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Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018

More than two years after a government crackdown on corruption sent Macau gaming stocks tumbling, The Chinese government has unveiled yet another new regulation on the Macau gaming industry that has hit gaming stocks hard. The latest new law cut the daily ATM withdrawal limit in Macau from 10,000 patacas to 5,000 patacas, or roughly $626.

Unfortunately, transparency and predictability has never been one of the Chinese government’s strong points. Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN) CEO Steve Wynn said the government’s behavior was “preposterous” when it kept operators in the dark about how many table games they would be allotted just weeks prior to opening billion-dollar new resorts. For the record, none of the major operators that have opened resorts in the past two years have received the table allotment they requested.

Although the U.S. gaming market likely doesn’t have the kind of long-term growth potential that Macau does, U.S. casinos are doing just fine these days. In the current fiscal year, Las Vegas Strip revenue is trending about 6% ahead of last year, and other regions of the country are doing even better. For better or worse, U.S. stock investors likely won’t have to worry about new regulations in the next four years under President-elect Trump.

Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018: NXP Semiconductors N.V.(NXPI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    A recent Reuter’s report suggests that the San Diego, California basedchipmaker is all set to win a conditional Japanese antitrust go-ahead for its multi-billion dollar NXP Semiconductor (NASDAQ:NXPI) deal. Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Qualcomm may win European Union approval for its NXPacquisition by the year-end with slight modifications to the concessions. The smartphone chip giant reportedly seems to have struck a deal with the European regulatory body by agreeing to drop certainstandard essential and system-level patents belonging to NXP in the proposed takeover. EU anti-trust body has now set the new deadline fordeciding on Qualcommsacquisition of NXP asMarch 5, 2018. If Bloomberg reports turn out to be true, this could be shot in the arm for Qualcomm which at the moment is trying to fend off the takeoverfrom Broadcom. If EU approval goes through then other remainingregulatory bodies will soon fall in line.

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) is closing out 2016 with a 16% return for the full year. Here’s what to expect out of the Netherlands-based embedded chip maker in 2017.

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    This has the potential to offset the sluggishness in demand of smartphone chips around the world. Also, certain performance benchmarks of Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor 835 are making positive waves. A lot is riding on Qualcomm’s $47B acquisition of NXP Semiconductor (NASDAQ:NXPI), which it plans to complete by the end of the year. This acquisition would open up the high potential IoT segment as well for the smartphone chipmaker. All of these positives have been overshadowed by Qualcomm Inc’s legal troubles, which could hit its licensing business hard. Qualcomm depends heavily on its licensing business to generate bulk of its pre-tax profits. In the most recent fiscal year, Qualcomm’s QTL segment accounted for 78% of its pre-tax profits. The verdicts in the legal issues faced by Qualcomm will not be out anytime soon. These tend to be long drawn courtroom battles, and have cast a spell of uncertainty over Qualcomm’s licensing business.

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    The San Diego-based component maker is taking the lead to capture the booming IoT opportunity. A latest BusinessInsider researchsuggests that there will be an investment of “$6 trillion in IoT between 2015 and 2020, which will yield $12.6 trillion ROI over the next decade.” The BI research also “expects that more than 24 billion IoT devices will be installed globally in 2020, and the vast majority of these will fall into the small, low-power category.” Qualcomm has stepped up its efforts to capture the massive opportunity in front of it by its latest moves. The world’s largest smartphone chipmaker has announced its IoT chips “with support for Android Things OS, integration with Amazon Web Services, and two systems-on-chips that aggregate a bevy of standards.” A number of Qualcomm’s offerings are being showcased atMobile World Congress in Barcelona later this week. It is also known that Qualcomm is “first to add support for Google’s Android Things OS on its 4G LTE processors”. As a ZDNet post puts it Qualcomm wants to “Be the Swiss Army processor for IoT deployments.” All these advancements are from Qualcomm alone, and once the NXP Semiconductor (NASDAQ:NXPI) acquisition is over, the chipmaker’s IoTportfoliowill become very diverse and large, to tap the Multi-billion dollar opportunity.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Intel Is Getting Serious About Self-Driving Cars, But It’s Not All Smooth Roads Ahead
    The chip giant’s (INTC) deals with Delphi and BMW are proof it’s taking the autonomous driving market seriously. But Nvidia (NVDA) and Qualcomm (QCOM) /NXP (NXPI) present stiff competition. Full story

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    Just five months ago, fellow Fool Leo Sun compared the investing theses for Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI). He found NXP to be the better pick, thanks to massive growth opportunities and a low PEG ratio.

Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018: Archer-Daniels-Midland Company(ADM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.MONEYSHOW.COM]

    Aflac (AFL) — yielding 2.5%
    Archer-Daniels Midland (ADM) — yielding 2.7%
    Chevron (CVX) — yielding 3.8%
    ExxonMobil (XOM) — yielding 3.6%
    Genuine Parts (GPC) — yielding 2.7%
    Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) — yielding 2.8%
    T. Rowe Price (TROW) — yielding 3.2%

Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018: Carter's, Inc.(CRI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    After running through their scenarios,Boruchow comes up with five losers from Trump’s tax plans: Carters (CRI), Urban Outfitters (URBN), Under Armour (UA), Fossil Group (FOSL) and Gap (GPS). He explains why:

Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018: AXT Inc(AXTI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin] Related CRMD Mid-Day Market Update: U.S. Stocks Turn Negative; AveXis Shares Spike Higher 12 Biggest Mid-Day Gainers For Tuesday CorMedix's (CRMD) CEO Khoso Baluch on Q4 2016 Results – Earnings Call Transcript (Seeking Alpha)
    Related BIOA Mid-Day Market Update: U.S. Stocks Turn Negative; AveXis Shares Spike Higher Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Edge Higher; Tiffany Earnings Top Estimates BioAmber (BIOA) Q4 2016 Results – Earnings Call Transcript (Seeking Alpha)
    CorMedix Inc. (NYSE: CRMD) shares fell 27.5 percent to $1.50 after the company reported Q4 results and issued a business update.
    Bioamber Inc (NYSE: BIOA) shares tumbled 23.6 percent to $2.40. BioAmber reported FY16 adjusted loss of $1.07 per share on revenue of $8.3 million.
    The Medicines Company (NASDAQ: MDCO) shares dipped 20.9 percent to $41.62.
    Innocoll Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: INNL) shares fell 20.3 percent to $1.49. Innocoll posted a narrower-than-expected quarter loss, but revenue missed estimates. Stifel Nicolaus downgraded Innocoll from Buy to Hold.
    Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (USA) (NASDAQ: ROSG) shares declined 20.3 percent to $3.83. On Thursday, Rosetta Genomics disclosed a 1-for-12 reverse stock split.
    Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ESPR) shares dropped 19.9 percent to $23.76. Esperion Therapeutics shares have jumped 106.19 percent over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 16.70 percent in the same period.
    AmTrust Financial Services Inc (NASDAQ: AFSI) tumbled 18.3 percent to $17.65. AmTrust Financial disclosed that it will delay its annual report filing for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016.
    Qualstar Corporation (NASDAQ: QBAK) slipped 17.7 percent to $6.85. Qualstar reported a Q4 loss of $0.20 per share on revenue of $2.2 milli

Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018: Buenaventura Mining Company Inc.(BVN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]

    For the details of Somerset Capital Management LLP’s stock buys and sells, go to www.gurufocus.com/StockBuy.php?GuruName=Somerset+Capital+Management+LLP

    These are the top 5 holdings of Somerset Capital Management LLPFomento Economico Mexicano SAB de CV (FMX) – 1,268,818 shares, 36.15% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 9.36%Yandex NV (YNDX) – 3,352,412 shares, 25.48% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 3.61%ICICI Bank Ltd (IBN) – 5,074,899 shares, 13.19% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 11.08%Infosys Ltd (INFY) – 1,596,414 shares, 6.95% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 15.58%KT Corp (KT) – 1,330,431 shares, 6.41% of the

  • [By Alex McGuire]

    You see, Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth expects gold prices to gain 15.4% from their current $1,213 level to $1,400 an ounce this year. This rise will lead to an even bigger rally for gold stocks. Since the beginning of 2017, gold prices are up 5.1%. But the gains in gold stocks like Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE:AEM) and Compania de Minas Buenaventura SAA (NYSE ADR: BVN) have doubled and quadrupled the year-to-date gold price return.

Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018: Iteris, Inc.(ITI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Gainers

    Pyxis Tankers Inc. (NYSE: PXS) rose 47.48 percent to $$5.56, after the company announced it has entered into a definitive securities purchase agreement with a group of investors, which will result in gross proceeds of $4.8 million.
    Sigma Designs Inc (NASDAQ: SIGM) rose 22.77 percent to $6.88. Silicon Laboratories (NASDAQ: SLAB) announced plans to buy Sigma Designs for $7.05 per share in cash.
    Steadymed Ltd (NASDAQ: STDY) rose 19.35 percent to $3.70, after the company reported that no clinical trials were required for Trevyent and that the FDA had agreed to the pathway for the drug candidate's NDA resubmission.
    Iteris, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITI) rose 15.73 percent to $7.06. Earlier in the week, Zacks Investment Research had upgraded the company from "Sell" to "Hold".
    Science Applications International Corp (NYSE: SAIC) rose 13.71 percent to $85.77 as the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter.
    Technical Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: TCCO) rose 12.41 percent to $6.07, after having risen sharply in pre-marketing trading.
    Radius Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS) rose 12.41 percent to $30.81 after the company provided an update on data from the Phase 1 005 clinical study of elacestrant in patients with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer during the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
    ForeScout Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCT) rose 12.32 percent to $25.80 after the company reported its third quarter financial results.
    Prana Biotechnology Limited (NASDAQ: PRAN) rose 11.36 percent to $3.43, as the company announced a research collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceuticals to study the ability of movement disorders compound, PBT434 to slow or prevent neurodegeneration of the gastrointestinal system.
    Catalyst Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBIO) rose 10.49 percent to $7.90 as the company announced the appointment of Arwa Shurrab and Jamie Ellen Siegel in its clinical hemophilia

Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018: The Kraft Heinz Company(KHC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Diane Alter]

    Mondelez International stock is up this week on chatter a takeover offer from Kraft-Heinz Co. (NYSE: KHC) could be coming.

    Shares of Mondelez International Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ) surged 6% after hours Wednesday as rumors spread that Pittsburgh-based Kraft-Heinz might be interested in purchasing Chicago-headquartered Mondelez. German business magazine Bilanz first reported about the possible takeover.

  • [By Daniel Miller]

    The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) made headlines Friday morning after it announced a proposed $143 billion merger with Unilever in what would potentially be one of the biggest deals in history. Unfortunately, at least for now, the latter has declined, as it doesn’t see strategic or financial merit at this time. But surely Kraft has no plans to give up on this match made in heaven that could place key parts of your fridge under one company umbrella. The combined company would combine Hellmann’s mayo, Heinz ketchup, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Oscar Mayer hot dogs, Philadelphia cream cheese, and among many other products, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

  • [By Arie Goren]

    Berkshire’s largest holding, by far, in a public company is Kraft Heinz (NSDQ:KHC). It’s holding value is about $28.5 billion, about 20% of the total holding of all the 48 companies in Berkshire Hathaway’s public companies portfolio. Moreover, Berkshire owns a stake of 26.6% in the company. As such, the performance of KHC’s stock will have a significant influence on Berkshire’s future results.

  • [By Dustin Blitchok]

    Morrison has led Campbell Soup since August 2011 and has worked in the food business for more than 30 years, including at Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ: KHC), Nabisco, Nestle SA (ADR) (OTC: NSRGY) and PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Susquehanna’s Pablo Zuanic and team note that Keurig’s business in K-cups has been slowing ever since it was bought by JAB, a problem that could be solved in a very convoluted way by a Mondelez International (MDLZ)-Kraft Heinz (KHC) merger. They explain:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    The 325,442,152 shares Berkshire owns of Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) are carried onthe balance sheet at a GAAP figure of $15.3 billion and had a year-end market value of $28.4 billion. The cost basis for the shares is $9.8 billion.

Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018: PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon US Trs ETF (ZROZ)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    Investors with a taste more rate-sensitive bond ETF may want to consider the PIMCO 25 Yr Zro Cupn US Ty Inx Fd ETF (NYSE: ZROZ) and the Vanguard Extended Duration ETF (NYSE: EDV).

Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018: BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.(BMRN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By George Budwell, Rich Smith, and Matthew DiLallo]

    With this question in mind, we asked three of our contributors which stocks they recommend to buy and hold for the next 20 years. They suggestedBioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD), andLockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). Below, they discuss why they chose these particular stocks, and why investors with a long-term outlook may want to consider adding them to their portfolios right now.

  • [By Keith Speights]

    You might not have heard too much about Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), and Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA). These are three biotech stocks that you could be overlooking — but deserve your attention. Here’s why.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Skorney’s namesVertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX),Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), and Curis (CRIS) his top biotech picks for 2017, while Ulz chosesBioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) andParatek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK).

Top 10 Casino Stocks To Buy For 2018: Evercore Partners Inc(EVR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Diane Alter]

    The New York Times first reported that Frontier Airlines is prepping for an initial public offering. The Denver, Colo.-based low-cost carrier has hired Deutsch Bank (NYSE: DB), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), and Evercore Partners Inc. (NYSE: EVR) to handle the IPO. The airline started the process late last year when it approached a number of bankers.

Hot Safest Stocks To Own Right Now

Count me among the investors who see the current rebound in retailers – mall retailers, in particular – as little more than a ‘dead cat bounce’. The long-term trend for the space is negative: there is simply no way that brick-and-mortar retailers can grow profits when traffic is declining, as appears likely to be the case long term.

In that context alone, the 28% gain in Vera Bradley (VRA) shares after the company’s Q3 report on Wednesday morning is overdone. VRA now has bounced 58% since touching an all-time low less than five weeks ago. Its enterprise value has close to doubled. And yet little has changed – and that goes for the supposed Q3 beat as well.

From a headline standpoint, VRA’s Q3 looks like a nice win, particularly on the bottom line. EPS of $0.23 beat consensus by $0.09; what was predicted to be a 33% decline instead turned out to be a 9.5% year-over-year increase. But all – all – of the beat came from two factors that do literally nothing to improve or even change the company’s forward-looking prospects.

Hot Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.(BMRN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Keith Speights]

    You might not have heard too much about Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), and Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA). These are three biotech stocks that you could be overlooking — but deserve your attention. Here’s why.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Skorney’s namesVertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX),Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), and Curis (CRIS) his top biotech picks for 2017, while Ulz chosesBioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) andParatek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK).

  • [By George Budwell, Rich Smith, and Matthew DiLallo]

    With this question in mind, we asked three of our contributors which stocks they recommend to buy and hold for the next 20 years. They suggestedBioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD), andLockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). Below, they discuss why they chose these particular stocks, and why investors with a long-term outlook may want to consider adding them to their portfolios right now.

Hot Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Dynavax Technologies Corporation(DVAX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin] Gainers
    Loxo Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: LOXO) rose 32.7 percent to $65.00 in pre-market trading after the company reported that larotrectinib trial demonstrated 76 percent confirmed objective response rate.
    Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX) shares rose 22 percent to $7.20 in the pre-market trading session after the company on Friday presented updated data for SD-101 in combination with KEYTRUDA.
    Puma Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ: PBYI) rose 21.7 percent to $99.75 in pre-market trading as the company disclosed positive PB272 Phase 2 data from TBCRC 022 trial at ASCO17.
    Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc (NASDAQ: HMNY) shares rose 20.7 percent to $3.21 in pre-market trading after the company reported that RedZone has acquired all the assets of Trendit including three technology patents.
    Forestar Group Inc. (NYSE: FOR) rose 13.1 percent to $16.05 in pre-market trading after D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE: DHI) proposed to buy 75 percent of Forestar Group for $16.25 per share in cash.
    TG Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: TGTX) shares rose 12 percent to $15.50 in pre-market trading after the company said Phase 3 GENUINE trial met primary endpoint with TG-1101 + ibrutinib increasing overall response rate by >70 percent versuss ibrutinib alone.
    Gigamon Inc (NYSE: GIMO) gained 10.8 percent to $43.55. Reuters reported that Gigamon is exploring a potential sale.
    BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) rose 8.7 percent to $6.00 in pre-market trading after the company announced Rapivab pediatric sNDA acceptance by the FDA.
    Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ: ARRY) rose 7.2 percent to $8.77 in pre-market trading after gaining 5.68 percent on Friday.
    Ehi Car Services Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: EHIC) shares rose 6.4 percent to $10.76 in pre-market trading. eHi Car Services posted Q1 earnings of $0.06 on sales of $89.43 million.
    Skyworks Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: SWKS) rose 5.9 percent to $114.79 in pre-market trading after gaining 0.69 percent on Friday.
    Sorl Auto
  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX) shares were also up, gaining 17 percent to $6.88 after the company on Friday presented updated data for SD-101 in combination with KEYTRUDA.

  • [By WWW.KIPLINGER.COM]

    Add Dynavax Technologies Corp. (DVAX) to the list of biotech stocks to watch on or a little before Dec. 15. Thats when the company is going to get a yay or nay from the Food & Drug Administration about Heplisav-B as a treatment for hepatitis B in people with type 2 diabetes

Hot Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Lennar Corp.(LEN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin] Related LOV Match Group And Spark Networks: A Valentine's Day Case Study 20 Biggest Mid-Day Losers For Thursday
    Related VKTX 15 Biggest Mid-Day Losers For Tuesday 18 Biggest Mid-Day Losers For Wednesday Companies Reporting Before The Bell
    Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.32 per share on revenue of $690.27 million.
    General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.71 per share on revenue of $3.84 billion.
    Coca-Cola European Partners Plc (NYSE: CCE) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $0.45 per share on revenue of $2.72 billion.
    Lands' End, Inc. (NASDAQ: LE) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.35 per share on revenue of $459.43 million.
    Francesca's Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: FRAN) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $0.37 per share on revenue of $145.91 million.
    Cheetah Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE: CMCM) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.06 per share on revenue of $178.04 million.
    Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $0.27 per share on revenue of $90.05 million.
    Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) is projected to post earnings for its first quarter.
    Fifth Street Asset Management Inc (NASDAQ: FSAM) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.14 per share on revenue of $25.12 million.

