Today was a carbon copy of Wednesday with the indexes falling hard at the open only to recover in the afternoon to finally close the day positive. Yesterday the S&P dipped to 2,085 and today the dip was to 2,088. However, the rebound was stronger and the S&P closed at 2,105 and the highest close since November 3rd.
The biotech index was the strongest performer with a 2.55% gain with the Russell 2000 second strongest at +.6%. Note the significant difference between the two with the Dow and S&P only gaining +.27%.
The biotechs are driving the market and once ASCO is over on the 7th, it could be a different ball game.
Tomorrow we should see a continued Nasdaq rally because of strong earnings beats by Ambarella (AMBA) and Broadcom (AVGO). Both were up strongly in afterhours.
However, retailers were down hard again after multiple chains reported significant declines in same store sales for May. Gap stores saw same store sales decline -6%, Banana Republic -11%, Buckle -11% and Zumiez -7.6%. This pushed S&P futures lower in the evening session.
The Dow remains the weakest index with major resistance from 17,890 through 18,167. The Dow is not benefitting from the biotech gains.
Current Position Changes
P - Pandora Media
The long recommendation was opened with a trade at $12.08.
LOCO - ElPollo Loco
The short recommendation was stopped with a trade at $11.35.
SWIR - Sierra Wireless
The long position remains unopened until a trade at $20.30.
Check the graphic above for any profit stops in green.
We need to always be prepared for a profit exit at resistance.
Stop Loss Updates
Check the graphic above for any new stop losses in bright yellow.
We need to always be prepared for an unexpected decline.
BULLISH Play Updates
CLVS - Clovis Oncology - Company Profile
No specific news. Shares gained slightly ahead of the ASCO conference.
Original Trade Description: May 29th.
Clovis Oncology is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on acquiring, developing and commercializing anti cancer agents worldwide. It is developing three product candidates, which include Rociletinib, an oral epidermal growth factor receptor and mutant-selective covalent inhibitor that is under review with the U.S. and E.U. regulatory authorities for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer; Rucaparib, an oral inhibitor of poly polymerase, which is in advanced clinical development for the treatment of ovarian cancer; and Lucitanib, an oral inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase that is in Phase II development for the treatment of breast cancers.
Clovis announced it would make three presentations at ASCO and one discusses the potential for using Rucaparib for treatment of a different cancer other than the drugs original intent. That presentation is on pancreatic cancer and the other two are on ovarian cancer.
These are promising drugs and any positive data that Clovis releases could give the stock a significant boost.
In their recent earnings, they reported a loss of $1.98 compared to estimates for -$2.15. Because it is an experimental drug company, the earnings are not that material. Shares did decline about $1.50 after the report but have risen $4.50 in the last two weeks.
Earnings August 4th.
Resistance is $20.30 and shares closed at $16.70 on Friday. I would gladly take a $2 gain out of the middle over the next week and they tighten the stop loss as the multi-day conference begins next Friday.
Long CLVS shares @ $16.80, initial stop loss $15.35
No options recommendation because of wide spreads.
OMED - OncoMed Pharmaceuticals - Company Profile
No specific news. Holding the recent gains and fighting resistance at $15.
Original Trade Description: May 21st.
OncoMed Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage company focused on discovering and developing novel anti-cancer stem cell and immuno-oncology therapeutics. OncoMed has seven anti-cancer therapeutic candidates in clinical development, where each target key cancer stem cell signaling pathways including Notch, Wnt and R-spondin LGR. OncoMed is advancing its wholly owned GITRL-Fc candidate and an undisclosed immuno-oncology candidate (IO#2) toward clinical trials in the 2016-2017 timeframe. OncoMed has formed strategic alliances with Celgene Corporation, Bayer Pharma AG and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
OncoMed is making six presentations at ASCO related to six oncology drug candidates, including robust preclinical anti-tumor activity data for its wholly owned GITRL-Fc candidate and from clinical trials of vantictumab, ipafricept, demcizumab and tarextumab.
All of that is Greek to me but this is a cancer conference and OncoMed is an up and coming cancer drug company. They should be right at home and the notes I have read suggest several of their drugs are very promising. They have milestone payments coming from GSK, Bayer and Celgene coming in 2016-2017 of more than $270 million.
Shares have risen steadily since the earnings miss on May 5th. As a preclinical company they do not have retail revenues and depend on funding from their partners. They will have operating losses until their drugs are in the marketplace.
Shares spiked on the 28th after AbbVie said they were buying cancer drug company Stemcentrx for $10.2 billion. That company is in the same stem cell research sector as OMED.
Earnings August 4th.
With the ASCO meeting still 10 days away we could benefit from some of the building excitement and hopefully the company's presentations at the meeting will increase the interest in the stock.
Long OMED shares @ $12.80, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
No options recommended because of wide spreads.
P - Pandora Media - Company Profile
No specific news. Pandora's chief product officer will present at the Stifel Technology Conference on June 7th.
Original Trade Description: June 1st.
Pandora provides internet music streaming services in North America. Listeners can create personalized stations to access free music and comedy catalogs as well as personalized play lists. They offer Pandora One, a paid subscription based service for listeners. They sell audio, video and display advertising for delivery on connected platforms. They also offer a ticketing platform for promoters and advertising to promote their events.
In Q1 active listeners rose to 79.4 million and hours streamed rose 4% to 5.52 billion. They reported a loss of 20 cents but that was 19 cents better than the 39 cent estimate.
Pandora's chairman Jim Hill bought 250,000 shares at $10.97 per share and then another 250,000 shares at $11.33 each. That is close to $6 million in purchases. CFO Mike Herring bought 225,000 shares a couple weeks earlier. Last week somebody bought 12,000 contracts of the September $12 call options. Today somebody bought 1,000 contracts of the July $13 calls and there was another trade for 2,500 of the September $10 calls.
