Monday, March 23, 2015

NeuroDerm Lock-Out Ending May 13, 2015

Investors (particularly shorter term traders) should be alerted to expect volatility in this stock as the clock tics down to the end of NeuroDerm's "lock out" period on May 13th. While the IPO itself represented approximately 4.5 million shares, another 12 million shares will be freed up to be traded as of that date. Close to 10 million of the 12 million are held by Capital Point Ltd. and 3 NeuroDerm directors: Shmuel Cabilly, Robert Taub and Uwe Washer. None of this information means that the shares will be made available in the market, but a potential will exist and, in any case, a perception associated with the end of the "lock-out" will likely cause a certain amount of volatility leading up to and following the May 13th date.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Suitability vs Fiduciary

A hot debate these days is whether a fiduciary standard ought to be applied to the advice given by brokers. If I had a vote, I would vote for the fiduciary standard and abandon the suitability standard. A broker's license is too often used as a license to steal.

Given the fiduciary standard, my advice to those who "have enough" would be this:

Avoid all actively managed mutual funds and hedge funds. Use ETFs only, particularly if you do not want to do a lot of homework, but be sure to watch the macros. Otherwise, do the homework and limit your investments to only those that have been completely analyzed. Cash is not a bad alternative in a high risk, low interest rate, low inflation environment. If you don't "need" to be wealthier, make capital preservation your highest and perhaps your exclusive financial goal.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mainstream Media-CBS World News Report

I love pandas, too. But before moving to the panda story, CBS, how about covering the news. No mention made of the Homeland Security funding logjam finally being broken in Congress? Why? Given the popularity of fictional programs like The West Wings and House of Cards, why wouldn't you expect an audience to have an interest in the drama in Congress. Besides, it is actual NEWS, pandas are not news. Pandas deserve center stage on Animal Planet, but not on a program that holds itself out to be a world class world news program.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Acorda Update

I pointed out in my Seeking Alpha article February 23rd titled Acorda 2015: Patents, Pipeline and Patients, Cash and Catalysts  that among the positive and negative catalysts for 2015 might be one negative that Kyle Bass would file 4 more challenges to each of the additional 4 patents on which there had not yet been a filing. The first filing had taken place on February 10th and, as if on cue, a second filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was made on Friday, February 27. This second filing drove the stock price down further, closing at $33.84. I see a possible "death of a thousand cuts" scenario where every 2 weeks, Bass announces another filing. Acorda's CEO, Ron Cohen, referred to the effort as a "water torture" scenario, without elaborating at the Cowen Group 35th Annual Healthcare Conference on March 2nd. Given this intensifying patent battle, investors may want to consider sitting on the sidelines for awhile and coming back into it once the smoke begins to clear.
On the other hand and on a more positive note, Cohen made reference to a private study a few months ago by Decision Resources that puts the peak revenue potential of CVT-301 (the Parkinson's rescue therapy) at 700 to 800 million, thus higher than the previous "over 500 million" more conservative figure that had earlier been discussed.

March 15th Note: Short shares of Acorda from January 30, 2015 to February 27, 2015 have been driven from 11% of float to 17.8% or 7,434,503 shares.