     

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Breaking news

    Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) reported better-than-expected profit for its first quarter on Tuesday.
    General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) reported upbeat earnings for its fiscal third quarter, while sales missed estimates.
    Genesis Energy, L.P. (NYSE: GEL) disclosed that it has priced its public offering of 4 million common units for gross proceeds of $124 million.
    South State Corporation (NASDAQ: SSB) reported that it has increased its buyback plan from 250,000 shares to 1 million shares.

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    The index NAIL tries to deliver triple the daily returns of is top heavy. D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), NVR Inc. (NYSE: NVR), Pulte Group Inc. (NYSE: PHM), Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) and Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) account for a significant portion of the benchmark's weight.

  • [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]

    We initiated Lennar (NYSE:LEN) in October, and thus wrote up our comments in our prior shareholder letter, but due to the shift in our letter cadence, we are republishing our thoughts from our initial purchase.

    Marty Whitman said in October 1996: “Given Third Avenue’s investment criteria, it is more accurate to view the situation as the industry selecting the Fund, rather than Third Avenue choosing the industries in which to invest’ We think this quote superbly describes the opportunity the Value Fund saw in establishing a position in Lennar Corporation common in the quarter, as the shares sold off somewhat inexplicably from nearly $50 per share at their recent peak and allowed us to establish a position at just over $41.

    We have followed Lennar for years as the Real Estate team reviewed the position at our weekly research meetings, and think the investment case has only improved on a fundamental level despite the widening valuation discount in the shares. Lennar meets every tenant of our investment philosophy.

    The balance sheet is strong and improving. Homebuilding net debt to total capital has fallen to 33% as of FY4Q16. Much of this improvement is the result of management’s soft pivot land strategy, which is reducing the duration of its owned land bank and converting its undervalued balance sheet assets into cash.

    From a compounding point of view, Lennar continues to build value through developing its land bank into saleable housing units, and by monetizing further transaction values through its mortgage origination and title insurance offerings to its home buyers. Notably, we are pleased and supportive of Lennar’s offer to acquire WCIC Communities (WCIC), a top holding of the Third Avenue Small-Cap Value Fund, as Miami-based Lennar knows WCIC’s 100% based Florida assets intimately. Lennar not only sees compelling opportunities to monetize WCIC’s over 14,000 homesites, but also synergy opportunities from management and supplier over

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows KB Home along with large cap D.R. Horton, Inc (NYSE: DHI) and mid capsLennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) and PulteGroup, Inc (NYSE: PHM) somewhat range bound or volatile for the past four years:

  • [By The Ticker Tape]

    In addition to a tightening labor market and accelerating wage growth, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index is close to 10-year highs and expectations that mortgage rates will continue to rise could motivate some potential homebuyers that may have been holding off. When it comes to existing homes the prices are high and the inventory is low. The combination of these factors could create a favorable environment for new homebuilders and the broader housing sector.

    Will Homebuilders Benefit?
    Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) reported Q1 earnings of $0.56 per share on March 21—slightly beating analyst expectations of $0.55 per share. New home orders were up 12% year-over-year on a unit basis. Lennar’s CEO, Stewart Miller, said “our homebuilding operations have gone from slow and steady to a faster than expected sales pace throughout our first quarter,” thanks to a combination of economic optimism, wage and job growth, and increasing consumer confidence.

    D.R. Horton and PulteGroup (PHM) are expected to report Q2 earnings on April 20th. Both companies beat analyst’s revenue and earnings expectations last quarter. Looking at Figure 1 below, all three of the major U.S. homebuilders have outperformed the S&P 500 year-to-date.

Hot Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Annaly Capital Management Inc(NLY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    This development will likely give battered mREITs like Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY  ) , Armour Residential (NYSE: ARR  ) , and American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC  ) a huge boost as investors begin to feel less panic regarding a tapering of the current QE3 program. Markets have responded to the Summers announcement by soaring skyward, apparently feeling relief and confidence about the fate of the taper.

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    It was just about one year ago that QE3 made its debut, and mortgage REITs, particularly agency-only players like Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY  ) , Armour Residential (NYSE: ARR  ) , and American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC  ) began moaning about the increased competition for mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Another tax-law provision gives favorable tax status to real-estate investment trusts. REITs make investments in real estate-related assets, and they’re required to pay out almost all their income to their shareholders annually.
    Simon Property Group (SPG) is one of the biggest REITs, focusing on shopping malls and paying a 3 percent yield. But other specialty areas of the REIT universe pay much higher dividends, with REITs like Annaly Capital (NLY) that invest in mortgage-backed securities topping the list with double-digit percentage yields.

  • [By Boniface Murigu]

    It’s no secret that mREITs such as American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC  ) (NASDAQ: AGNC  ) (NASDAQ: AGNC  ) , Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY  ) (NYSE: NLY  ) (NYSE: NLY  ) ,and CYS Investmentshave gone through a very turbulent trading period, with all major players losing a sizable share of market value.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Hatteras Financial (HTS) has jumped 9.4% to $15.60 after agreeing to be purchased byAnnaly Capital Management (NLY) for $1.5 billion.Annaly Capital Management has dropped 1.1% to $$10.30.

Hot Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: SuperCom, Ltd.(SPCB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Supercom Ltd (NASDAQ: SPCB) is estimated to post its quarterly earnings at $0.15 per share on revenue of $9.03 million.

    Posted-In: Earnings scheduleEarnings News Pre-Market Outlook Markets

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Supercom Ltd (NASDAQ: SPCB) shares shot up 53 percent to $4.17 after the company reported strong results for its third quarter. SuperCom expects FY17 sales of at least $35 million.

Hot Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Applied Optoelectronics, Inc.(AAOI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Applied Optoelectronics Inc (NASDAQ: AAOI) shares shot up 33 percent to $30.19 after the company raised its guidance for the fourth quarter. The company now projects adjusted earnings of $0.77 to $0.82 per share, on revenue of $84.5 million to $84.8 million.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Applied Optoelectronics Inc (NASDAQ: AAOI) was down, falling around 19 percent to $47.59 after the company offered a warning related to its upcoming third-quarter results Thursday afternoon. Applied Optoelectronics reduced its third-quarter sales guidance from a prior $107 million-$115 million to a new range of $88 million-$89 million. Earnings per share are expected to come in between $1.04 and $1.09, well below the previous guidance figures in the range of $1.30-$1.43. The company announced Thursday afternoon its largest customer, Amazon.com, Inc., is no longer placing orders to buy its components.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    The stock market mounted a last-minute rally to keep its string of winning days alive, as all three major market benchmarks recovered from losses during most of the day to close higher. The performance again showed the complete confidence that investors seem to have in the market’s longer-term future, despite the fact that some believe that stocks have generally risen too quickly and have been hoping for a pullback. Enough investors seem to be waiting for an opportunity to buy that losses have generally been muted and short-lived. Moreover, some good news sent many individual stocks higher, and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), RH (NYSE:RH), and Applied Optoelectronics (NASDAQ:AAOI) were among the top performers on the day. Below, we’ll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Benzinga's newsdesk monitors options activity to notice unusual patterns. These large volume (and often out of the money) trades were initially published intraday in Benzinga Professional . These trades were placed during Thursday’s regular session.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap fiber-optic networking product Applied Optoelectronics (NASDAQ: AAOI), a potential peer of EMCORE Corporation (NASDAQ: EMKR), Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ: FNSR) and Oclaro Inc (NASDAQ: OCLR), is thefifth mostshorted stock on theNASDAQ with short interest of 47.69% according to Highshortnterest.com.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Applied Optoelectronics Inc (NASDAQ: AAOI) shares were also up, gaining 27 percent to $47.60 after reporting upbeat quarterly results.

    Equities Trading DOWN

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Watch Right Now

Investors have a lot to choose from when picking stocks to buy. But many are honing in on a handful of larger than life blue chips.

The 10 biggest companies in the S&P 500 index are collectively worth $4.36 trillion. The entire S&P 500 recently topped $20 trillion in value for the first time.

So the top 10 companies, a mere 2% of the 500 stocks in the index, make up almost 25% of the S&P 500’s total market value.

That is astonishing.

The rise in popularity of index ETFs that track the S&P 500 is one of the reasons why these 10 stocks are so widely held. When you buy the SPY (SPY), for example, you get exposure to all 500 companies in the index, which is weighted by market value.

