The Russell posted only a minor 4-point gain as it nears resistance at 1,550. This was actually a decent gain given the weakness in the big cap markets near the close. The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all dove at the close as a sell program hit. The Russell was hit as well but the damage was less severe. Unfortunately, the resistance at 1,550 could be strong. It depends on what headlines we are going to be fighting.
Stop Loss Updates
Check the graphic below for any new stop losses in bright yellow.
We need to always be prepared for an unexpected decline.
Check the graphic below for any profit stops in green.
We need to always be prepared for a profit exit at resistance.
Current Position Changes
If you are looking for a different type of trading strategy, try these newsletters:
Short term Calls and Puts on equities = Option Investor Newsletter
Credit spreads and naked puts = OptionWriter
Long term option investments = LEAPS Investor
3-6 month Option Trades = Ultimate Investor
Full updates on all plays on Wednesday and Saturday. Only closed plays are updated on other days.
BULLISH Play Updates
BOX - Box Inc - Company Profile
No specific news. Closed at a new 4-month high.
Original Trade Description: Jan 19th.
Box, Inc. provides a cloud content management platform that enables organizations of various sizes to manage and share their enterprise content from anywhere or any device. The company's Software-as-a-Service platform enables users to collaborate on content internally and with external parties, automate content-driven business processes, develop custom applications, and implement data protection, security, and compliance features. Box, Inc. offers its solution in 23 languages. It serves healthcare and life sciences, financial services, legal services, media and entertainment, retail, education, and energy industries, as well as government sector primarily in the United States. The company was formerly known as Box.net, Inc. and changed its name to Box, Inc. in November 2011. Box, Inc. was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Redwood City, California. Company description from FinViz.com.
Earnings February 27th.
Box is a provider of cloud content management services to enterprise customers. Procter & Gamble and GE are two of its largest customers. Over the last several weeks there has been a persistent rumor they will be acquired. Google has been a rumored acquirer but it is more likely Microsoft or even Hewlett Packard could be interested.
Entering a position on acquisition rumors is rarely a good move. More than 90% of the time nothing happens. In this case revenue is growing in excess of 25% for 2018 and they guided for 20%+ for 2019. They also guided for their first quarterly profit in Q4 since they went public in 2015.
Their customer retention rate is close to 100% and they had more than 90,000 customers at the end of Q3. Box has enough scale that it makes sense to be acquired rather than a large company trying to replicate their product and service and spend years stealing market share. Buying Box now would be an instant add on to profits.
Shares broke over three-month resistance on Friday and the next material level is $24.
Long BOX Shares @ $19.74, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Optional: Long March $21 Call @ $1.00, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
EGHT - 8X8 Inc - Company Profile
8x8 announced the offering of $200 million in convertible senior notes. Over the next 40 days the company will enter into agreements with option counterparties to create "capped calls." This process is an attempt to limit the impact of any future conversion of the notes on the number of shares outstanding. Shares dipped sharply at the open but recovered quickly to post a decent gain for the day.
Original Trade Description: Feb 9th.
8x8, Inc. provides enterprise cloud communications and customer engagement solutions for small and mid-size businesses, mid-market, and distributed enterprises worldwide. It offers unified communications, team collaboration, conferencing, contact center, analytics, and other services to various business customers on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The company provides 8x8 Virtual Office, a self-contained and end-to-end solution that delivers high quality voice and unified communications-as-a-service; 8x8 Virtual Contact Center, a multi-channel cloud-based contact center solution; and 8x8 Virtual Office Meetings, a cloud-based video conferencing and collaboration solution that enables secure and continuous collaboration with borderless high definition (HD) video and audio communications from mobile and desktop devices. It also offers 8x8 Sameroom, an interoperability platform, which enables cross-team messaging and collaboration within a large organization and between organizations; and Script8, a communications flow and routing engine that offers a scripting environment for routing communications data for specific workflows, as well as allows end-users to create simple, personalized, and customizable communications experiences, such as communications control, external data source integration, and intelligent routing. The company integrates its services with third-party applications and platforms, including enterprise resource planning, customer relations management, human capital management, and other proprietary application suites. It markets its services to end users through direct sales organization, Website, and channel partners. As of March 31, 2018, the company serves approximately 53,800 business customers. 8x8, Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in San Jose, California. Company description from FinViz.com.
8X8 was punished severely for earnings that missed only fractionally. The company reported a loss of 6 cents on revenue of $89.9 million. Analysts were expecting a loss of 6 cents on revenue of $88.6 million. No problems there except that matching on earnings normally produces a decline in the stock.
They lowered guidance for 2019 from $334-$338 million to $334-$335 million. Still not a major decline but the stock was hammered.