So what is powering this sudden interest in Pandora? In May the hedge fund Corvex Management announced it had acquired a 9.9% stake and demanded the company be sold to the highest bidder. Keith Meister runs the fund and he believes there should be an auction and Facebook should buy the company. Since Pandora has only a $3 billion market cap that should be attractive to Facebook because it would get those 79 million listeners to further spread its advertising reach across the internet.
Apple, Google and Amazon already have some type of streaming app and that leaves Facebook as the likely candidate. Barron's suggested Verizon or Liberty Media could buy them. Sirius XM was also mentioned as a possible buyer.
With plenty of potential acquirers and insiders buying huge amounts of stock there may be some discussions in progress.
Shares have been on a steady upward path for the last month and it is accelerating.
Long Pandora shares @ $12.08. Initial stop loss $10.25.
No option recommended but the July $13 is only 62 cents.
SWIR - Sierra Wireless - Company Profile
No specific news, minor gain. Shares are still holding at resistance at $20. Eventually there will be a high volume breakout or break down.
The position remains unopened until a trade at $20.30. High today was $19.88.
Original Trade Description: May 26th.
Sierra Wireless engages in building the Internet of Things with intelligent wireless solutions. They operate in three segments, Original Equipment Manafacturer, Enterprise Solutions, and Cloud Connectivity Services. They offer cellular embedded modules, software and tools to integrate wireless connectivity into various products and solutions.
In their recent earnings they reported an adjusted profit of 8 cents. Revenue declined -5.1% because of previously reported softness in orders from several existing automotive customers. For Q2 they expect earnings in the range of 9-17 cents on revenue of $150-$160 million. For the full year they guided to earnings of 60-90 cents on revenue of $630-$670 million. They bought back 549,583 shares in the quarter.
The revenue in the OEM solutions segment declined -9.1% due to softness in auto production in Q1. Enterprise solutions revenue rose 9% and cloud and connectivity systems revenue rose 92%. They began upgrading their global LTE core network to provide additional connectivity for wholesale operators.
In their guidance, they said business should improve significantly because of more than 40 new customer programs moving into production on new IoT products. They manufacture to customer specifications when the customer adds a new product.
Earnings Aug 4th.
To go from an 8 cent profit in Q1 to 60-90 cents for the full year is a major gain in profitability. Shares have been rising since the earnings report and showing no weakness when the market was down.
With a SWIR trade at $20.30
Buy SWIR shares, currently $19.90, initial stop loss $18.45.
No options recommended due to wide spreads.
BEARISH Play Updates
ENDP - Endo Intl Plc - Company Description
No specific news. Continued rebound. We still have a long put option open. At 5 cents, it was not worth a stop loss. We have two weeks before that expires and anything is possible after ASCO.
Original Trade Description: May 11th.
Endo develops, manufactures and distributes pharmaceutical products and devices worldwide. The market well known brands including Percocet, Lidoderm, Voltaren and a wide range of pain medications and testosterone replacement therapies.
Shares have declined from $26 last week to $14 today. The company slashed full year guidance by -11% on revenue and -23% on earnings. The acceleration of the decline over the last several weeks has been in reaction to some generic competitors expected to receive approvals from the FDA soon.
The company also disclosed they were being investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office for its relationship with pharmacy benefit managers or PBMs. In light of the improper relationship between Valeant and Philidor the USAO is investigating to see if the same problems exist at Endo. In November, Novartis had to pay a $390 million fine to settle charges it paid specialty pharmacies for illegal kickbacks in exchange for inducing patients to refill certain medications.
Endo is also under pressure as a result of the Valeant Pharmaceutical disaster and the overall decline in the biotech sector.
Earnings are August 4th.
Even though shares are down significantly from the May 6th news, I believe they will continue falling and could go into single digits. The similarities to Valeant's pharmacy problems and the impact to Valeant's stock are too close and should weigh on Endo.
Long June $12.50 put @ $1.05, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Previously closed 6/1/16: Short ENDP shares @ $13.81, exit $16.45, -2.64 loss.
LOCO - El Pollo Loco - Company Profile
No specific news. Hit our stop loss at $11.35 to knock us out of the position.
Original Trade Description: May 18th.
El Pollo Loco develops, franchises, licenses and operates quick service restaurants in the USA. The company offers individual and family sized chicken meals, Mexican inspired entrees and sides. They currently have 430 company owned and franchised restaurants. They are planning opening 16-20 additional stores in 2016.
The big spike on the IPO came on name recognition, a successful roadshow and a small number of shares initially offered. They later waived the lockup period and allowed insiders to sell their shares on November 19th, 2014, two months earlier than stated in the IPO documents. Shares crashed from $33 on the news and have never recovered that level.
The reported earnings on May 5th of 17 cents that missed estimates for 18 cents. Revenue of $94.4 million also missed estimates for $96.9 million. They guided for full year earnings of 70-74 cents, which was almost zero growth from the Q1 numbers. That suggests the competition is fierce and they are having trouble gaining market share. Earnings in 2015 were 71 cents.
Net income declined -19.8% in Q1. Same store sales declined -0.6% for company operated restaurants. That is not a good track record to use when selling new franchises.
Next earnings August 4th.
I think the crazy chicken is dying. Their moment in the sun is fading along with their stock price. Shares are rapidly approaching their post IPO low of $9.58 and once you break under that $10 level it is very hard to recover.
Closed 6/2/16: Short LOCO shares @ $10.61, exit $11.35, -74 cent loss.
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