Do you get the feeling we have been here before?

The markets posted new highs on Friday with the exception of the Nasdaq and then turned dormant on Monday. The Dow traded in a 44-point range and the smallest range since 2013. Volume was anemic at only 5.1 billion shares. Decliners barely beat advancers and volume was almost identical with advancing at 2.5 billion shares compared to 2.4 billion declining. Nobody was trading.

They were either waiting on the earnings cycle to kick off with Netflix after the close or they were waiting to see if Friday's gains to new high levels were going to stick. The Do wlost 8 points, S&P closed fractionally lower and the Nasdaq gained less than 2 points.

After the bell Netflix missed earnings by a penny but blew away subscriber numbers and shares spiked 7%. Also after the bell, two more senators said they would vote against the new healthcare bill, which effectively doomed it. President Trump immediately called for an outright repeal of Obamacare and then work on a joint plan to replace it. After Trump's tweet, Senator McConnell called for an outright vote on a repeal saying "Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful. In the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill to repeal Obamacare that was vetoed by President Obama in 2015. That calls for a repeal of the AHCA with a two-year delay to provide a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable health care."

The dollar immediately crashed to a 10-month low and the S&P futures fell from slightly positive to -4.50.

I wrote about this over the weekend. We ended Friday with a nice setup for the earnings cycle thanks to dovish remarks from Janet Yellen. I said there are no obvious potholes on the horizon so I wonder what event will appear to cause trouble. "The ones you do not expect cause the most trouble."

Nobody knows if the overnight weakness will carry forward into Tuesday's regular session. The Monday market was relatively calm despite a crash in Chinese stocks where 500 small caps fell 10% to trigger circuit breakers. That was not widely reported in the U.S. because the larger cap stocks supported the indexes. There are ripples under the surface of the major markets.

The S&P managed to hold its gains but could not advance even with some of the big cap tech stocks posting decent gains. If the S&P moves forward the uptrend resistance at 2,465 is the next hurdle. If we decline from here the prior resistance at 2,440 should be initial support.

The Dow also held most of its gains and did not give way to profit taking. The 8-point loss was immaterial. The Dow is holding right on the uptrend resistance. With 9 Dow components reporting earnings this week there will be plenty of potential volatility both positive and negative. Initial support should be 21,525.

The Nasdaq is poised to move higher if we can get past this overnight weakness. There are multiple tech giants reporting this week and plenty of opportunity for some blowouts. However, the decline in the mostly tech stocks in China is troubling. We did not see it impact our market on Monday but that is still a question mark for the week. The Netflix gains should help. The stock spiked from $161 at the close to $179 in afterhours. That should be good for a few Nasdaq points.

The Russell was the outperformer on Monday but only by a hair. The index added 2.8 points to another new high and was never in danger of going negative after the opening tick. The small caps are starting to firm up but I am having trouble finding any to buy. The majority of the charts are broken because of the month long consolidation.

The economic calendar is not likely to move the market this week. The Fed is on hold and without any major misses on expectations these reports are not likely to cause volatility. The housing reports and the Philly Fed are the most important. Late in the week, traders will begin to worry about the Fed announcement next Wednesday but they are not expected to make any changes.

There are nine Dow components and more than 60 S&P stocks reporting earnings this week. IBM and Goldman are going to be the market movers on Tuesday.

With stocks expected to report good earnings it is not likely the market is going to drop materially over the next two weeks. Once we get into August, we could see a different outlook. August and September are the two worst months of the year for the market and numerous analysts are expecting a 5% to 10% correction over this period. That amount of speculation could actually prevent a decline since everyone would be betting on it to happen.

However, I would continue to be cautious ahead of the summer doldrums and keep some cash on hand in case we do get a market hiccup.

Enter passively, exit aggressively.

