Saturday, May 16, 2015

Writing about Agenus and Celgene

I had an article published by Seeking Alpha:

Why Agenus Can Continue to Rise After Doubling

In the article I said Agenus (AGEN) could be up 20x in about 5 years.

That, of course, is the kind of prediction that can get an analyst or financial writer in trouble. So I thought of how I might make a less outrageous claim (especially considering that I own Agenus, and so could have a bias).

But then I thought about Celgene (CELG). I did an analysis of where I thought Celgene should go back in January of 2014. I pulled back from the top end my analysis, and wrote an article intended for Seeking Alpha. The editors asked for revisions that I thought were unnecessary, and I was very busy right at that moment, so I did not revise it, did not get paid for it, and sent it to what they call their Instablog. I also reposted it here:

Celgene in 2017: $375 per share or more [January 14, 2014]

And I went on with life. But when I had more free time I looked at my Celgene analysis again, and figured I was almost certainly right. To make my article seem less outrageous, I pulled in the timeline and lowered my estimate. I had also learned a bit more about what Seeking Alpha editors want. So they published it:

Celgene in 2015: $200 per share [April 29, 2014]

Now if you look at Celgene's stock price, you would see it closed Friday at $115.53. You might say, "That rascal William Meyers was hyping Celgene, but he missed by a mile." Except that Celgene split two for one in June 2014.

Adjusting for the split, my headlines would read:

Celgene in 2017: $187.50 per share or more

Celgene in 2015: $100 per share.

In other words, by catering to the believable, I actually under-predicted 2015 by quite a bit. There is a ways to go to hit my 2017 Celgene projection, but I am more confident in it now than I was when the article was originally written.

Of course I could still be wrong about Agenus, though in my article I did set out a bunch of milestones Agenus would have to hit in 5 years to go up by a factor of 20x.

I own Celgene and Agenus stock. Despite my prediction about Agenus, I am not selling everything else and buying it, or mortgaging my home, or anything like that. Things can go wrong, and that is why I always tell my friends:

Keep diversified!