Service revenue rose 20% with a 61% increase in customers billing more than $10,000 in monthly recurring charges. Average monthly service revenue per business customer rose to $5,211.
The CEO said, "we are disrupting a $50 billion addressable market that is shifting toward cloud solutions with a preference for a single technology platform."
Shares fell from $19.50 to $16.50 on the earnings. They have recovered to $18.79 and continue to move higher.
Earnings April 30th.
Long EGHT shares @ $18.88, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Optional: Long May $20 call @ $1.05, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
EPZM - Epizyme - Company Profile
No specific news. Holding at 5-month high close in a weak market.
Original Trade Description: Feb 6th.
Epizyme, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, discovers and develops novel epigenetic medicines for patients with cancer and other diseases in the United States. Its product candidates include tazemetostat, an inhibitor of the EZH2, which is in Phase II clinical trial for patients with relapsed or refractory non-hodgkin lymphoma (NHL); Phase II clinical trial for relapsed or refractory patients with mesothelioma; Phase I dose-escalation and expansion study for children with INI1-negative solid tumors; Phase II clinical trials for patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL); Phase Ib/II clinical trial in elderly patients with DLBCL; and Phase II clinical trial for relapsed or refractory patients with mesothelioma characterized by BAP1 loss-of-function,; and Phase Ib/II clinical trial for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, as well as Phase II clinical trial in adult patients with ovarian cancer. The company is also developing additional programs, such as pinometostat, an intravenously administered small molecule inhibitor of DOT1L for the treatment of acute leukemias; and PRMT5 inhibitor that is in Phase I clinical trial for patients with solid tumors and NHL. Epizyme, Inc. has collaboration agreements with Celgene Corporation; Genentech Inc.; Glaxo Group Limited; Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.; Eisai Co. Ltd.; Lymphoma Study Association; and Boehringer Ingelheim. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Company description from FinViz.com.
In early January, Epizyme said it was planning to file for approval of its leading drug candidate, Tazemetostat, later this year. This drug is a late-line treatment for follicular lymphoma with EZH2 mutations. There are approximately 25,000 cases diagnosed annually. The Phase 2 data, showed an objective response rate (ORR) of 71% and complete remission of 11%. The ORR for patients with the wild-type EZH2 mutation saw a 6% remission.
The company said the completed Phase 2 data could serve as a new drug application in Q2 for use in epitheloid sarcoma, a cancer without a drug therapy.
Obviously, it takes some time for FDA approval but once approved this could be a very large cash flow in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Shares popped on the initial announcement in January then suffered a relapse on profit taking. This week EPZM has rebounded out of that dip and made a new 5-month high.
Earnings March 12th.
Long EPZM shares @ $11.63, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Optional: Long March $12.50 call @ $.55, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
INFN - Infinera - Company Profile
Infinera was selected to provide a long-distance telecommunication network in Mexico for GTAC on a nationwide basis. The selected Infinera because of its capability to deliver up to 200 gigabits per second and error free transmission of 80 channels of 100 gigabits per channel without regeneration over a 400 kilometer distance.
Original Trade Description: Jan 5th.
Infinera Corporation provides optical transport networking solutions, equipment, and software and services worldwide. The company's product portfolio consists of Infinera DTN-X Family of terabit-class transport network platforms, including the XTC Series, XTS Series, and XT Series; Infinera DTN-X XTC series multi-terabit packet optical transport platforms that integrate digital OTN switching and optical WDM transmission; and Infinera DTN-X XT series for terrestrial applications and XTS series for subsea applications. It also provides Infinera XTM Series packet-optical transport platform that enables high-performance metro networks with service-aware, application-specific capabilities; and Infinera Cloud Xpress Family designed to meet the varying needs of ICPs, communication service providers, Internet exchange service providers, enterprises, and other large-scale data center operators. In addition, the company offers Infinera FlexILS open line system platform that connects various Infinera and third-party terminal equipment platforms over long-distance fiber optic cable providing switching, multiplexing, amplification, and management channels. Further, it provides software solutions, including Xceed Software Suite that address long-haul, subsea, and metro networks, as well as a range of support services for all hardware and software products. The company also serves telecommunications service providers, Internet content providers, cable providers, wholesale and enterprise carriers, research and education institutions, enterprise customers, and government entities. It markets and sells its products and related support services primarily through its direct sales force. The company was formerly known as Zepton Networks. Infinera Corporation was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. Company description from FinViz.com.
Earnings Feb 5th.
Infinera is a global supplier of terabyte speed network equipment. They are in nearly every country. Their products handle long haul data transmission even in undersea links.
