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  • IT news
    IT news, Январь, 4

    Ahnu is turning over a new leaf in the new year. As of January 1, the footwear maker is discontinuing its men’s shoe collection and focusing on its women’s lineup of shoes. The company is partnering with Teva to produce the new Ahnu by Teva collection, which is available on Teva’…
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    IT news, Март, 8

    Below is a tool used by the Benzinga News Desk each trading day -- it's a look at everything happening in the market, in five minutes. Apply for daily AM access by emailing tip@benzinga.com.

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    IT news, Декабрь, 18

    TipRanks gathers analyst ratings and ranks them based on accuracy over time. Here is a list of the top 20 Wall Street analysts of 2015, according to the platform's data. 1. Irina Rivkind Koffler

    Mizuho Securities

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  • IT news
    IT news, Июнь, 26

    Summary Successful investing requires an optimistic perspective. Pessimism often causes investors to miss out on great opportunities. However, optimism must be rational and realistic. Optimism works best with a long-term perspective and a disciplined assessment of valuation.

    I believe that one of the most important attributes that a successful investor must possess is optimism. Any serious student of financial history would recognize and acknowledge that economically speaking, things are good much more often than they are bad. In the general sense, common stocks have risen far more often than they have fallen. That is not to say that bad times never come, because they most assuredly do. However, even during bad times optimism has served investors better than pessimism. The rational optimist recognizes that bad times are only temporary, and better times are sure to follow.

    Consequently, the rational optimist sees the future opportunity that bad times provide and behaves accordingly by investing aggressively. In contrast, the more emotionally-driven pessimist sees only risk, which all too often provokes them to flee their investments and suffer unnecessary losses as a result. A paper loss is most often temporary, and only becomes real if you take it. This is especially true when the underlying fundamentals of the business support a higher valuation. When this is true, I contend there are only two rational choices. Hold onto your intrinsically more valuable assets recognizing that they will recover or if you have the wherewithal, aggressively add to your holdings and exploit other people's folly.

    Although my educational background is in economics and finance, I also completed a minor in psychology. How people behave and think has always been a fascination to me. However, I was more interested in finance, especially investing, which is why I made it my career. Nevertheless, my interest in psychology led me to interesting observations about how people think and behave. Many times in my life I have encountered people that possess mountains of wonderful blessings to be thankful for, but who also have a thimble full of problems or life issues. Invariably, or at least all too often, they will turn their backs on their mountains of blessings and obsess on the fewer problems they have.

    Moreover, in my personal experience there is a rather disturbing differentiation between pessimists and optimists that I have personally observed and often encountered. Optimists tend to be happier and usually kinder when dealing with others. In contrast, pessimists tend to be gloomy and often meaner when dealing with others. If you don't believe me, try presenting an optimistic article, as I often have, and see the responses you get.

    As a case in point on July 25, 2010, shortly after the Great Recession had ended, I posted an article titled "S&P 500: The Optimists Argument" and I opened it with the following:

    "The American Dream

    I believe we live in the greatest country in the world. Furthermore, I believe our country has the long-term track record to back up those beliefs. Therefore, I am very frustrated by the perma-pessimists, doom and gloomers and naysayers who are quick to write our country and its future prosperity off.

    To be sure, we are facing many severe economic challenges and problems. On the other hand, this is nothing new, as we have faced similar and even greater challenges many times in the past. Yet through it all, thanks mostly to our diverse and courageous people, we have not only persevered, we have prospered and grown as well.

    The American people have a legacy of optimism regarding the future which is more commonly known as "the American dream." This optimistic viewpoint has served as a beacon to the rest of the world leading many to immigrate into our great country in order to participate in our great social experiment based on free enterprise.

    Winston Churchill is credited with a quote that I believe sums up my point succinctly: "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." Yes, as I already stated, we are facing many difficulties, however, I remain confident that our people and our economy will rise to the challenge and, as a result, new opportunities will emerge out of these crises.

    There are numerous pundits, including the majority of mainstream media that seem to take great glee in writing frightening stories with extremely negative headlines that I believe serve no real purpose other than shaking people's confidence in our economy and their future."

    It's important to consider that those words were written in July 2010, more than a year after the Great Recession had ended. Later in this article I will provide a link to the above article and include a few comments from readers that it generated. I believe you will find they support my above statement about the perils of writing a positive article.

