Friday, September 27, 2013

Cantel Medical (CMN) update

In retrospect, one of my luckiest stock picks has been Cantel Medical (CMN) a manufacturer of sterilization and infection control equipment.

Yesterday the stock hit a record high after the market digested its morning report on its fiscal Q4, and the analyst conference. Hansen is still a small cap, so it is not well-covered by Wall Street, sell-side analysts. I've been covering it since before I bought it in 2009.

My Seeking Alpha article on it is:

Cantel Medical: Proven Aggressive Growth and Stock Returns [September 27, 2013]

My summary of Q4 is: Cantel Medical (CMN) Q4 2013 results and analyst call

For earlier analyst conference summaries and stories see Cantel Medical (CMN) Analysis and News

I own stock in CMN. Because it grew so quickly, at one point it violated one of my portfolio rules (not too much of any one stock) and I sold a portion of my original stake. I has split twice since I bought it. It pays a small dividend.

For those who wonder about how Seeking Alpha works, I would share that contributors get paid per page view. Hence, if you are writing mainly for pay, you want to cover large cap stocks that have a lot of shareholders, and especially stocks that are constantly in the news, like Apple and Facebook. There is basically no pay for covering small caps like Cantel. I made $3.60 on my last Cantel article. Hence, small cap stocks tend to be under-covered at Seeking Alpha, just as they are elsewhere. Another issue is pump and dump. Because they are thinly traded, small caps are subject to attempts to pump and dump them.

Seeking Alpha articles also can warn you about overpriced stocks. Often in the feedback you can read a contrarian view, which at least should discourage hasty decision making.

But for that very reason, small-cap stocks also are more likely to harbor undiscovered value than large-caps.

I am a long-term investor and write for long-term investors. I think  the vast majority of writers on Seeking Alpha are honest, but even honest writers (including me) can get over-excited about a stock. Never buy a stock without first, at minimum, reading the recent SEC documents and running the numbers yourself. That is true of large cap stocks as well. Look for value. Don't try to be a momentum player unless you are an insider. Never fully trust anyone. And above all:

Keep diversified!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Provenge Approval and Biotechnology Recap

Dendreon's Provenge received earlier than expected approval by the European Medical Agency. It will now be possible to sell the prostate cancer therapy in Europe. It is likely to be a slow ramp, however, because each nation has to approve Provenge for reimbursement (they all have national health insurance in Europe) and a facility to process the Provenge (which involves tagging patient blood to make it attack the cancer) has to be built. Since two facilities are operating in the United States, at least they should know how to set up one more efficiently this time around. See Dendreon Provenge Approved in Europe press release.

I added to my Dendreon stock position, but note that with an exist market capitalization of half a billion, and little likelihood of reaching profitability even in 2014, this is still a very risky investment, not for the faint of heart. Don't bet money on Dendreon if you can't afford to lose it.

Followers know I have been reviewing the biotechnology stocks in the Nasdaq 100 at Seeking Alpha. The overview and comparison article on those stocks has been published:

Biotechs in the Nasdaq 100 Recap

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Analysis of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) added

I am now watching and analyzing each of the biotechnology companies in the Nasdaq 100. My latest add is Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX):

Vertex Pharmaceuticals: Dog of the Nasdaq 100 Biotechs [at Seeking Alpha]

You can also read my Q2 2013 Vertex Pharmaceuticals Analyst Call Notes

My main page for Vertex will be Vertex Pharmaceuticals at

Note I am not saying Vertex is a bad company. They had a bad piece of luck not getting their Hepatitis C therapy to market earlier. They will do fine in the long run. The other Nasdaq 100 biotechs are a tough lot to be in competition with.

Next, I'll start on the smaller, undervalued biotechs, but I'll go back to some of my favorite information technology stocks too.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Intuitive Surgical, Mylan, and Regeneron

I have had three Seeking Alpha articles published since my last post:

Regeneron Pipeline Worth Tens of Billions in Market Capitalization

Mylan Pursues Global Generics Dominance Strategy

Intuitive Surgical Market Saturation Could Be Brief

All three of these biotechnology companies are part of the Nasdaq 100, which I have been plowing through, looking toward my next round of investment. Each has something unique to offer. As detailed in the articles, each of them, at the current price and based on current information, looks like a good long-term investment. But I'll be doing considerably more research before making any actual purchases.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Amgen Gets Aggressive

I have a new post at Seeking Alpha:

Amgen with Onyx Pharmaceuticals: Long-term analysis

I will be covering Amgen again at, and went back to take notes on the Amgen Q2 2013 analyst call before writing the article.

I like Amgen's relatively new, more aggressive pursuit of growth. The combination of Amgen's existing, deep and valuable pipeline with Onyx's newest approved products and pipeline is a heady mix that I don't think is fairly valued in the current stock price.

It is true that Amgen is a large-cap biotech, so it takes blockbusters to move the growth needle significantly. I don't own Amgen, and I sold my Onyx stock (because Amgen is acquiring it anyway). I am going to be searching for 2 or 3 new positions to use the cash from Onyx. I am likely to pick a smaller, even more undervalued company with a good pipeline. That has been my winning formula in the past. But that also involves more risk. Amgen looks like a good fallback candidate.

I am going to finish reviewing and writing about the biotechnology stocks in the Nasdaq 100 before plowing through companies with smaller market caps. I am submitting an article on Intuitive Surgical in a few minutes, so hopefully that will be up for you at Seeking Alpha tomorrow.

Also, before actually buying a company like Amgen, I usually cover at least two consecutive analyst calls, and of course do a thorough review of SEC filings.

Keep diversified!