Jim Brown

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BABA - Alibaba - Company Profile

Alibaba Group Holding Limited, through its subsidiaries, operates as an online and mobile commerce company in the People's Republic of China and internationally. It operates Taobao Marketplace, an online shopping destination; Tmall, a third-party platform for brands and retailers; Juhuasuan, a sales and marketing platform for flash sales;, an online wholesale marketplace; Alitrip, an online travel booking platform;, an online wholesale marketplace; and AliExpress, a consumer marketplace. The company also provides pay-for-performance and display marketing services through its Alimama marketing technology platform; Taobao Ad Network and Exchange (TANX), a real-time bidding online marketing exchange in China; and data management platform through TANX for marketers to execute their campaigns with proprietary and tailored data. In addition, it offers cloud computing services, including elastic computing, database, storage and content delivery network, large scale computing, security, and management and application services through its Alibaba Cloud Computing platform; Web hosting and domain name registration services; payment and escrow services; and develops and operates mobile Web browsers. The company provides its solutions primarily for businesses. Company description from

Alibaba is the poor investor's Amazon. With shares at $135, the options are at least reasonable but not cheap. Alibaba is growing as fast or faster than Amazon and tries to copy everything Amazon does.

When the company reported earnings for the last quarter at 63 cents, they missed estimates for 68 cents. Revenue of $5.6 billion easily beat estimates for $5.2 billion. Other than the earnings miss it was a solid quarter with ecommerce up 47% and cloud computing up 102%. Digital media growth was up 234%. Mobile MAUs rose from 493 to 507 million. That is important because 90% of China's ecommerce occurs on a mobile device.

The company announced plans to buy back $6 billion in stock over a two-year period.

Earnings August 18th.

Shares dipped on the earnings miss then spiked on the guidance to $125.50, which was a new high. After a little more than two weeks of post earnings consolidation, shares returned to that $125.50 level and closed at a new high.

There was an analyst day in early June that kicked the stock up to another level with a $10 gain. The company guided for 45% to 49% revenue growth in this year and analysts were only expecting 37%. Alibaba said it is targeting $1 trillion in gross merchandise volume in 2020. Alibaba's Singles Day promotion is 40 times larger in sales than Amazon's Prime Day. JP Morgan initiated coverage with an overweight rating and $190 target. MKM partners raised the price target to $177. Pacific Crest raised their price target to $160 from $137. Needham raised their target to $155. The Benchmark Company is targeting $175.

In late June, Mott Capital said Alibaba could be worth $210 on a fundamental basis.

In early July, Alibaba announced the Alexa clone called Genie X1, which will be available to the first 1,000 people for a one-month trial. The cost will be $73 during this live test and it only speaks mandarin.

Alibaba is far ahead of Amazon in the retail store concept. Watch this video and you wil know where Amazon is headed. Alibaba Stores

This is currently a short-term position in Option Investor.

Buy Oct $155 call, currently $7.65, initial stop loss $141.
Sell short Oct $175 call, currently $2.05, initial stop loss $141.
Net debit $5.60.

If there is a trade you would like me to consider or you have comments on this newsletter please click the email link below.

Jim Brown

Send Jim an email

Current Portfolio

Open Positions

Check the graphic below for any new stop losses in bright yellow. We need to always be prepared for an unexpected decline. Any items shaded in blue were previously closed.

Current Position Changes

ADBE - Adobe Systems
The long call position was entered at the open on Tuesday.

COMM - Conscope Holdings
The long call position was closed at the open on Tuesday.

Original Play Recommendations (Alpha by Symbol)

ADBE - Adobe Systems - Company Profile


No specific news. Shares posted a minor gain on Monday to close at a new high.

Original Trade Description: July 10th.