Bulls are running wild on Wall Street again. Check out CNNMoney’s Fear & Greed Index

But the outsized importance of the biggest 10 companies is also a reflection of how many investors like to follow the old motto of former Fidelity markets guru Peter Lynch: Buy what you know.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Watch Right Now: RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.(RNR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.MONEYSHOW.COM]

    RenaissanceRe Holdings (RNR) is a global provider of reinsurance, as well as various types of insurance and related services. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Bermuda, notes Jack Adamo, editor of Insiders Plus.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Watch Right Now: BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.(BMRN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By George Budwell, Rich Smith, and Matthew DiLallo]

    With this question in mind, we asked three of our contributors which stocks they recommend to buy and hold for the next 20 years. They suggestedBioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD), andLockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). Below, they discuss why they chose these particular stocks, and why investors with a long-term outlook may want to consider adding them to their portfolios right now.

  • [By Keith Speights]

    You might not have heard too much about Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), and Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA). These are three biotech stocks that you could be overlooking — but deserve your attention. Here’s why.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Skorney’s namesVertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX),Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), and Curis (CRIS) his top biotech picks for 2017, while Ulz chosesBioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) andParatek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK).

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Watch Right Now: Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (OPHLF)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By SEEKINGALPHA.COM]

    Merck could achieve a consistent advantage versus BMS in treatment of 1L NSCLC. There is a precise crossroad that will determine the future of these two companies in this field: the question of whether or not Keytruda will be approved in May. Both the market and investors believe that it will indeed gain approval and BMS’s stock is already paying for that. In the short term, the repercussions will be the contractions in the sales of Opdivo in 2L and a bigger obstacle for Opdivo+Yervoy in 1L. But the BMS’s combo can catch up, thanks to a bigger efficacy, as I will explain in a future article. Meanwhile, a recent trial established that Merck has to pay BMS $625M plus royalties, as it infringed BMS’s intellectual property related to the use of anti-PD1 antibodies. The royalties will be 6.5% for sales between January 2017 and the end of 2023, followed by a 2.5% rate for the period from January 2024 to the end of 2026. Bristol-Myers Squibb will share the money by giving a quarter of the amount to the Japanese Ono Pharmaceutical (OTC:OPHLF), the company which had discovered Opdivo.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Watch Right Now: AxoGen, Inc.(AXGN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    AxoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AXGN) was down, falling around 10 percent to $22.42. AxoGen reported a proposed public offering of common stock.

    Commodities

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Watch Right Now: Cubic Corporation(CUB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    On Friday, small cap Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB) had closed up 10.26% with shares rising again in early Monday trading. Cubic Corporation designs, integrates and operates systems, products and services focused in the transportation, defense training and secure communications markets. As the parent company of two major business units,the Companysmission is to increase situational awareness and understanding for customers worldwide. Cubic Transportation Systems is a leading integrator of payment and information technology and services to create intelligent travel solutions for public transit authorities and operators whileCubic Global Defense is a leading provider of realistic combat training systems, secure communications and networking and highly specialized support services for military and security forces of the U.S. and allied nations.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB) shares were also up, gaining 15 percent to $61.45. Cubic reported Q4 net income of $13.2 million, after posting a loss in the year-ago period. Cubic also disclosed that it has been selected for contract from Boston MBTA to deliver next-generation fare payment system.

  • [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]

    In actuality, we think the reverse is true for several reasons. We believe that there is a higher level of investor neglect in the small cap space, and neglect, in an investment sense, creates valuation discounts from fair value. Small cap names are less well-known and understood. For example, most of you have never heard of Cubic Corporation (NYSE:CUB), but you have likely used the public transportation systems in New York, London, Sydney, etc. that rely on Cubic for fare collection services. Likewise, Multi-Color is a confusing name for the second largest label maker in the world. To understand these businesses, investors need to dig a little deeper with active fundamental research – a Third Avenue strength.

top stock buys

Readers who follow my work know that I own a sizable stake (by my standards at least) in Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI). In fact, as of the time of this writing, the firm is my second largest holding. In recent days, shares have been pushed down due to news from Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSBF) (OTCPK:TOSYY) regarding the likelihood that Toshiba may be forced to write down nuclear assets (mostly or maybe exclusively goodwill) in the billions. Seeing as how CBI “sold” off its nuclear construction operations to Toshiba previously and the two are currently arguing about purchase price adjustments, the fear is that the former will be more likely to end up on the hook once auditors look over the details and see Toshiba’s writedown. In what follows, I will give my thoughts on all of this and what it should mean for both firms moving forward.

An update on Toshiba

Times have not been good for Toshiba. Since their December highs, shares of the firm have fallen a whopping 39% as of the time of this writing, a reflection of the market’s concern. According to management, following the purchase of Stone & Webster (the nuclear construction business) from CBI, the business has been trying to evaluate the fallout of their decision. The main issue at hand here appears to be the fact that Toshiba is saying that the nuclear projects it inherited from CBI will cost far more than they initially thought.

top stock buys: BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.(BMRN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Skorney’s namesVertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX),Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), and Curis (CRIS) his top biotech picks for 2017, while Ulz chosesBioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) andParatek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK).

  • [By George Budwell, Rich Smith, and Matthew DiLallo]

    With this question in mind, we asked three of our contributors which stocks they recommend to buy and hold for the next 20 years. They suggestedBioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD), andLockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). Below, they discuss why they chose these particular stocks, and why investors with a long-term outlook may want to consider adding them to their portfolios right now.

  • [By Keith Speights]

    You might not have heard too much about Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), and Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA). These are three biotech stocks that you could be overlooking — but deserve your attention. Here’s why.

top stock buys: Immersion Corporation(IMMR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ: IMMR) shares were also up, gaining 22 percent to $7.29. Immersion disclosed that Vic Viegas has agreed to resign as CEO and as a director. The company named Carl Schlachte as Interim CEO.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ: IMMR) shares were also up, gaining 20 percent to $7.18. Immersion disclosed that Vic Viegas has agreed to resign as CEO and as a director. The company named Carl Schlachte as Interim CEO.

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    On Thursday, our Under the Radar Movers newsletter suggested shorting small cap technology stock Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ: IMMR):

    We love how well developed the selling of Immersion shares has been. Rather than a sharp, v-shaped reversal — which may or may not follow through — we’ve seen a bowl-shaped transition from an uptrend to a downtrend. This ups the odds of downside follow-through, as there’s been no price “shock” to invite a sudden wave of buying.

top stock buys: OSI Systems, Inc.(OSIS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    OSI Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIS) dropped 36% Wednesday to post a new 52-week low of $53.80 after closing at $84.07 on Tuesday. The 52-week high is $96.64. Volume was around 9 million, around 6 times the daily average of about 155,000. Short seller Muddy Waters called OSI “rotten to the core” in a new report this morning.

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    Small cap homeland security and screening stocks like FLIR Systems (NASDAQ: FLIR), OSI Systems (NASDAQ: OSIS),Varex Imaging Corp (NASDAQ: VREX) and Patriot One Technologies (OTCQB: PTOTF) stand to benefit fromTrumps focus on border andinternal security in general. Heres what you need to know about all four:

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    Look out OSI Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSIS), and step aside American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI). You may be the key names in weapons detection and security screening right now, but an up-and-comer called Patriot One Technologies Inc. (CVE:PAT, OTCMKTS:PTOTF) is about to unleash a rival product that turns heads, and steals your customers.

    Weapons detection tools in a world that’s always got terrorism threats lurking around every corner are no laughing matter, though were it any other subject, the results would be laughable. See, as advanced as the x-ray and screening products made by American Science & Engineering and OSI Systems may be, they just don’t work well enough.

    Case in point: A recent internal investigation performed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) found that undercover investigators were able to smuggle fake explosives and weapons through checkpoints in 95% of trials, which they conducted at dozens of America’s busiest airports. What’s the point?

    For the past several years Patriot One Technologies has been working on a technology, called the CMR1000, that changes everything.

    The CMR1000 (‘CMR’ is an short for Cognitive Microwave Radar) is an amazing device. It works not unlike a X-ray machine at an airport, but also not unlike a more conventional metal detector you might find at an airport or at the entryway to a building. In all regards though, it’s better than both. By using high-frequency microwaves that are harmless to humans, the CMR1000 can even pinpoint exactly what kind of metallic weapon it is… a semi-automatic pistol versus a revolver, or a machete versus a pocket knife. Most important, the CMR1000 boasts a (very) high detection-accuracy rate of 93%.

    And it’s almost ready… ready enough to officially unveil this April at the ISC West (International Security Conference) in Las Vegas, and immediately begin taking orders for initial deliveries around the middle of

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    If shareholders of OSI Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSIS) and American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI) — makers of weapons detection systems — are getting a little nervous, that’s understandable. Never has either company’s share of the market been so threatened. Indeed, an up-and-coming company called Patriot One Technologies Inc. (CVE:PAT, OTCMKTS:PTOTF) fired another volley at American Science & Engineering and OSI Systems, announcing yet-another institution had asked for a real-life demonstration (on their premises) of the brand-new kind of anti-terrorism technology that Patriot One’s been developing for years.