    Related Attributes of Successful Investors

    Additional attributes of successful investors that go hand-in-hand with optimism are embracing a long-term view and tempering optimism with realism. Although successful investors have a strong faith in our economic future, they are also smart enough to make realistic assessments about important fundamental metrics such as current valuation.

    Optimism and faith in our future are important and profitable attributes to have, but blind faith can lead to denial, and as such, can be financially dangerous. Similar to fear and greed, denial is an emotional response. In contrast, rational optimism is supported by analysis based on an intelligent assessment of the facts. Even more importantly, rational optimists conduct continuous monitoring and evaluation of their past behaviors and decisions in order to learn as much as they can from the past.

    Friends and Family Call Me a Perpetual Optimist

    All of my life, my closest friends and family have called me the perpetual optimist. In many cases it was meant as a criticism, but in others as a compliment. Personally, I have always considered it a compliment. In truth, I have always felt that my optimistic viewpoint about life and as it pertains to this article, about the economic strength of our country, was a blessing. However, as it specifically relates to investing, my optimistic viewpoint should also lead to profitable transactions. Fortunately for me, that has proven to be the case over the long run. All of my transactions have not been profitable, but on balance, my optimism, my long-term approach and my focus on valuation have served me quite well.

    The Proof Is In the Pudding

    To be crystal clear, the primary thesis behind this series of articles is that optimism is an important attribute for successful investing. A secondary thesis behind this series of articles is that successful investing implies taking a long-term view when investing in common stocks. By long term, I am referring to investing in and owning a business for a minimum of a normal business cycle of 3-5 years, but preferably longer. As Ben Graham so eloquently put it, "in the short run the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it's a weighing machine."

    In conjunction with my primary and secondary thesis referenced above, is the importance of monitoring and evaluating past decisions, because only then can one determine whether or not optimism is justified. As I was contemplating this, it occurred to me that I have been publishing articles on financial blogs such as Seeking Alpha since June 11, 2009. Therefore, that timeframe of almost exactly 6 years qualifies under my definition of long-term stated above. My, how time flies when you're having fun!

    Consequently, this provided a venue that would allow me to monitor and evaluate the validity of my optimism and long-term view. Thanks to the convenience and calculating power provided by F.A.S.T. Graphs I could offer my loyal readers a rather comprehensive perspective of how my work and positive attitude has panned out. Therefore, what follows is a wide ranging look back at my first year's worth of offerings where I presented fairly valued research candidates for readers to consider. In this Part 1, I will cover my recommendations through the end of 2009. In Part 2, I will complete the analysis with a review of recommendations made through June of 2010.

    A couple of caveats about this exercise are in order. What I am presenting here is a factual performance calculation based on the closing price of each company one day prior to the article's publication. However, since F.A.S.T. Graphs only reports monthly closing prices on the historical graphs, my calculations will be close but not perfectly accurate. In other words, my starting calculation will be presented on the last trading day of the month prior to or directly after the date the article was published. This gets me within two weeks of when the article was originally presented. However, these calculations are precise enough for the reader to receive a general perspective of the outcome of my recommended research candidates.

    Importantly, I only present articles where I covered a single company in my first year of writing. However, I also include a few examples where I wrote about the S&P 500 index as a proxy for the market. These articles are especially interesting because they highlight the pushback I received from strong reactions of readers that held a more pessimistic view of the market and our economy. On these S&P 500 index articles specifically, I will include a few comments that answer the question posed in the title of this article. In short, what has a pessimistic view of our market and economy cost them? The answer is vividly revealed by the S&P 500 articles and performance calculations below.

    At this point it's important for me to interject that this is not an exercise meant to brag about how smart I have been. As I previously stated, not all of my research candidate recommendations were profitable. I have included the good, the bad and the ugly. On the other hand, I believe this exercise supports the importance of optimism as it pertains to investing in common stocks. On balance, and as you will soon see, my optimistic recommendations worked out pretty well.

    To be fair, I will also add that I did not own all of these recommended research candidates, but I did own most of them. Furthermore, these calculations do not include specific times where I sold. In other words, this is not a precise presentation of portfolio performance; instead, it is simply reviewing the record produced by the individual research candidates based on the publication date of articles. Readers of these articles were free to either ignore, buy and/or sell any of these offerings based on their own needs or views.

    On the other hand, I do feel that readers of my work deserve to see what my research recommendations could have produced had they acted upon them. For the reader's convenience, the heading on each offering provides a link to the original article. But most importantly, I believe this exercise offers important lessons about the importance of only investing when fair valuation is manifest. The importance of valuation, over all other reasons, is why I offer this rather extensive review and look back at my work.

