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XMRV stock picks . . .

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Levi, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. pictureofhealth

    pictureofhealth XMRV - L'Agent du Jour

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    Excellent find - thanks Elisa!!

    This is the kind of article we might email to the press (especially in the UK). It gives an entirely new slant on ME/CFS and may jolt the UK newspapers out of their complacency - it shows how the rest of the world, outside the arena of medicine and science, outside the tiny world of the UK psychiatrists for eg - is actually responding to the XMRV etc news - ie in the real world!
     
  2. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    Wow. this makes things very real doesn't it, from another angle.

    ironically I was going to buy some of that stock last week because of this thread and other things came up that distracted me and then got flared up from a dental thing......not that i have a lot of money to spare but thought it would be interesting to put a little down at least, now I wonder if missed the best window of opportunity.
     
  3. pictureofhealth

    pictureofhealth XMRV - L'Agent du Jour

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    Even if only every ME patient on this board invested in a few shares, would that be enough to start an upward trend?
    If interest in this stock started to rise hugely all of a sudden, that would catch the attention of the financial & news markets. Perhaps investors are awaiting the outcome of the XMRV Conference this coming week - to know if it will be a good bet.
     
  4. Athene

    Athene ihateticks.me

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    I was going to suggest CERS as a very interesting stock too! Their system has just been accepted nationwide in Switzerland and will be installed in all their blood centres.

    They are still in negative earnings so it is impossible to do any normal valuation on the company, to decide if it is cheap or expensive at this stage. Valuing it against assets would also be meaningless as its value is the technology not the tangible assets.

    Since only 4 percent of the population seem to be XMRV carriers then it should be easy to screen donors and find enough who are XMRV negative. In this scenario, it then becomes a contest between CERS Intercept system to clean up blood, and a diagnostic test to screen out the infected potential donors - which is cheaper?
    And all this is based on the premise, of course, that eventually the government decides that XMRV really does cause dreaful enough diseases to be taken seriously. At this stage, the company certainly doesn't seem to regard XMRV as a potential driver of its profits. Instead, its website talks about the current strong rise/dissemination of dengue fever and other already well known illnesses.

    One last problem - the stock could be utterly fantastic etc but the market capitalisation is so tiny that it would be a bit of a nightmare to find stock to buy. Most likely, the people who already hold this company's shares think it is a great long term bet and are intending to keep hold of it.
     
  5. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    thanks for the analysis Athene, what do you think prompted that article you posted?
     
  6. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    so may be good time to short UNUM? not that I have ever shorted anything but open to learning.....
     
  7. mojoey

    mojoey Senior Member

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    There are about 39 million shares outstanding, which isn't very much, nor is the trading volume of 155k, but the activity is there. Depending on the bid-ask ratio (premium you pay for the stock over the market price), finding stock to buy shouldn't be a huge problem though. After all, anyone that buys this stock is buying it on speculation to pop, and not based on fundamentals, so you're not gonna mind paying a few extra cents to play. This company has terrible fundamentals (it's not profitable) and faces headwinds for FDA approval in the states. It's been 7 years since it's last clinical trial in the US. However, if it achieves FDA approval in the states, look for it to spread like wildfire in other countries where it has presence like Europe and Asia.

    I would advise people not spend their last dollars on this stock or hemipherx. You should only buy this stock if you don't mind losing your entire amount invested, meaning it should be considered a lottery ticket and not a meal ticket.
     
  8. mojoey

    mojoey Senior Member

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    I would definitely not bet against insurance companies. There is so much behind the scenes that we don't know about, and if there's one thing insurance companies know how to do, it's make money. They're already in the toilet because of uncertainty on healthcare regulation, with several huge insurance companies trading below book value as we speak, so there may not be much room to plummet.

    Buffet lost a lot of money on insurance on one occasion (he's well-known for being an insurance guru, so that's a cornerstone of his portfolio), and that was Katrina. Trust me, recognition for CFS will be no katrina. There will be no mass payout in a short amount of time. At best it will be a slow process even if it involves huge expenses through lawsuits and payouts, and companies will have time to adjust their premiums.
     
  9. Athene

    Athene ihateticks.me

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    Hi Xray,
    Not wanting to take undue credit, it wasn't me that posted the article link on CERS.