    The CMR1000 (‘CMR’ is an short for Cognitive Microwave Radar) is nothing less than incredible. It works not unlike a X-ray machine at an airport, but also not unlike a more conventional metal detector you might find at an airport or at the entryway to a building. In all regards though, it’s better than both. By using high-frequency microwaves that are harmless to humans, the CMR1000 can even pinpoint exactly what kind of metallic weapon it is… a semi-automatic pistol versus a revolver, or a machete versus a pocket knife.

    This capability overcomes the key shortcoming of most threat-detection apparatus in use today…

    … which doesn’t work very well, by the way. A recent internal investigation performed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) found that undercover investigators were able to smuggle fake explosives and weapons through checkpoints in 95% of trials, which they conducted at dozens of America’s busiest airports.

    Patriot One Technologies is mostly excited about the launch of the CMR1000, however, because it’s not a mere threat-detection tool. Word will quickly spread that it’s a threat-deterrent tool; the easiest way combat violent action is not letting it happen in the first place, and the best way to do that to accurately find and accurately identify what the threat is, right down to

top stock buys: CrossAmerica Partners LP(CAPL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Crossamerica Partners LP (NYSE: CAPL) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.05 per share on revenue of $479.03 million.

    Buckeye Partners, L.P. (NYSE: BPL) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $1.04 per share on revenue of $1.00 billion.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) is falling out of love with Walmart Stores (WMT, $68.87). It sold the majority of its holdings in the world’s largest retailer last year. In the final three months of 2016 alone, according to Berkshires latest 13-F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Buffett trimmed his Walmart holdings to 1.4 million shares from 13 million at the end of September. With an ownership stake of just 0.05%, Berkshire is no longer a major shareholder in Walmart.

See Also: 3 Reasons Warren Buffett Is Buying Apple Stock

More often than not, Buffett doesn’t comment on his investment moves, so his reasons for selling so much of his Walmart position remain opaque. But for buy-and-hold investors, Berkshires disaffection with the blue-chip company can be instructive nonetheless. Here are three reasons we think Warren Buffett is dumping Walmart stock. (Prices as of February 16.)

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: RetailMeNot, Inc.(SALE)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of RetailMeNot Inc (NASDAQ: SALE) got a boost, shooting up 12 percent to $8.42. RetailMeNot announced after Thursday’s close it has entered into an agreement to acquire GiftCard Zen, a secondary marketplace for gift cards. The company reported preliminary Q1 revenue of $54 million to $54.5 million and FY16 revenue of $228 million to $241 million.

  • [By Demitrios Kalogeropoulos]

    As for individual stocks, RetailMeNot (NASDAQ:SALE) and SUPERVALU (NYSE:SVU) attracted heavy investor interest following merger and acquisition news.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.(BMRN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By George Budwell, Rich Smith, and Matthew DiLallo]

    With this question in mind, we asked three of our contributors which stocks they recommend to buy and hold for the next 20 years. They suggestedBioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD), andLockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). Below, they discuss why they chose these particular stocks, and why investors with a long-term outlook may want to consider adding them to their portfolios right now.

  • [By Keith Speights]

    You might not have heard too much about Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), and Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA). These are three biotech stocks that you could be overlooking — but deserve your attention. Here’s why.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Skorney’s namesVertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX),Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), and Curis (CRIS) his top biotech picks for 2017, while Ulz chosesBioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) andParatek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK).

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Wins Finance Holdings Inc.(WINS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    On Friday, the financial sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Wins Finance Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: WINS) and Navient Corp (NASDAQ: NAVI).

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Friday afternoon, the financial sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Wins Finance Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: WINS) and Old Second Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: OSBC).

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Prestige Brand Holdings Inc.(PBH)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Castor believes the cash has disappeared into working capital, which has grown from 23% to more than 50% since 2008. Comparable company PrestigeBrand (PBH) uses 11%; Unilever(UL) and Colgate-Palmolive(CL) far less.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST, INC.(STWD)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.MONEYSHOW.COM]

    Starwood Property Trust (STWD) is a finance REIT, which means it makes or owns real estate mortgages rather than owning commercial property. The bulk of Starwood Property’s business is to make and hold commercial property mortgages.

Best Value Stocks To Watch Right Now

You can buy Spanish stocks today at 1998 prices…   That's crazy, right? It's rare to see an asset trading for the same price it was 20 years ago. But that's the reality in Spanish stocks right now.   However, this situation won't last for long… Spanish stocks just broke out to a 52-week high. And history says they should continue higher as a result.   Let me explain…   The iShares MSCI Spain Capped Fund (EWP) broke out to a new 52-week high earlier this month. It trades around $30 right now. But here's the crazy thing…   That's the same price it traded for in late 1998… nearly 20 years ago.   Spanish stocks – as measured by EWP – have gone nowhere for 20 years. It's hard to believe, but it's true.   Not surprisingly, Spanish stocks are a better value today than they were in 1998…

Best Value Stocks To Watch Right Now: BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.(BMRN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Keith Speights]

    You might not have heard too much about Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), and Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA). These are three biotech stocks that you could be overlooking — but deserve your attention. Here’s why.

  • [By George Budwell, Rich Smith, and Matthew DiLallo]

    With this question in mind, we asked three of our contributors which stocks they recommend to buy and hold for the next 20 years. They suggestedBioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD), andLockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). Below, they discuss why they chose these particular stocks, and why investors with a long-term outlook may want to consider adding them to their portfolios right now.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Skorney’s namesVertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX),Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), and Curis (CRIS) his top biotech picks for 2017, while Ulz chosesBioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) andParatek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK).

Best Value Stocks To Watch Right Now: Zosano Pharma Corporation(ZSAN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Alex McGuire]

    Here’s a list of the top 10 penny stocks to watch in March, which includes the biggest gainers last month…

    Penny StockCurrent Stock PriceFebruary 2017 ReturnZosano Pharma Corp. (Nasdaq: ZSAN)$2.56+123.3%Bellerophon Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: BLPH)$1.25+113.8%Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PPHM)$0.59+101.7%Galectin Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: GALT)$1.79+91.9%Bioanalytical Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BASI)$1.58+90.6%CymaBay Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: CBAY)$3.50+89.8%Vermillion Inc. (Nasdaq: VRML)$2.56+86.3%Naked Brand Group Inc.(Nasdaq:NAKD)$2.16+76%Eyegate Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: EYEG)$2.63+73.9%Benitec Biopharma Ltd. (Nasdaq ADR: BNTC)$2.60+59.9%

    The best-performing penny stock – Zosano Pharma Corp. – soared an incredible 123.3% from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28. To put those gains into perspective, that’s more than five times the S&P 500’s 23% climb in the last 12 months.

Best Value Stocks To Watch Right Now: Exactech Inc.(EXAC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin] Gainers
    Aimmune Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: AIMT) shares jumped 35 percent to $34.64 in response to failed DBVT peanut allergy trial.
    Exactech, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXAC) shares surged 30.9 percent to $41.88 after the company agreed to be acquired by TPG Capital for $42 per share in cash.
    Dextera Surgical Inc (NASDAQ: DXTR) shares climbed 27.6 percent to $0.238 after surging 40.48 percent on Friday.
    Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ: PETS) jumped 21.8 percent to $44.73 as the company reported better-than-expected Q2 results.
    SenesTech Inc (NASDAQ: SNES) shares surged 21.7 percent to $1.95 after the company disclosed that Univar will be marketing and selling ContraPest.
    Yulong Eco-Materials Ltd (NASDAQ: YECO) shares gained 18.3 percent to $0.560.
    One Horizon Group Inc (NASDAQ: OHGI) shares rose 18 percent to $1.18.
    Atossa Genetics Inc (NASDAQ: ATOS) shares climbed 18 percent to $0.566. Atossa Genetics is schedule to host a conference call to announce preliminary results from Phase 1 study of oral Endoxifen on October 25, 2017.
    ReneSola Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: SOL) shares rose 15.3 percent to $2.72
    Renren Inc (NYSE: RENN) shares gained 11.9 percent to $10.71 after gaining 2.68 percent on Friday.
    Kalvista Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: KALV) shares rose 11.8 percent to $12.59. KalVista Pharma 13D filing from Longwood Fund showed registration for an 8.7 percent stake.
    Xunlei Ltd (NASDAQ: XNET) shares gained 9.4 percent to $7.20 after surging 25.33 percent on Friday.
    VF Corp (NYSE: VFC) shares surged 7.1 percent to $71.09 after the company reported upbeat earnings for its third quarter and raised its FY2017 guidance.
    CAI International Inc (NYSE: CAI) rose 6.6 percent to $39.70. Cowen & Co. upgraded CAI from Market Perform to Outperform.
    Agenus Inc (NASDAQ: AGEN) shares gained 5.7 percent to $4.58 as the company disclosed that GSK's shingle vaccine received FDA approval.
    Deltic Timber Corp (NYSE: DEL) shares climbed 5.6 percent to $94.11
  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Exactech, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXAC) shares were also up, gaining 31 percent to $41.88 after the company agreed to be acquired by TPG Capital for $42 per share in cash.