Adobe Systems Incorporated operates as a diversified software company worldwide. Its Digital Media segment provides tools and solutions that enable individuals, small and medium businesses, and enterprises to create, publish, promote, and monetize their digital content. This segment's flagship product is Creative Cloud, a subscription service that allows customers to download and install the latest versions of its creative products. This segment serves traditional content creators, Web application developers, and digital media professionals, as well as their management in marketing departments and agencies, companies, and publishers. The company's Digital Marketing segment offers solutions for how digital advertising and marketing are created, managed, executed, measured, and optimized. This segment provides analytics, social marketing, targeting, advertising and media optimization, digital experience management, cross-channel campaign management, and audience management solutions, as well as video delivery and monetization to digital marketers, advertisers, publishers, merchandisers, Web analysts, chief marketing officers, chief information officers, and chief revenue officers. Its Print and Publishing segment offers products and services, such as eLearning solutions, technical document publishing, Web application development, and high-end printing, as well as publishing needs of technical and business, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) printing businesses. The company markets and licenses its products and services directly to enterprise customers through its sales force, as well as to end-users through app stores and through its Website at It also distributes products and services through a network of distributors, value-added resellers, systems integrators, independent software vendors, retailers, and OEMs. Company description from

Adobe reported earnings of 81 cents that beat estimates by 4 cents. Revenue of $1.77 billion increased sequentially by 5.4% and 26.7% over the year ago quarter. Analysts expected $1.73 billion. Subscriptions accounted for 84% of Q2 revenues, up 36.9% from the year ago quarter. Revenues from digital media solutions rose 29% to $1.21 billion. Annualized recurring revenue rose $312 million to $4.56 billion. Mobile data transactions rose to 57% or all transactions.

Adobe is firing on all cylinders. They ended the quarter with $4.93 billion in cash and $901 million in receivables. They guided for the current quarter to revenue of $1.815 billion and that exceeded estimates for $1.80 billion. They guided for earnings of 72 cents to $1 and analysts were expecting 79 cents.

Expected earnings Sept 19th.

Shares had been in a solid uptrend until the recent Nasdaq decline. Unfortunately, options are expensive so this will have to be a spread.

I try not to recommend a stock in one newsletter than I am also recommending in a different newsletter. In this case, Adobe had the farthest earnings date and allowed us to avoid all the July earnings reports from other stocks. Plus this is a short-term position rather than long term.

Position 7/11/17:

Long Oct $150 call @ $4.20, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Short Oct $165 call @ $.93, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Net debit $3.27.

COMM - Commscope Holdings - Company Profile


We dodged a major bullet on Commscope. We closed the position at the open on Tuesday. Shares opened slightly higher, thank you, and then crashed on news they were buying Cable Exchange, a fiber optic and copper cable assembly provider. No price was given but the stock dropped $4 on the news. Fortunately, we exited right at the top for the day.

Original Trade Description: May 8th.

CommScope Holding Company, Inc. provides infrastructure solutions for communications networks worldwide. The company's CommScope Connectivity Solutions segment offers optical fiber and twisted pair structured cable solutions, intelligent infrastructure software, and network rack and cabinet enclosures under the SYSTIMAX, AMP NETCONNECT, and Uniprise brands; and fiber management systems, patch cords and panels, complete cabling systems, and cable assemblies for use in offices and data centers. This segment also provides fiber optic connectivity solutions, including hardened connector systems, fiber distribution hubs and management systems, couplers and splitters, plug and play multiport service terminals, hardened optical terminating enclosures, high density cable assemblies, splices, and splice closures that supports video, voice, and high-speed data services provided by telecommunications operators and multi-system operators. Its CommScope Mobility Solutions segment offers macro cell site solutions for wireless tower sites and on rooftops, such as base station antennas, microwave antennas, hybrid fiber-feeder and power cables, coaxial cables, connectors, and filters; metro cell solutions for outdoors on street poles and on other urban structures comprising radio frequency delivery and connectivity solutions, equipment housing, and concealment; and small cell and distributed antenna system (DAS) solutions consisting of DAS and distributed cell solutions that allow wireless operators to enhance efficiency, and cellular coverage and capacity in network conditions. This segment provides its solutions under the Andrew brand. CommScope Holding Company, Inc. sells its products through a network of distributors, system integrators, and resellers. The company was formerly known as Cedar I Holding Company, Inc. Company description from

Commscope reported earnings of 52 cents compared to estimates for 53 cents. Revenue of $1.14 billion matched street estimates. They guided for the current quarter for earnings of 62-67 cents and revenue from $1.20 to $1.25 billion. Full year earnings are expected to be $2.70-$2.80 with revenue $4.85-$4.95 billion.

