Weekly Stock Watch: DNDN, MNKD, ONTY Print E-mail
By Vinny Cassano   
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 02:31
penny stocksDNDN: Dendreon will be on my stock watchlist this week. A large part of this company being able to meet year-end sales guidance for the prostate cancer immunotherapy, Provenge, has to do with The FDA approving a new manufacturing facility in Los Angeles, California.
According to previous guidance, the FDA is due to rule on this approval by the end of June and, guess what, we're coming up on the last week of the month.

The FDA approved the expansion of Dendreon's New Jersey facility early this year without question, so it's generally expected that the LA facility will meet the same fate. The company also expects approval of its Atlanta facility later this summer, as well.

Dendreon has slipped below the forty dollar mark again, and positive approval news may spark a mini-run to above that mark, but it looks like shares could hover right around the current levels until the year-end guidance starts materializing into a reality.

Keep an eye on DNDN, while the developments over the past year have been highly encouraging - and should continue to be so - any less-than-stellar news would provide the shorts an opportunity to play their games.

ONTY:
Another solid week for this cancer immunotherapy high-flyer, with Friday being a particularly interesting day. An endorsement by Jim Cramer sent volume through the roof on Friday, with nearly ten million shares trading hands, just about ten times the normal trading average.

Cramer acknowledged the speculative nature of the stock, and added that, "I always endorse speculative cancer plays because I'm hopeful."

A couple of things to point out here: When Dendreon (DNDN) was still a speculative "cancer vaccine stock", Cramer was not a fan of it and far from endorsed the company, so take that statement for what it's worth.

More importantly for investors, however, it might be time to take some profits off the table, for those who haven't already. I'm always a fan of selling some shares into any significant price runs, and ONTY has experienced a very significant run in just a short time, but it's also not uncommon to see shares of a stock that Cramer mentions on his program fall shortly after the mention. Cramer, himself, has even advised that it's best to buy into his mentions days, or even weeks, after a stock airs on his program because shorts tend to jump on after the post-hype jump.

This one might have been due for a retreat anyway, given the huge run, but tread carefully from here on out.

Investors were already heavily rewarded this year with ONTY, now's not the time to get greedy.

That said, if the Stimuvax trials come out positive - full results are due next year - then it's likely that we'll have another DNDN move on our hands, so keep a good eye on this story, and play the dips.

Goin all-in at this point, however, might not be the wisest of moves.

ROG.VX, GSK, SNY: A story worth watching this week. According to reports from Europe, three powerhouse pharmaceutical companies are withholding product deliveries to Greece, since that country is on the cusp of bankruptcy and cannot afford to pay its bills.

Roche of Switzerland, Sanofi of France and England's GlaxoSmithKline are all in discussions with the Greek government to resolve the issue.

With government control of health care still a hot issue in the United States, this is a development to take note of. Definitely not a story, however, that proponents of state-controlled health care want to see.

CLDX: Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX) is another company whose stock experienced some interesting trading on Friday. Shares closed the day ten percent higher on volume more than four times the daily norm, but more interestingly, most of that action came in the last hour of trading.

Late-week moves like that can be an indicator that something is in the works for the following week, so investors are likely to be antsy in anticipation as to what could materialize.

CLDX has traded  in the three to four dollar price range since the company's divorce from Pfizer (PFE) last year, and a recent stock offering sent shares towards the lower end of that range, opening up what I though might be a decent buying opportunity.

Friday's late move has Celldex as one to watch during the coming week.

CDXC: Shares of Chromadex Corp (CDXC) were on the steady rise last week, as the company prepares for a national launch of its new 'BluScience' product line. The commercial launch of the products, scheduled for July, will put the product line in corporate GNC stores, and major growth is expected from this company over the next few years.

BluScience is founded on Chrmodex's pTeroPure, an ultra-pure formulation of the naturally occurring compound pterostilbene, which is found in blueberries.

The pTeroPure ingredient has been infiltrating the dietary supplement market and has shown to have positive impact on various human health functions, including supporting cholesterol and blood pressure levels while also adding additional benefits related to cognitive function and healthy aging.

Continue keeping an eye on this one as the date to the July launch draws nearer.

MNKD: After a relatively dull trading day Friday, Mannkind (MNKD) shares jumped nearly ten percent during the after-hours when the company let loose two press releases regarding the positive aspects of some already-concluded studies.

One PR informed the public that data from previous studies demonstrated that patients utilizing the company's inhaled insulin product, Afrezza, were not at an increased risk of a cardiac event.