Best Value Stocks To Watch Right Now: Globalstar Inc.(GSAT)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Nicholas Rossolillo]

    Globalstar (NYSEMKT:GSAT) has been growing its total sales, but still struggles with its bottom line. 2016 revenue increased 7%,but another round of financing could be needed to keep things afloat, as operating margin is still deep in the red. The company is making some headway, but time could be running out for the satellite communications provider.

The Investment Case For Ascendis Pharma

Ascendis Pharma (NASDAQ:ASND) caught my eye earlier this year when I was looking at quarterly ownership changes of biotech-focused hedge funds. Many funds were aggressively buying Ascendis over the last few quarters, and the stock is a high conviction name for at least a few of them. However, the stock was up more than 50% at that point, and I decided to put it aside as there were no material catalysts during most of 2017 and wait for some form of a consolidation or a pullback before doing more research. The stock was in consolidation mode for more than six months and broke out in late September following the failure of one of its main competitors in the growth hormone deficiency market. I was actually expecting to pick up shares cheaper after the success of Versartis phase 3 trial but the opposite happened. However, I think Ascendis is a better buy after a 20%+ rally, then it would be on a 15-20% pullback in the case Versartis somavaratan was successful as I believe the market cap gain does not fully reflect the elimination of a competing product which would have had a one-year head-start over Ascendis TransCon hGH.

Ascendis has only one late-stage asset at this point – TransCon hGH, but I am more interested in owning Ascendis because of its TransCon platform rather than just this late-stage candidate. I think that TransCon hGH can at least justify the current valuation and that it could be worth more than $70 by 2020 (fully de-risked), while the rest of the companys pipeline is equally exciting with potential to add value similar to or greater than TransCon hGH in the following years.

The TransCon technology

Ascendis is developing all product candidates with its TransCon technology. TransCon combines the benefits of a conventional prodrug and sustained release technologies and is broadly applicable to proteins, peptides and small molecules. According to Ascendis, TransCon prodrugs predictably release unmodified active parent drugs and may offer advantages that include superior efficacy, safety, tolerability, and compliance, including less frequent dosing and the ability to switch patients to subcutaneous injections from burdensome continuous infusions and less frequent dosing.

What sets TransCon apart is the ability to design prodrugs that predictably release an unmodified active parent drug, allowing administration frequencies from daily up to half-yearly. The company also claims it can design TransCon prodrugs to act systemically or locally in areas that are difficult to treat with conventional therapies.

The improvement of existing products through the use of TransCon also lowers development risks and increases the chances of success in the clinic since we know that the product works in the targeted patient population. It remains to be seen whether TransCon works in the clinic as intended, but clinical and preclinical results the company reported to date look really encouraging.

Growth hormone deficiency market overview

1 in 4,000 children are born with or acquire growth hormone deficiency or GHD. A child with GHD is expected to reach approximately 70% of his/her expected adult height. Continuous treatment from early childhood can restore height to a childs genetic potential. Delayed therapy jeopardizes attaining full height potential and adherence and persistence are also significant factors. Additional pediatric complications include metabolic abnormalities, cognitive deficiencies and poor quality of life. In adults, GHD is associated with premature mortality, increased fat mass, psychiatric-cognitive, metabolic, cardiovascular, muscular and skeletal abnormalities.

The current standard of care is daily injection of human growth hormone (hGH). The market is fragmented with four major players. Novo Nordisks Norditropin is the market leader with $1.3 billion in worldwide sales in 2016 (up 12% Y/Y). Pfizers Genotropin is second, followed by Eli Lillys Humatrope and Roches Nutropin. The worldwide annual sales have exceeded $3 billion in 2016 and pediatric sales account for roughly 80% of total worldwide sales.

Daily hGH therapy has shown to increase growth and improve metabolic effects and is safe, well-tolerated with an essentially pain-free injection. Compliant children initially achieve catch-up growth, enabling them to achieve normal height. Height velocity following this catch-up growth phase normalizes and allows patients to maintain normal growth throughout the treatment period. Patients that are non-compliant achieve lower catch-up growth and fail to achieve expected treatment outcomes. This is the main problem of daily hGH therapies and has motivated many companies to develop a long-acting hGH. And many have failed to develop a safe, effective and well-tolerated long-acting hGH. Versartis somavaratan is the latest failure the drug was safe and well-tolerated but failed to match daily hGHs height velocity in a phase 3 trial.

Going back to compliance, research has shown that it is a big problem, especially in the pediatric market. Persistence tends to drop below 70% after just 12 months of treatment with daily hGH.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-1507229130795795.png

Source: OPKO Health presentation

By the sixth year of treatment, persistence was shown to drop to 20%.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-15072293209745572.png

Source: OPKO Health presentation

And as mentioned above, poor compliance leads to lower growth.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-15072293955803285.png

Source: Ascendis presentation

Once-weekly therapies should significantly improve compliance rates as they would reduce the injection burden from 365 times per year to 52 times per year. The GHD market is growing in the low/mid-single digits and I think the growth should accelerate once safe, effective, well-tolerated, easy-to-use long-acting treatments enter the market. Assuming pricing parity with daily hGH, improved compliance should lead to growth acceleration in the 2020s and I think the GHD market will exceed $4 billion by then and that long-acting hGH products should comprise at least 50% of the market by mid-2020s and dominate the market by late 2020s.

Versartis somavaratan was the only company trying to develop a twice-monthly hGH treatment and its failure leaves three long-acting contenders (all targeting once-weekly administration):

Novo Nordisks somapacitan, which is in a phase 3 trial in adults and in a pediatric phase 2 trial. Somapacitan was successful in a Phase 3a study in adults (page 20 of the 1H 2017 report) it has achieved statistical significance versus placebo on the primary endpoint truncal fat percentage decrease as well as significant increases in lean body mass and muscle mass. The pediatric study is behind and I did not find enough information that shows the potential competitiveness of somapacitan. And given the status of the pediatric trial (phase 2 started in 2016), somapacitan is at least three years behind the other two products. OPKO Healths (NYSEMKT:OPK) hGH-CTP (also called lagova, or mod-4023) failed in a phase 3 study in adults due to significant outliers in the placebo group that deviated from the study protocol. OPKO conducted some post-hoc analyses that showed statistical significance for the primary endpoint when those outliers are excluded and the company plans to meet with the FDA to discuss the path forward in adults, but my base case here is that it will need to conduct another phase 3 trial in adults. The phase 2 pediatric study was a success and I think hGH-CTP is one of the potential market leaders. OPKO partnered hGH-CTP with Pfizer and stands to collect royalties on net sales in the adult indication which should transition to a gross profit split of both hGH-CTP and Genotropin if/when approved for the pediatric indication. Ascendis TransCon hGH a potential best-in-class product.

hGH-CTP and TransCon hGH have shown solid efficacy, safety, and tolerability and I think both have the potential for significant disruption of the GHD market. I would leave room for somapacitan here as well, but its clinical profile and market potential remain to be determined and it will be a late-comer (at least three years behind).

TransCon human Growth Hormone (hGH) a potential best-in-class product for growth hormone deficiency

I believe Ascendis TransCon hGH has the potential to become a best-in-class long-acting hGH product. It is the only product candidate that releases unmodified growth hormone, maintaining the same mode of action as daily hGH therapies. In a phase 2 trial, TransCon hGH has shown comparable efficacy to once-daily Genotropin. The height velocity (HV) TransCon hGH achieved was in the 11.9cm to 13.9cm range compared to 11.6cm for Genotropin. At the same weekly dose as Genotropin, TransCon hGHs HV was 12.9cm compared to 11.6cm.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-15072294565527806.png

Source: Ascendis presentation

Being within the range of daily hGH is important because it is the right amount of growth. Too little is not good as children wont grow to reach their targeted height, and too much hGH can lead to another condition acromegaly, which leads to tissue overgrowth, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and poor quality of life.

It is also important to monitor IGF-1, or insulin-like growth factor 1. IGF-1 amplifies the anabolic effects of hGH, but has insulin-like effects in fat tissue, thus stimulating fat formation. This is in contrast to hGH which stimulates the breakdown of fat. The normal IGF-1 level varies with age, so IGF-1 levels are expressed as IGF-1 standard deviations scores or IGF-1 SDS. The normal range is defined as IGF-1 between -2 and +2 SDS. In the phase 2 trial, the mean IGF-1 response for all TransCon hGH dose levels was maintained in the normal range. Transient point values of IGF-1 SDS of greater than +2 were observed in a small number of patients and only in the high-dose treatment arm, and there were no reports of safety issues in connection with these transient elevations. The high dose will not be used in the phase 3 trial.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-15072294849289358.png

Source: Ascendis presentation

Safety is also very important and TransCon hGH was safe and well-tolerated:

Adverse events were consistent with daily hGH therapy observed and not different between cohorts. The immunogenic profile was comparable to daily hGH therapy. Injection site tolerability was also comparable to daily hGH therapy. There were no reports of lipoatrophy or nodule formation.