The earnings were ok, the guidance was a killer. Analysts were expecting $2.95 and $5.1 billion. Shares fell from $41 to $33. Management blamed the miss on "more cautious spending patterns" at North American telecom customers. They are also experiencing some merger pains from their 2015 acquisition of TE Connectivity, which they said they were addressing aggressively. The TE products were lower margin products.

Despite the negativity, telecom spending is expected to pickup in the second half of the year.

Earnings August 3rd.

Shares are already rebounding and I believe this is a buying opportunity on a previously strong chart. If I am wrong the option is cheap and we do not have much at risk.

Position 5/9/17:

Closed 7/11/17: Long August $38 calls @ $1.25, exit $1.65, +.40 gain.

FB - Facebook - Company Profile


No specific news but Facebook closed at a new high on Friday and only gave back 24 cents today. However, there may be trouble coming. Amazon is going to introduce its own messaging app called Anytime. A screenshot of a feature list was making the rounds on Monday. If Amazon can pull off half of what they claim it could be a problem for SnapChat and Facebook. Stay tuned.

I am going to raise the stop loss just in case this news gains any traction. This is an August call so we have to exit soon anyway before earnings on August 2nd.

Original Trade Description: June 12th.

Facebook, Inc. provides various products to connect and share through mobile devices, personal computers, and other surfaces worldwide. Its solutions include Facebook Website and mobile application that enables people to connect, share, discover, and communicate each other on mobile devices and personal computers; Instagram, a mobile application that enables people to take photos or videos, customize them with filter effects, and share them with friends and followers in a photo feed or send them directly to friends; Messenger, a messaging application to communicate with people and businesses across platforms and devices; and WhatsApp Messenger, a mobile messaging application. The company also offers Oculus virtual reality technology and content platform, which allow people to enter an immersive and interactive environment to play games, consume content, and connect with others. Company description from

Facebook also blew away earnings estimates and they are growing earnings at the fastest rate of any of the FAANG stocks. They have multiple revenue streams and sites like Instagram and WhatsApp that are just starting to accelerate earnings. They said Instagram had reached 50,000 advertisers. Facebook's problem is they do not have enough page views to monetize despite the 1.9 billion users. They have more advertisers than they have space.

Earnings August 2nd.

Facebook was setting new highs last week until Friday's flash crash. The two day decline knocked the stock back from $155.50 to $144.50, and exactly to support from the May 17th bottom. This "should" be the perfect spot to open a new position on FB. The two day decline has deflated the option premiums and once the tech sector begins to rebound, the FAANG stocks should be leaders again because of their earnings growth rates.

Position 7/3/17:

Long Aug $155 call @ $4.30, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

Previously closed 6/29/17: Long Aug $155 call @ $4.45, exit 3.75, -.70 loss.

HAIN - Hain Celestial - Company Profile


Maxim Group upgraded Hain from hold to buy with a $5 price target.

Hain received a listing default notice from the Nasdaq because they have not held an annual shareholder meeting in the last 12 months. The letter has no effect. Hain has until August 21st to file a response and Nasdaq can grant them a 180 day extension from that point. Since they just released a year's worth of earnings the company said they were planning a date for the annual meeting and would post it soon.