Another PR noted that Type I diabetes patients who used Afrezza held a more positive view about the product than they did towards standard insulin therapy.

It's not likely, in my opinion, that this news is going to be enough to keep the MNKD share price at four bucks-plus for long, but long term investors with the patience to wait this one out should find the news encouraging.

Keep an eye on Mannkind, as the company is going to need money to fund the additional trials required for FDA approval, and some speculation has it that it will be a partner that up-fronts Mannkind that cash.

That said, I don't get the impression, based on recent statements from the company, that a partnership is in the immediate works, so keep an eye on CEO Al Mann's wallet (will he throw more money towards Afrezza?) or a possible stock sale.

IMUC: Immunocellular continued to tick higher last week on the growing potential of the company's Phase II treatment for glioblastoma, ICT-107.

IMUC received another boost last week when a key patent was issued safeguarding its cancer-fighting technology, news that helped shares break through the two dollar mark and remain there for the remainder of the week.

It's not out of the question to believe that Immunocellular is still undervalued based on the potential of its lead products and technology, especially when some market competitors (Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX) and Cel-Sci Corp. (CVM)) are trading for significantly higher market caps.

The recent developments and increase in share price has IMUC as a stock to watch.

SIGA:   It's been trial and turmoil for Siga Technologies, as the awarding of a huge government contract to supply its smallpox antiviral to the nation's biodefense stockpile continues to face delays of implementation thanks to numerous protests by its competitor Chimerix. 

As the protests are played out legally, the US Congress has also raised questions about the awarding of the contract, mainly due to the possible influence that investor Ron Perelman's government contacts might have played in the deal. 

However, Representative Issa from California has connections to Chimerix himself, so this is a story that continues to grow in interest.

Also playing on the SIGA share price is the relatively large amount of shares short - 20% of the float, according to Yahoo! Finance. 

Having been awarded a contract worth up to two billion dollars-plus, the large short interest might be considered unwarranted.  That said, the weight of all those short shares could put significant downside pressure on the stock, but on the other hand, any good news could send shorts covering in a flurry and lead to a significant run.

Keep an eye on this still-developing story.

GNBT: Shares of Generex Biotechnology Corp. (GNBT) were down twenty percent on Friday, in part to a negative piece published by TheStreet.com, but also because some long-time investors lost faith that the company's insulin spray, Oral-lyn, is close enough to market to make for a viable investment.

Like Afrezza from Mannkind (MNKD), additional trials will be needed before the FDA considers Oral-lyn, but those with a long term outlook in investing may appreciate the drastic price drop of late.

Take heed, however, that a reverse split was approved by shareholders this month, so that's coming in the near future; generally, stocks dip on the back end of a reverse split.

EPCT: Epicept is another company whose shareholders recently voted for a reverse split. Shares were down 16% on Friday, as Epicept gets the boot from the Russel, but this company has advanced its pipeline enough over the past couple of years to warrant a look as a longer term investment.

GERN: Still trading for below four bucks, a much more attractive price than when shares were trading at a market cap of nearly a billion dollars - with nothing past Phase II.

Stem cell therapies and treatments are assuredly a big part of the next generation of medicine, so don't let Geron (GERN) slip too far below the radar.

TTNP: Still trading in the mid-$1 range after taking a hit on a delay of Probuphine results, but nothing has changed in the potential of the product on the market. Had market sentiment shifted too drastically regarding Titan, it's likely shares would have fallen closer to the one dollar mark.

CELH: Volume picked up for a couple of days last week, and when it did, the share price followed.

Celsius Holdings has dropped off many radars with a weak showing in 2010, but a positive open to the new year indicates that the company might have figured out its 'niche' and is ready to exploit that information.

If volume picks up on this one, then a nice move could materialize quickly. Only one year ago, the company recognized quarterly revenue that was roughly equal to the current market cap of the company.

Watch-list this one.

 

CYTR: CytRx traded on huge volume Friday - over thirteen million shares - with no news being released and little price movement.

The majority of the volume jumped in during the last half hour, which makes for an interesting week coming up.

This company has a mid-stage pipeline bubbling with potential, so keep it on the watch list.

PCYC: Every time I think that this stock can't go any higher, it keeps on trucking. Given the huge (HUGE) gains over the past couple of years, I have to believe that this one is going to fade, even with positive pipeline news having hit the wires recently.

A market cap of half a billion, with not having a product past Phase II?

Not on my watch.

Disclosure:  Long TTNP, MNKD, CELH, EPCT.

Vinny also authors the popular stock investing blog VFC's Stock House.








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