Shares collapsed back in early November when they reported earnings. The CEO said the company had seen a pause in sales as buyers evaluated the combined company. They had just purchased Coriant. The CEO said revenue in Q4 would increase by 50% because of the acquisition but they would post a bigger loss on acquisition expenses.
For Q3 they lost 4 cents and analysts were expecting a 5-cent loss. The guidance for Q4 was a loss of 26-30 cents because of the acquisition.
Shares fell to $3.50 post earnings. Over the last week they have recovered to $4.25 and appear to be accelerating higher. Resistance is $5.
This is not a fast mover, but all the bad news is now priced into the stock.
Readers have been requesting more low dollar stock recommendations and this would fit that scenario.
Update 1/10: The Australia to Japan undersea cable completed a major upgrade of the 12,700 kilometer cable system using Infinera ICE4 devices allowing multi terabit capacity.
Closed 2/7: Long INFN shares @ $4.22, exit $4.75, +.53 gain (12%).
Optional: Long April $5 Call @ 31 cents, no stop loss.
RDUS - Radius Health - Company Profile
No specific news.
Original Trade Description: Feb 2nd.
Radius Health, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes endocrine therapeutics in the areas of osteoporosis and oncology. The company markets TYMLOS for the treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. It is also developing abaloparatide transdermal patch, a short-wear-time patch formulation of abaloparatide that is in Phase III clinical trial to treat postmenopausal women with osteoporosis; RAD1901, a selective estrogen receptor down-regulator/degrader, which is in Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer; and RAD140, a non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator that is in Phase I clinical trial to treat breast cancer. The company has collaborations and license agreements with 3M; Ipsen Pharma SAS; Eisai Co. Ltd.; Duke University; and Teijin Limited, as well as research and development agreements with Nordic Bioscience Clinical Development VII A/S. Radius Health, Inc. was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. Company description from FinViz.com.
A week ago, Radius took advantage of the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference to raise guidance for the full year 2018. Sales of their lead drug, Tymlos, surpassed the upper range of $95-$98 million. This is for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. This is the only anabolic drug in the US market that is increasing its market share. Share rose from 20% at the beginning of 2018 to 27% at the end of the year. In December, market share of new anabolic patients was 40%.
They announced an accelerated late stage clinical pipeline for two drugs with blockbuster potential ($1 billion a year). These are elacestrant (breast cancer) and abaloparatide-patch (osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.)
For the full year 2019 they expect revenue of $155-$175 million and year-end cash of more than $100 million.
Earnings February 28th.
Since the JP Morgan conference three weeks ago, Radius has moved steadily higher. If shares can move over $20 the rally should accelerate.
Optional: Long March $20 call @ $.90, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Previously closed 2/7: Long RDUS shares @ $18.70, exit $17.95, -.75 loss.
BEARISH Play Updates
VXXB - Barclays VIX Futures ETN - ETN Description
Only a minor decline because of the market weakness at the close. We just need to be patient.
Original Trade Description: Nov 17th.
The investment seeks return linked to the performance of the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index TR. The ETN offers exposure to futures contracts of specified maturities on the VIX index and not direct exposure to the VIX index or its spot level. The index is designed to provide investors with exposure to one or more maturities of futures contracts on the CBOE Volatility Index. Company description from FinViz.com.
The VXXB is a short-term volatility ETN based on the VIX futures. As a futures product it has the rollover curse. Every time they roll to a new futures contract, they have to pay a premium and that lowers the price of the ETN. It is a flawed product with a perpetual decline built in from the monthly roll over in the futures contracts.
As evidence of this flaw, the prior VXX ETN had done five 1:4 reverse stock splits. The last five reverse splits occurred at $13.11 (11/2010), $8.77 (10/2012), $12.84 (11/2013), $9.52 (8/8/16), $12.77 (8/22/17). The prospectus says it can reverse split anytime it trades under $25 for a prolonged period and the splits will always be 1:4.
We know from experience that the VXXB and its predecessor the VXX always decline long term.
Unfortunately, put options are expensive with a volatility instrument at this price level. The only recommendation is to short the ETN and forget it. This will be a long-term position. This is not a 2-3 week play. I can guarantee you, if history holds, we can play this until it splits 1:4 again at $10. Once we are in the position and profitable, I may put a trailing stop loss on it. We will take profits and then look for a bounce to get back in. We could keep this play in the portfolio on a trading basis permanently.
The VXXB will be hard to short. The shares are out there and being traded because the volume on Thursday was 22.1 million. You have to tell your broker you really want to short it and make them find the shares. Sometimes it takes days or even a week before your broker will find you the shares. Trust me, be persistent and it will be worth the effort.
Short VXXB shares @ $35.33, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.