Original Trade Description: March 20th

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells organic and natural products in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Europe. Its grocery products include infant formula; infant, toddler, and kids foods; diapers and wipes; rice and grain-based products; flour and baking mixes; breads, hot and cold cereals, pasta, condiments, cooking and culinary oils, granolas, granola bars, and cereal bars; canned, chilled fresh, aseptic, and instant soups; Greek-style yogurt; chilies and packaged grains; and chocolates and nut butters, as well as plant-based beverages and frozen desserts, such as soy, rice, almond, and coconut. The company's grocery products also comprise juices, hot-eating, chilled and frozen desserts, cookies, crackers, gluten-free frozen entrees and bars, frozen pastas and ethnic meals, frozen fruits and vegetables, cut fresh fruits, refrigerated and frozen soy protein meat-alternative products, tofu, seitan and tempeh products, jams, fruit spreads and jelly, honey, marmalade, and other food products. In addition, it provides snack products, such as potato, root vegetable, and other vegetable chips, as well as straws, tortilla chips, whole grain chips, pita chips, puffs, and popcorn; specialty teas, including herbal, green, black, wellness, rooibos, and chai tea lattes; ready-to-drink beverages comprising organic kombucha and chai tea lattes; personal care products consisting of skin, hair and oral care, deodorants, baby care items, acne treatment, body washes, and sunscreens; and poultry and protein products, such as turkey and chicken products. The company sells its products through specialty and natural food distributors, supermarkets, natural food stores, mass-market and e-commerce retailers, food service channels and club, and drug and convenience stores in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Company description from

We played Hain before back in the fall. Basically, they have not filed their quarterly reports since last May because of a review of accounting procedures. They have suffered over the last year and have reportedly spent $20 million in the complete accounting review for years past and a review of their procedures. They are facing class action suits and SEC probes but none of these things will have a lasting impact.

They are facing a new deadline of May for their reports or they will be in default with their lenders. While they will not say when they will file the back reports, they continue to assure investors there was no wrongdoing and these types of corporate autopsies for prior years take time.

They are so undervalued compared to their peers and their historical norms, it is silly not to have a long position. Once they file the reports this will all be behind them.

I am recommending we buy the August $40 call and forget about it. At $2 it is not a lot of money and they could quickly return to the $50s once they file the reports.

Update 6/23/17: After a year of accounting research, HAIN said there was no need to restate earnings. The problems they found were so minor they were not worth the effort. They implemented some additional controls and promoted James Langrock to EVP and CFO. They discussed plans to cut costs by $350 million over the next three years and said they will buy back $250 million in stock.

They also reported earnings of 33 cents that missed estimates for 52 cents. They guided for the current quarter to earnings of 40-43 cents. For the full year they guided for $1.19-$1.22 and revenue of $2.84-$2.86 billion.

Shares were very volatile on Friday with all the headlines in the press release and the CEO's appearance on CNBC. On Monday shares rose $6.4% to $33.63. We have an August $40 call and we actually have a chance of it regaining value. I was hoping for more of a spike on the earnings release but the earnings miss overshadowed the positive news about the restatement. Since there is nothing wrong with the company or the past financials and it was crushed from $57 to $31 on the initial restatement warning, we could see funds begin to buy it again.

Update 7/2/17: After waiting for three months, we finally got lucky. Hain is under attack by Engaged Capital with a 9.9% stake and they are pushing the company to sell itself and to replace 7 of the 8 board members. Shares spiked 8.5% on Friday and probably have farther to go. Engaged has had several successful attacks recently against other companies and even though they are small they are aggressive. Shares popped to $39 and we are holding the $40 strike.

Update 7/10/17: The Amazon deal for Whole Foods made the Hain position a lot more interesting. Whole Foods is Hain's largest customer. Amazon can explode Hain's sales or even acquire Hain to further reduce costs and market reach. BMI Capital said at the least it will boost sales and with Engaged Capital (10% stake) demanding the company sell itself, there may be interest in actually doing that. Other potential acquirers include Pepsi, Campbell, Hormel, General Mills, Kraft Heinz, Nestle and Unilever. There is no shortage of candidates that could be sniffing around.