Ascendis is also developing an auto-injector for the administration of TransCon hGH that will be easy-to-use in the pediatric population. The device has a single low-volume injection for all patients of less than 0.6ml and requires a small 31 gauge needle, four millimeters in length and comparable to needles used to administer daily hGH. The device provides for room temperature storage, includes an empty-all design, is expected to last four years and will be enabled for Bluetooth connectivity. Ascendis expects to use the device in the open-label extension study that follows the phase 3 trial and the company plans to launch TransCon hGH with this device if/when approved. Room temperature storage should provide a slight competitive edge over OPKOs hGH-CTP, which needs to be refrigerated.

The annualized HV TransCon hGH achieved in the phase 2 study compares favorably to HV reported in a large pharmaco-epidemiological survey known as KIGS-Pfizer International Growth Database. KIGS is a registry of real-world outcomes from daily growth hormone therapy which includes the negative effect of non-compliance on treatment outcomes. The reduced burden of daily injections with the use of TransCon hGH should improve treatment outcomes. The potential difference between TransCon hGH and the age-matched KIGS historical controls is shown below, assuming phase 2 efficacy is confirmed in longer-term studies. I doubt that real-world compliance with TransCon hGH will be 100%, but I think it should be much better than daily hGH and that treatment outcomes should be better with TransCon hGH. Better treatment outcomes should provide the incentive for physicians and patients to use long-acting hGH.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-15072295876590123.png

Source: Ascendis annual report

Does somavaratans failure have a negative read-through for TransCon hGH or OPKOs hGH-CTP?

No, I dont think it does. Somavaratans phase 3 results were consistent with results achieved in the phase 2 trial. The problem with somavaratans phase 2 trial is that it did not have an active comparator and the fact that Versartis was comparing the results to historical Norditropin registry results. Somavaratans height velocity in both phase 2 and phase 3 trials was inferior (below 10cm) to those achieved by TransCon hGH and OPKOs hGH-CTP – both had HV above 11cm and both were non-inferior to the active comparator (Pfizers Genotropin in both cases). I think chances of success of both TransCon hGH and hGH-CTP in their respective phase 3 studies are high.

TransCon PTH potential new standard of care for hypoparathyroidism

Hypoparathyroidism is another rare disease Ascendis is targeting. It affects approximately 75,000 patients in the United States. Shires (SHPG) Natpara was launched in 2015 and represents an important advance but it does not address all aspects of the disease. Natpara improves serum calcium and reduces pill burden (patients take a lot of pills otherwise) but does not improve hypercalciuria which results in renal complications of the disease and/or may contribute to them. Prior to Natpara, the standard of care included oral calcium and vitamin D, and off-label use of Forteo, which, based on Natparas slow uptake, are still being widely used.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-15072299729912474.png

Source: Ascendis presentation

Ascendis believes it can address the shortcomings of current therapies and that TransCon PTH can be a true enzyme replacement therapy it is designed as a sustained-release prodrug, providing free PTH in the physiological range over 24 hours with once-daily dosing. The development risk for hypoparathyroidism is lower for TransCon PTH than it would be for a new compound since Ascendis is using what we know works. TransCon PTH is based on parent drug teriparatide (Forteo) with clinical proof of principle. Preclinical data have also demonstrated that daily injections of TransCon PTH provide the desired target profile of physiological PTH replacement.

Phase 1 trial was initiated recently and the company expects to skip the phase 2 trial and go directly to the phase 3 trial. The reason for moving directly from phase 1 to phase 3 is the knowledge of the active compound and the fact it demonstrated efficacy in hypoparathyroidism and the company also said that the PK/PD profile is the same in healthy volunteers and in patients (which should be demonstrated in the phase 1 trial). The pivotal trial is expected to start in 2018 and Ascendis expects TransCon PTH to reach the market (assuming it is successful in the clinic) at roughly the same time as TransCon hGH.

As mentioned above, the addressable market in the U.S. is 75,000 patients, and 10% market share translates to roughly $750 million in annual sales. Natparas disappointing uptake is a reason to be cautious about peak sales estimates, but Natpara is not doing that bad it reached a $155 million annualized run rate in Q3 2017 (thats U.S. only for now) after roughly two years on the market despite the above-mentioned shortcomings. If TransCon PTHs clinical profile looks like what Ascendis expects, I believe this could be a $2 billion+ drug in the 2020s (worldwide sales) and that it is potentially more valuable than TransCon hGH as it would be far more differentiated in hypoparathyroidism than TransCon hGH would be in GHD.

Source: Shire earnings reports

TransCon CNP targeting achondroplasia

TransCon CNP represents another lower-risk development opportunity for Ascendis. It is being developed for achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. There are currently no FDA-approved pharmacological treatments and patients often face multiple invasive surgeries to alleviate its many complications. Administration of CNP and its analogs has been demonstrated to stimulate growth in preclinical models. BioMarin (NASDAQ:BMRN) has a clinical candidate vosoritide (daily injections of CNP analog) in development and has presented positive phase 2 data in October 2016 it increased height velocity from baseline by approximately 50% after 12 months of treatment. Vosoritides phase 2 results and Ascendis preclinical results indicate that treatment with systemic CNP could be a promising therapy for achondroplasia.

TransCon CNP is designed as a once-weekly formulation of a CNP peptide and Ascendis believes it could address the fundamental limitations of daily administration of CNP:

CNP released from TransCon CNP maintains small enough size to allow penetration into the growth plates of patients who may use the treatment. TransCon CNP is designed to avoid hypotension, which is a problem with CNP.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-15072302214648368.png

Source: Ascendis presentation

TransCon CNP has a half-life of approximately 75-hours, a substantial increase to wild-type CNP which has a half-life of 2 minutes and vosoritide, which has a 20-minute half-life. The company believes this substantial half-life extension would enable once-weekly dosing that could achieve higher overall CNP exposure levels in the body with improved tolerability due to low peak serum concentration and that it could improve efficacy and avoid hypotension associated with daily injections of CNP analogs.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-15072303083393955.png

Source: Ascendis presentation

Achondroplasia affects approximately 250,000 patients worldwide and Ascendis estimates the annual opportunity north of $1 billion. BioMarins vosoritide could come to market sooner and help establish the pricing benchmark and make peak sales estimates more accurate. Vosoritide peak sales estimates are north of $1 billion and up to $2 billion.

Partnerships provide additional technology platform validation

In addition to (soon to be) three clinical-stage drug candidates, Ascendis also has two partnered programs:

TransCon ranibizumab (Lucentis) Roche/Genentech. The goal is to develop a half-year injection of ranibizumab, Genentechs anti-VEGF product, thereby reducing injection frequency and associated patient burden. The worldwide anti-VEGF sales exceeded $7 billion in 2014, with Regenerons Eylea and Lucentis generating the major part of those sales (Lucentis generated approximately $1.4 billion in net sales in 2016). The application of the TransCon technology should allow predictable release of the unmodified drug with up to half-yearly administration. Genentech is currently conducting preclinical studies. Genentech paid $20 million upfront and Ascendis is eligible to receive up to $100 million in milestones for ranibizumab and up to $80 million for each compound not containing ranibizumab (the agreement is not limited to ranibizumab). Ascendis is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on net sales starting in the mid-single digits but not exceeding low-double digits for ranibizumab and in the mid-single digits for compounds not containing ranibizumab. TransCon peptides Sanofi (NYSE:SNY). The two companies are researching and developing prodrugs for the treatment of diabetes. Ascendis received 25 million upfront and is eligible to receive up to an aggregate of 170 million in development and regulatory milestones for the first two products and up to 100 million in sales-based milestones.

Both programs are preclinical and we have yet to see a candidate move into the clinic, but the interest and commitment of two large pharma companies provide additional validation of Ascendis technology platform.

Ascendis is also developing TransCon Treprostinil for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, a $4 billion-plus worldwide market opportunity. Treprostinil is the active ingredient in Remodulin, developed by United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR) and Ascendis is developing an inhaled formulation of TransCon Treprostinil for once-daily administration and a formulation designed as a once-daily subcutaneous injection with the goal to offer the same efficacy as infused prostacyclins with a safer and improved tolerability profile. In April 2015, Ascendis announced phase 1 data which showed dose-dependent increases in plasma treprostinil levels, but injection-site tolerability issues did not meet the criteria defined in the target product profile and the company is now working on two new formulations. TransCon Treprostinil is outside of Ascendis area of interest and it plans to partner this candidate.

