Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cashing in Dot HIll,Cantel Medical, Buying Biotechs

I did not foresee the China mini-crisis. But I watched with fascination. Because I had little cash in my account, on August 12 I raised cash by selling my Cantel Medical (CMN) stock, all of it. Cantel is a great company making infection control devices. When I bought it in December of 2009 for $19.58 per share, after hearing about it at Seeking Alpha, it seemed undervalued to me. Since then it split 3 for 2 twice, and when I sold it I got $54.02 per share. No complaints there, it is just a valuation call.

Before I could reinvest that money, Seagate (STX) announced it would buy Dot Hill (HILL). Rather than wait for the transaction to close I sold my HILL at $9.685 per share on August 19. I first bought HILL in 2004 for $7.18 per share. That sounds less than brilliant, but I became a specialist in HILL, mostly selling high and buying low. It has been a very volatile stock. Most of the stock I sold in the end had been bought at $1.00 to $1.40 per share, though I had bought more at $5.67 as late as July 7.

I generally am a careful buyer, doing my homework before buying. But what a sale we have had! An opportunity to buy stocks I wanted, or wanted more of, at better prices.

So this is what I bought:

Star Bulk (SBLK) at $2.39. This is not a biotech.

Epizyme (EPZM) at $15.60.

Gilead (GILD) at $109.18

Amgen (AMGN) at $151.45

GlycoMimetics (GLYC) at $6.84

Inovio (INO) at $6.71

You can read what I think about each of these stocks by checking out William Meyers at Seeking Alpha.

An even higher level of detail is available at my site, openicon.com.

Unfortunately I missed the super Door Busters sale of the opening minutes of Monday the 24th. It is a sort of vacation like week for me and I thought the market would open low and then drift lower during the day. Oh well. I still have quite a bit of the HILL cash and will try to invest it carefully in biotechs, but before they start shooting up too high again.

Keep diversified!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rough Days and Inovio

I continue to think that Inovio (INO) is one of the great biotechnology stories of our era. I have a new article out at Seeking Alpha on it:

Why Inovio Surged 26% on August 9

I just looked at my calendar and realize that should be August 10! Pretty funny!

Let me quote Dr. Kim: "We already have, and expect to soon show, many further accomplishments and advancements." When I interviewed him in July he made similar statements. The rules of biotech are that you have to announce that the data will be presented in a journal or at a medical conference. But the data is accumulating.

Like most of the stock market, Inovio sold off on August 11 and so far today. It's August, many of the big players are on vacation, and the Chinese have created uncertainty. Since most of the biotech companies sell most of their therapies in the U.S. and Europe, I am not worried. If the yuan were allowed to float, it would have floated down.

Of more concern is insurance companies, instead of doctors, deciding what drugs patients will be treated with. I know some doctors are greedy to the point of being con artists, but most try hard to get the specific drug to a specific patient with specific circumstances. It makes no long term sense to deny patients Hepatitis C therapies until they suffer detectable liver damage. It makes no sense for insurance clerks to decide what MS treatment is best for patients. Insurance companies have a legitimate right to monitor doctors to make sure they are not running up fraudulent bills, but denying patients the meds they need is criminal and should result in punitive measures by the courts.

On the other hand, some of the biotechs that I thought were too pricy just back in July have snapped back towards reality. My latest buy was Epizyme (EPZM), and while almost all my cash is at work, I am thinking of picking up some more small cap and mid cap biotechs during this fire sale.