Position 3/21/17:

Long Aug $40 call @ $1.97, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

RH - RH Inc - Company Profile


RH announced on Friday they had completed a $700 million share repurchase authorization. This was on top of the $300 million repurchased in Q1. In 2017, they have repurchased 20.22 million shares or 49.6% of the outstanding shares. Currently there are 21.12 million shares outstanding. Original Trade Description: June 12th.

RH, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the home furnishings market. The company offers products in various categories, including furniture, lighting, textiles, bathware, decor, outdoor and garden, tableware, and child and teen furnishings. It provides its products through its retail galleries and Source Books, as well as online through,,,,, and Websites. As of January 28, 2017, the company operated 85 retail galleries, including 50 legacy galleries, 6 larger format design galleries, 8 next generation design galleries, 1 RH modern gallery, and 5 RH baby and child galleries in the United States and Canada; 15 Waterworks showrooms in the United States and the United Kingdom; and 28 outlet stores. The company was formerly known as Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to RH in January 2017. Company description from

RH reported earnings of 5 cents that beat estimates for 4 cents. Revenue of $562.1 million beat estimates for $560.4 million. So far, so good. However, they guided for Q2 earnings of 38-43 cents and analysts were expecting 53-75 cents. No, that is not a misprint.

The company said it was ditching its prior merchandising model and switching to a membership model in order to make the company Amazon proof and enhance the customer experience. They are moving away from the highly promotional retail experience with constant sales and discounts and moving to a membership model where the focus will be on the customer experience. "Members" will pay $100 a year for the ability to shop in a high quality store where they will find only high quality merchandise.

Shares crashed 26% to $42 on the guidance but the rebound has been amazing. Apparently investors like the concept and the idea of a "Costco" model but in high quality products.

Earnings August 31st.

Position 6/13/17:

Long August $55 call @ $2.70, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

THO - Thor Industries- Company Profile


No specific news. Shares rebounded nicely from support at $101.50.

Original Trade Description: June 19th.

Thor Industries, Inc., through its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and sells recreational vehicles, and related parts and accessories primarily in the United States and Canada. It operates through Towable Recreational Vehicles and Motorized Recreational Vehicles segments. The company offers travel trailers under the Airstream International, Classic Limited, Sport, Flying Cloud, Land Yacht, and Eddie Bauer trade names, as well as Interstate and Autobahn Class B motorhomes; gasoline and diesel Class A and Class C motorhomes under the Four Winds, Hurricane, Chateau, Challenger, Tuscany, Axis, Vegas, Palazzo, Synergy, Quantum, Compass, Gemini, A.C.E, Alante, Precept, Greyhawk, and Redhawk trade names; and fifth wheels under the Redwood and DRV Mobile Suites trade names. It also provides conventional travel trailers and fifth wheels under the Montana, Springdale, Hideout, Sprinter, Outback, Laredo, Alpine, Bullet, Fuzion, Raptor, Passport, Cougar, Coleman, Kodiak, Aspen Trail, Voltage, Cameo, Cruiser, ReZerve, Sunset Trail, Zinger, Landmark, Bighorn, Sundance, Elkridge, Trail Runner, North Trail, Cyclone, Torque, Prowler, Wilderness, Shadow Cruiser, Fun Finder, Stryker, Sportsmen, Spree, Venom, Durango, SportTrek, Connect, Sportster, Sonic, Jay Flight, Jay Feather, Eagle, Pinnacle, Seismic, AR-One, Launch, Autumn Ridge, Travel Star, Highlander, Roamer, and Open Range trade names. In addition, the company offers equestrian recreational vehicle products with living quarters under the Premiere, Silverado, Ranger, Laredo, Trail Boss, and Trail Hand trade names; lightweight travel trailers and specialty products under the Camplite and Quicksilver trade names; and Class A motorhomes under the Insignia, Aspire, Anthem, and Cornerstone trade names, as well as provides aluminum extrusions and specialized component products. Company description from

In a weak economy Thor is kicking butt. The company reported earnings of $2.11 which rose 41.6% compared to estimates for $1.87. Revenue of $2.02 billion rose 57% beat estimates for $1.96 billion. Operating cash flow rose 26.2% and gross profits rose 45.5%.