    As the reader reviews the following, I ask that they keep in mind that each of these articles was published in the years just after the Great Recession. This is important because it was clearly a time of rampant pessimism on many people's part.

    On each research candidate published in an article I will present two identical graphs. The first graph will be without the calculations applied because they cover up portions of the graph. I'm doing this because I want the reader to be able to clearly see valuation represented by the earnings and price relationship, as well as all the metrics produced in the FAST FACTS boxes to the right.

    My first article on Rockwell Collins published June 11, 2009

    The first article I ever published was on Rockwell Collins (NYSE:COL), a high-quality semi-cyclical dividend growth stock in the aerospace and defense industry. Even though earnings had weakened during the recession, I felt the valuation represented a compelling opportunity. Clearly this offering has worked out over the long run. However, short-term volatility between when I originally wrote the article and today should be recognized. Additionally, current high valuation has contributed to the results and should not go unnoticed.

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  • IT news
    IT news, Апрель, 29

    summary Opko Health continues to impress on many fronts. The 4Kscore Test reimbursement, NDA filing for Rayaldee, and the FDA decision on Rolapitant all serve as near-term value-driving catalysts. Opko CEO Dr. Phillip Frost continues to buy shares on the open market as recently as last week. For these reasons, I believe Opko presents a reasonable speculation at current levels as there is considerable upside potential.

    Subscribers to Lowenthal capital Partners' weekly Stock Picks received early access to this article, featuring Opko Health (NYSE:OPK).

    As a speculator, one important factor that drives my biotech investments is insider trading. Specifically, I want to see whether insiders have skin in the game by investing in their own stock. In conjunction, I look for timing of insider buys in relation to important catalysts, along with the buy/sell activity of major investors. I believe Opko Health arguably fits these criteria.

    Opko Health

    Opko is an emerging biotech/diagnostics company with a deep-rooted pipeline. Its commercial focus is stretched across four high-value markets: point-of-care diagnostics, novel molecular diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals and vaccines. Before I discuss some of Opko's core pipeline assets and the upcoming catalysts that should drive the stock price higher, it is important to note that its founder and CEO Dr. Phillip Frost was Chairman of Teva (NYSE:TEVA). For those who are unfamiliar with Teva, the company is the largest generic manufacturer in the world, with roughly a $55 billion market cap. And if that is not enough to get my point across, note that Dr. Frost is currently ranked 1 out of all 39,799 corporate insiders tracked by TipRanks, having achieved a 56.5% ROI and an 89% success rate on over 1100 of his own personal investments.

    Therefore, I believe it is safe to say that Dr. Frost knows how to run successful companies. In addition, what I find particularly appealing for Opko at this juncture is that Dr. Frost recently resigned from his position as Chairman of Teva in order to work full-time as CEO of Opko. This is a strong indication that he is positioning for the future success of Opko. My belief is that investors should do the same, and fast.

    Opko is approaching numerous catalysts ahead

    Opko's first catalyst that has my attention is tied to the 4Kscore test program. 4Kscore Test is a diagnostic which has demonstrated the ability to accurately determine the aggressive prostate cancer risk for individual patients within 20 years. Doctors can use this test to help advise patients as to whether or not to proceed with biopsies. The benefit of this diagnostic has been exemplified in thousands of patients who participated in several clinical studies, and 10 years of research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer center and various research institutions in Europe. 4Kscore Test reflects Opko's attempt to cut healthcare costs associated with the diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer by potentially reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies. Researchers currently estimate that around 80% of biopsies test negative for the cancer, with each costing anywhere between $475 to $8000 for uninsured patients.

    4Kscore Test has increased in market share following its March 2014 launch in the US and Europe, and January 2015 launch in Mexico. Having said that, sales have not been disclosed primarily due to the fact that the company is still working on obtaining reimbursement for the 4Kscore Test by US payers and those abroad. Once Opko receives reimbursement, however, both its revenues and the adoption of the diagnostic should rapidly increase. This is logical considering the fact that reimbursement will place more money in Opko's pocket, as well as ease the financial burden of patients administered the 4Kscore Test. The cost out of pocket for 4Kscore Test is $395, And with more patients paying less out of pocket, there should be greater demand for the diagnostic given its potential to actually reduce healthcare costs for individual patients and provide them with critical information about their cancer risk.

