. At first glance this would scare someone away from Spheramine, Titan and it's stock. However, I feel it's strange that the Wall Street Journal chose to feature an old-news, front page (I believe it was front page, I actually read the on-line article) story about a developmental-level biotech trading at a buck twenty.

I'm one who believes that the big boys all play together and keep each other in the loop (read: corruption) a lot better than how they keep the little guys in the loop. It's no secret stocks can be manipulated up and manipulated down and I am under the belief that TTP is one of the most manipulated stocks out there. But back to the front page story.

It's safe to assume that if whatever problems this unfortunate patient had were related to Spheramine, the trials would have been halted. They were not. Bayer Schering is no slouch in the drug industry, and they are in control of the trials. There has been ample time for other problems to arise and they have not. Bayer still speaks highly of Spheramine during quarterly presentations and updates. Being treated with Spheramine is injected directly into the brain, another variable in the equation, as the procedure itself could provide an undesired outcome and not the drug itself.

An opposing view may say, well why the settlement? That's a good point, and at the time of the settlement, it may have been more valid. If the drug company knew that they were guilty, then they'd pay up. At the same time, however, no drug company likes litigation. Innocent or not, it's bad publicity, so a few million (I'm assuming, I don't know the settlement number) is chump change for them to make the story go away. The fact that nothing more has come from this, or any other case, and that the trials were not halted tells me they settled for the latter reason. And the fact that this story is on the front page of the Journal tells me somebody wanted it out for their own personal gain. Don't tell me the Journal doesn't have anything better to report these days than this. Go after the banks who were lending people money they knew they didn't have. This wasn't class-action, it was one person's old news with a story that comes out pretty suspiciously.

In this case I feel like the big boys are shaking us down, making the little guy scared, so they can make money off our weak hands. VFC don't play that. I can be wrong, this stock has disappointed for years (unless you traded it and made some smooth cash money that way), but I think we've got good things to come.

All this brings me back to the point: There are too many events in the near future that can boost this stock for VFC to sit on the sidelines when it's trading for near a buck. VFC likes risk-reward, and TTP provides high-risk, but can provide higher rewards.

I like TTP, especially down close to a buck.

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