Sales of towable travel trailers rose 52.6% and sales of motorized RVs rose 78.7%. There was no bad news in the Thor report.

Estimated earnings date September 4th.

With the company posting record earnings the stock spiked from $94 to $104 on June 6th. When the market dipped, shares only pulled back to $102. Over the last week they have returned to $106 and Monday's close was a four-month high.

Winnebago (WGO) reports earnings this week and that is going to remind investors how strong Thor's report really was. I believe we will see Thor break through that post earnings resistance and head back to the highs at $115.

Position 7/3/17:

Long Sep $110 call @ $1.90, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

Previously closed 6/29/17: Long Aug $110 call @ $3.20, exit $1.80, -1.40 loss.

VAR - Varian Medical Systems - Company Profile


The Research Institute of Clinical Medicine in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi became the first hospital in Georgia to treat cancer patients with the Varian Edge Radiosurgery System. Shares closed at a new high on Friday.

Original Trade Description: July 2nd.

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, sells, and services medical devices and software products for treating cancer and other medical conditions worldwide. It operates through two segments, Oncology Systems and Imaging Components. The Oncology Systems segment provides hardware and software products for treating cancer with radiotherapy, fixed field intensity-modulated radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy, volumetric modulated arc therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic body radiotherapy, and brachytherapy. Its products include linear accelerators, brachytherapy afterloaders, treatment simulation, verification equipment, and accessories; and information management, treatment planning, image processing, clinical knowledge exchange, patient care management, decision-making support, and practice management software. This segment serves university research and community hospitals, private and governmental institutions, healthcare agencies, physicians' offices, oncology practices, radiotherapy centers, and cancer care clinics. The Imaging Components segment offers X-ray imaging components for use in radiographic or fluoroscopic imaging, mammography, special procedures, computed tomography, computer aided diagnostics, and industrial applications. It also provides Linatron X-ray accelerators, imaging processing software, and image detection products for security and inspection purposes. This segment serves original equipment manufacturers, independent service companies, and end-users. In addition, the company offers products and systems for delivering proton therapy; and develops technologies in the areas of digital X-ray imaging, volumetric and functional imaging, and improved X-ray sources. The company was formerly known as Varian Associates, Inc. and changed its name to Varian Medical Systems, Inc. in April 1999. Varian Medical Systems, Inc. was founded in 1948. Company description from

Drugs are not the only opportunity to rid yourself of a terrible disease. Varian produces multiple products for discovering and targeting cancer. They are the sector leader in imaging and radiation therapy.

Varian reported Q1 earnings of 89 cents that beat estimates for 88 cents. Revenue of $655 million beat estimates for $643 million. They guided for full year earnings of $3.56-$3.64 per share.

Earnings July 26th.

On May 6th, the company announced a "game-changing treatment platform" to combat the cancer challenge. (their words) The new Halcyon system is an entirely new device that "simplifies and enhances virtually every aspect of image-guided volumetric intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). This new treatment system is designed to expand the availability of high quality cancer care globally and help save the lives of millions more cancer patients." The new system requires only 9 steps compared with the 30 treatment steps required by current generation equipment. "Halcyon is well suited to handle the majority of cancer patients, offering advanced treatments for prostate, breast, head & neck, and many other forms of cancer." Press Release

The company demonstrated the new device to packed crowds at the ESTRO 36 conference in Vienna. Shares spiked $4 on the announcement.

In late May, Varian announced it was going to install its first Proton Therapy System in Thailand. The first one in a country is always the hardest. The order will be booked in this quarter's earnings.

Varian had a nearly $30 gain since January. The market volatility over the last week blunted that rally and given us a buying opportunity. There is decent support at $101.

Position 7/3/17:

Long August $105 call @ $2.70, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

Prices Quoted in Newsletter

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