    Currently, over 550 urologists use 4Kscore Test in their practices, and that is under less-than-ideal market conditions. Adoption should likewise increase as conditions improve (i.e., when reimbursement is formalized) and as Opko penetrates new markets. In Latin America, for example, rollout of 4Kscore Test is now underway. The way I value all of these developments is by looking at the market potential for the diagnostic. Opko has recently stated it expects 4Kscore Test to be the standard of care test for prostate cancer. This market is currently estimated to be around $2 billion, and it is steadily growing as thousands are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Thus, I see the revenue generated by the reimbursement and the subsequent revenue generated by increasing market penetration to serve as value-driving catalysts. These developments would significantly bolster Opko's bottom line. The problem is, reimbursement is simply a waiting game, so there is a certain degree of trust that is required of management to get the job done sooner rather than later.

    Management is making progress in that department, however. The Current Procedural Terminology code (CPT) for 4Kscore Test is awaiting publication on the website, which will enable future treatments to be documented by the American Medical Association (AMA). Opko has also implemented a financial assistance program that is a core component of its strategy to receive reimbursement. While the 4Kscore Test price is listed at $1,185, the program enables those with lower income brackets to purchase it at the out-of-pocket price of $395 or lower. Opko's next step is to wait for the National Comprehensive Cancer network (NCCN) to present this 4Kscore Test package to payers. There is no word from management on how long this will take, however.

    Shifting gears, shareholders can expect an important, short-term value-driving catalyst: the Q1 2015 NDA submission for Rayaldee for secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in patients with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) and vitamin D insufficiency. Rayaldee succeeded in two late stage studies, both of which established safety and efficacy. Patients experienced on average a 30% decrease in plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH), and a higher response rate as the duration of the treatment increased. If the NDA is submitted, accepted and approved by the FDA, Opko would stand to market the product to an estimated 4 million pre-dialysis CKD patients in the US, and possibly 16 million more worldwide pending additional regulatory approvals in key foreign markets. The overall CKD market itself is valued at $12 billion through 2022, so I suspect Opko has a substantial long-term market opportunity if things go as planned.

    The third and final notable catalyst on my Opko radar is the upcoming PDUFA date for Rolapitant on September 5, 2015. Rolapitant is indicated for chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). The condition is of great concern among oncologists, as it remains one of the most prevalent side effects of chemotherapy. Existing treatments - Aloxi (palonosetron), Zofran generic (ondansetron), Kytril generic (granisetron), Emend (aprepitant) and Akynzeo (netupitant-palonosetron FDC) - are relatively ineffective in providing extended protection against CINV. While the patient's condition may temporarily improve, the existing treatments tend to only delay CINV from taking effect. Rolapitant, however has been demonstrated in several late stage studies to offer extended protection against CINV over a five-day period. The company believes this is sufficient for FDA approval. If so, Opko should have a good chance of capturing a significant share of this $1.25 billion market. Analysts currently predict anywhere between 70%-80% market penetration for Rolapitant as compared to what is presently available to patients.

    Opko has a license agreement for Rolapitant with Tesaro, making the former eligible to receive the following: up-front and milestone payments valued at up to $121 million; double-digit tiered royalties on sales; an undisclosed share of future profits in Japan, and an option to market Rolapitant in Latin America. The approval of Rolapitant should trigger a milestone payment. Opko also established an equity position in Tesaro, so it stands to benefit should the Rolapitant approval and/or subsequent sales catalyze an increase in Tesaro's stock price.

    I am also watching some minor developments. These are listed below:

    Early stage clinical development of Rayaldee for adjunctive cancer.Early stage clinical development of Long Acting Factor VIIa-CTP for hemophilia.Development of Claros1 analyzer for Lyme disease, which affects 300,000 new patients each year. This is being funded by a $3 million grant awarded to Opko by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in January 2015. This diagnostic has the potential to target various other indications, which could increase its value.Initiation of clinical studies for Long Acting Oxyntomodulin for obesity and diabetes in 2015Opko's platform of strategic partnerships and acquisitions. I will be following up with an interview with the CEO of Opko's newest target, MabVax Therapeutics (OTCQB:MBVX), to better understand Opko's opportunity in MabVax. For more information on Opko's strategic partnerships and acquisitions, see the company website.Heavy and consistent insider buying

    The tipping point for me in determining whether to speculate in Opko is the heavy and consistent insider buying.

    Insider Name, Position and RankingTransactionAmount
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