    Anyway, the journalist who wrote it owns shares in CERS so, if he can get others increasing demand for CERS, it will boost the value of his shareholding. He may also believe it is a really good investment, of course...

    Also Mojoey is right, shorting insurance shares never pays off.

    FInally, Mojoey made the very important point about FDA approval. Applying for review by the FDS costs truly heart-stopping amounts of money and a company with a negative bottom line could never find the cash. They need to make it big in Europe before they can even think about the US market.
     
  10. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    WPI is working with CERUS, and issued a joint press release in May. That would seem to give them some credibility, especially as WPI becomes more influential.

    If the FDA announces contamination at the conference- what then?

    Are there any other companies who cleanse the Blood Supply?
     
  11. Rrrr

    Rrrr Senior Member

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    that is my question: are there other companies that clean the blood supply, and i think the answer is Abbott, right? but it is CERUS that worked with WPI to clean the blood of xmrv, and they were successful. right?
     
  12. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    Whittemore Peterson Institute and Cerus Confirm Inactivation of XMRV by the
    INTERCEPT Blood System
    - Virus linked to chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer is viewed as a blood transfusion
    risk -
    CONCORD, California and RENO, Nevada--(BUSINESS WIRE) May 18, 2010-- The
    Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI) and Cerus Corporation
    (NASDAQ:CERS) announced positive results from a study demonstrating the efficacy of the
    INTERCEPT Blood System to inactivate XMRV, a human retrovirus, in donated platelet
    components. After sample platelet components were inoculated with XMRV, the infected blood
    components were treated with INTERCEPT, a system that inactivates pathogens in donated
    blood. Following treatment, no evidence of infectious XMRV was detected in blood samples.
    The study results have been submitted for presentation at the AABB Annual Meeting in October.
    XMRV is a retrovirus that has recently been linked to prostate cancer and myalgic
    encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Other retroviruses, such as HIV and
    HTLV-1, are known to cause cancer and immune deficiencies. Studies by WPI researchers and
    collaborators have confirmed that infectious XMRV can be found in human blood cells and that
    the virus is transmitted through body fluids.
    In the joint study conducted by WPI and Cerus, blood samples were evaluated in a validated
    virus culture test, which allows sensitive detection of XMRV particles that are capable of
    reproducing. Cerus' INTERCEPT Blood System inactivates pathogens by crosslinking their
    DNA or RNA, thereby blocking replication and preventing subsequent transmission of infection.
    INTERCEPT has previously been demonstrated to inactivate high levels of both HIV and HTLV.
    Cerus and WPI decided to collaborate on inactivation studies for XMRV in order to characterize
    the treatment's efficacy against this newly recognized human retrovirus.
    While research is ongoing regarding the prevalence and disease association of the virus,
    concern for potential transfusion transmission of XMRV has already led blood centers in
    Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand to ban donations from blood donors
    with ME/CFS. Earlier this week, the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee of the U.S.
    Department of Health and Human Services voted unanimously to recommend that U.S. blood
    centers also defer donors with diagnosed ME/CFS.
    "As XMRV is a human retrovirus like HIV, one immediately wonders about the possibility for
    transfusion transmission of XMRV," said Dr. Judy Mikovits, director of research at WPI. "We
    chose to work with Cerus on this joint study because developing prevention strategies for
    XMRV-linked neuro-immune diseases is an important element of the WPI's mission."
    "Due to its leadership in the discovery and characterization of XMRV, WPI is an ideal partner to
    confirm the efficacy of our treatment process," added Lily Lin, vice president of global scientific
    affairs for Cerus. "Emerging pathogens such as XMRV are a particular challenge for blood
    transfusion services and highlight a weakness in the current blood banking system."

    The INTERCEPT systems for platelets and plasma are used by over 40 blood centers in
    Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The INTERCEPT Blood System is not yet approved for
    use in the United States.
     
  13. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    Do any of you know (think you know) the best way to analyze a stock? It used to be the p/e was a big part but it seems like that became a joke during the tech bubble.
    I love Michael Lewis' writing btw, I wonder what the next market ponzi scheme is? Seems like our market has been propped up one after the other for years, not sure if its played itself out.
     
  14. Athene

    Athene ihateticks.me

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    Hi Xray,

    The p/e ratio is a handy ratio as a rough and dirty but hasn't been ragarded as anything more than this in fianancial analysis for many decades. You need to look at a whole raft of ratios to get a reasonable picture.

    To compare two companies in different countries you need to strip out the differential tax rates. You also need to remove the asset depreciation and amortisation figures which are arbitrary numbers and vary according to the national accounting standards being used. You take the bottom line, subtract these numbers, and call is EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation).
    Also, you need to consider whether you are looking at a company with lots of equity (strongly financed) or lots of debt (vulnerable in a downturn, cash may suddenly become hard for them to obtain), so you compare the EBITDA not with the equity price, which completely ignores debt, but with the enterprise value, which is the equity and debt financiang added together (i.e. the balance sheet total). This gives you a measure of how successfully the company is using ALL its financing, not only its equity financing. (This is why you strip out the interest payments in EBITDA, otherwise you are putting the debt financing in twice.)
    Thus you now have a new ratio: EV / EBITDA.
    Since the nineties this has been regarded as the new "quick and dirty" ratio.

    In some industries you need to look at cash flow ratios instead, as the profit and loss statement is irrelevant. These are established "cash cows" like telephony companies where the rate of income is steady and predictable and its all about cash flowing steadily in.
    With a new company you simply look at the talents/experience of the management and the uniqueness of the business proposition because they won't have any useful numbers to analyse. The investment banks manage these investments in venture capital teams, separate from the regular equity analysis teams. They put large investments into new companies. Statistically three in four go bust, and the one big success pays for the losses on the other three, and turns a profit.
    With a company in "stellar" growth, the EBITDA ratio and the P/E can be useful but you often need to forecast them for at least five years ahead to see the growth: Next year's PE could be 30 times, but with stellar growth, a PE, five years out, of 3 times could make the stock look like much more of a good buy. Professional analysts can visit the company, walk around and interrogate the CFO and CEO for a day at a time, so they will always have much more info than a member of the public. Sometimes the accounts look good but you can sense that the workers are all slackers and, most importantly, hate their jobs, and sooner or later this does damage company performance.

    In the current financial collapse, analysts have realised that you can hide a multitude of disasters on your profit and loss statement. To get to the truth you need to see the cash flow statement. So nowadays the price to cash flow ratios are given much more importance than they used to be. One is called the Acid test and is the fundamental measure of solvency.
    All of the main ratios are explained in a very good book called "How to Read the Financial Pages" which I am sure you'd find on Amazon. Its a very readable book so worth buying if you want to learn a bit more.

    If you look at Moodys or Standard & Poors websites you'll find their solvency ratings for larger companies you may be interested in. These look at the past not the future so are not telling everything, but they are important in this type of economic climate.

    Also, when you look at the stock price, always download a chart with volume of trades along the bottom (bar chart) because, if you have a lot of price volatility on small trades, it is less important. If you have a whopping volume moving the price on one day, it likely means that one of the huge Fund Managers has decided to take a position or wind up their position in that stock, which means you should take serious notice and be aware that you may have missed the boat in terms of getting in early and scoring a bargain.

    I was a professional equity analyst (sell side) with Schroders and Salamon Smith Barney for ten years so if I haven't already bored you to tears and you want to ask more, go ahead!
     
  15. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

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    This just keeps pooping up in all the economic news.

    It makes sense that the only way to clean up and insure the blood supply would be to do this. The virus is so widespread 3 to 7% that the only way to keep from giving infected blood to someone with a disposition to develop ME/CFS would be to scrub it.

    Do you realize that there are more people with the virus that are not sick than people with the virus that are sick???? 3 to 7% of healthy controls verse's the .28% of ME/CFSers. Is anyone else struggling with that oddity?
     
  16. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

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    and here too

    I wonder why they are cropping up today (big grins)
     
  17. Athene

    Athene ihateticks.me

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    Hi George,

    Did you really mean to say it keeps POOPING up in the news?!!!
    (Giggles)
     
  18. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    George, it will be interesting what cerus stock does this week.

    Athene, wow, thanks for all the tech info....it will take me awhile to digest that, a little bit of rocket science for me right now ;)
    I think I would rather have you analyze companies for me and give me the thumbs up or down
     
  19. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

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    (serene smile) Yep, they're just like little Easter eggs. (grins)
     
  20. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

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    (eyebrow wiggle) If you bought yesterday, you'd be up 5%.
     

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