In addition to the three promising pipeline candidates and the collaborations with Genentech and Sanofi, Ascendis technology platform has the potential for additional applications and the pipeline will likely expand in the following years with in-house and out-licensed products.

Valuation

I believe TransCon hGH alone, in its current state, is worth between $35 and $46 per share. De-risking of TransCon hGH in 2019 (moving the probability of approval to 100% and reducing the time to peak sales by 2 years) results in a valuation range of $76 to $100. The $1-1.2 billion annual sales estimate is based on 25-30% market share of what I believe will be a $4 billion-plus market in the 2020s and TransCon hGH and OPKOs hGH-CTP splitting the market and taking (at least) 50%+ market share from daily hGH therapies if they are proven to be effective, safe and well-tolerated in phase 3 trials and in the real world following their respective approvals. I am leaving some room for Novo Nordisks somapacitan as well, though its clinical profile remains to be determined. Please notice that I am using a 44 million share count and that the current, fully diluted share count is around 40 million. I included a 4 million share buffer to account for additional dilution as the company will likely need more capital for TransCon hGHs commercial launch.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-15072288183954878.png

Source: authors estimates

There is also a super-bullish scenario here for TransCon hGH – if OPKO’s hGH-CTP fails in the pediatric phase 3 trial or if it shows an unfavorable safety profile. In such a case, TransCon hGH would become the only long-acting player (assuming it is successful in its phase 3 trial, of course) and I think it could fetch 50% market share by mid-2020s, which would translate to roughly $2 billion in annual sales.

I think TransCon PTH could be as valuable as TransCon hGH in 2-3 years, if not more valuable as it would be the unmatched standard of care for hypoparathyroidism and TransCon CNP could also prove to a be a very valuable and differentiated asset. So, I think the upside potential for Ascendis is substantial even if just one of the three products reaches the market. Additional upside could come from Genentech and Sanofi collaborations and from partnering/moving forward the TransCon Treprostinil candidate.

Financial overview

Ascendis is in very good financial shape. The company used the late-September rally to raise $145 million and ended Q3 with 222.5 million (approximately $260 million) in cash and equivalents on a pro-forma basis (the underwriters took advantage of the overallotment option in early Q4). Cash burn in Q3 2017 was roughly $35 million but will probably increase in 2018 since two candidates are advancing into the clinic in the following months/quarters. The company may need to raise additional funds in late 2018 or in 2019, but it also has other options to raise cash it could partner one or more of its three candidates. The company said it intends to keep the U.S. rights and that it might partner outside of the U.S. Given the size of the addressable markets, strong pricing and potential differentiation of these three products, ex-U.S. partnerships could bring solid upfront and future milestone payments and generous royalty rates. But we may have to wait for positive phase 3 results of TransCon hGH to get partners really interested considering the high failure rates of long-acting hGH products.

Significant insider ownership and institutional accumulation

Based on Ascendis 2016 annual report, board members and senior management own approximately 10 million shares (roughly 20% of outstanding shares after the September offering). I havent seen any changes in insider ownership since then and assume their stakes are still substantial. Seeing such strong ownership and no insider sales is always a good sign.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/10/5/4987661-15072286477385406.png

Source: Ascendis 2016 annual report

And as mentioned in the introduction, strong institutional sponsorship is what attracted my attention in the first place. For a $1.3 billion company, Ascendis has really broad institutional ownership and is a high-conviction name for several biotech-focused funds. The offering in late Q3 has drawn additional interest.

Source: WhaleWisdom

Risks

The risks to the thesis are the usual ones for a development stage biotech company:

One or all candidates may fail in the clinic based on currently available data, this seems unlikely but is nonetheless possible. Even if they reach the market, the products might not live up to their potential due to competition, safety, tolerability or efficacy issues. The company will need to raise additional capital in the following years unless it partners one or more late-stage assets in the next 12-24 months. Raising capital could prove to be difficult if we see one or more setbacks of TransCon hGH and/or the other two candidates. Industry-related headwinds, such as pricing and/or reimbursement in the U.S. and elsewhere could reduce the peak sales potential of all of the companys products. Conclusion

I believe Ascendis TransCon technology platform is underappreciated and that TransCon hGH alone could drive significant upside in the following years. The company should soon have two late-stage assets as TransCon PTH should move from a phase 1 trial straight to a phase 3 trial in 2018 and TransCon CNP should not be far behind these two candidates. The company is in strong financial shape after the September equity raise. Important catalysts over the next two years include:

TransCon hGH enrollment closing by the end of 2017. This is not exactly a strong catalyst but will provide a timeline for the phase 3 readout in late 2018/early 2019. TransCon PTH phase 1 results in healthy volunteers in Q1 2018 (it could be as soon as early January, at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference, according to management comments on the Q3 earnings call) followed by the phase 3 trial initiation in 2018. TransCon CNP moving into the clinic in early 2018 phase 1 trial in healthy volunteers. TransCon hGH phase 3 topline results in late 2018/early 2019. This is by far the most important catalyst for the stock in the next two years. Partnered programs (Genentech, Sanofi) moving into the clinic no timeline here, the company did not provide any guidance. TransCon Treprostinil partnership and/or ex-U.S. partnership for TransCon hGH or other two candidates no timelines here either but possible in 2018 or 2019. Additional products entering the clinic and/or additional partnership announcements.

The stock is near all-time highs as a write this and could be considered as extended in the near-term, but I am not buying it for a short-term bounce or momentum run, this is a long-term investment with significant value creation potential. And what seems like a high price right now often proves to be a bargain in the long run. Of course, I would like to buy it cheaper if possible and will look to continue building my stake in the following weeks. I also think that the market has not fully accounted Versartis failure the stock is up roughly 25% since the failure, adding approximately $300 million to its market cap and a potential competitor with a 1+ year head-start that would have taken solid market share is now out of the picture. Based on my current model for TransCon hGH and the assumed market share split between OPKOs hGH-CTP and TransCon hGH, the elimination of somavaratan is worth at least $11-12 per share (or a third of the low-end of the valuation range) and probably more. I actually like Ascendis more at $35 with somavaratan out of the picture than I would have liked it at $25 for example with somavaratan approved and with a one-year head-start.

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Disclosure: I am/we are long ASND, OPK.

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Top 5 Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Sometimes price target hikes just are not enough to keep a rally going after a big news-pop. That may even be the case in the oil and gas sector these days, particularly for the companies which have seen their shares nearly double off of their recent lows. Diamondback Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FANG) saw numerous price targets raised by analysts after their guidance created a big share price gain on Monday. Unfortunately, its shares were trading lower on Tuesday.

Diamondback issued its guidance on Monday. The company showed that its average daily production during the third quarter of 2016 was 44,923 boe/d, which was 73% oil. This was said to be up 22% from the second quarter of 2016.

More importantly, Diamondback increased its 2016 production guidance to a range of 41.0 to 42.0 Mboe/d. This is up 6% from the midpoint of the July guidance range of 38.0 to 40.0 Mboe/d. Diamondback cited continued strong well performance for the increase. The company expects to complete 65 to 70 gross horizontal wells this year.

Top 5 Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (OPHLF)

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  • [By SEEKINGALPHA.COM]

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Top 5 Stocks To Invest In Right Now: BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.(BMRN)

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  • [By George Budwell, Rich Smith, and Matthew DiLallo]

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  • [By Money Morning News Team]

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  • [By Sean Williams]

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stock report today

Stifel’s Annabel Samimy and team argue that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) is “turning a corner,” at least when it comes to perception. They explain:

christinne muschi/Reuters

After reaching crisis of confidence levels following 4Q15 earnings, developments of the last several days seem to indicate that Valeant is turning a corner. The most concerning risk factors have been alleviated: 1) no additional accounting misstatements were found following completion of the internal ad hoc review, 2) Valeant committed to filing its 10-K by 4/29/16, and 3) creditors and bondholders agreed to extend or waive technical covenants related to reporting deadlines. At this time, its worth reminding investors of the significant brand value of its multiple franchises, as well as the steady demand of its key products to date. Our initial Sum of the Parts analysis derived an equity value of $65/share, but a deeper SOTP can yield up to $90-95/share in equity value, confirming again that current levels do not accurately reflect this asset value. With liquidity to satisfy debt obligations, obviating the need for forced asset sales, we do not believe Valeant should not be trading at distressed levels.

stock report today: Kohl’s Corporation(KSS)

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    Getty Images

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    RBC’s Brian Tunick and Bilun Boyner worry that the bear case gas been revived:

    Kohl’s reported Holiday comps of -2%, below our model for -0.5%, as sales remained volatile through the quarter. Similar to early commentary by peers, stronger sales for Black Friday and the week before Christmas were offset by softness in early November and December. In line with Q3, the strongest categories were men’s, home, and footwear while accessories was most challenging.

    In addition to the sales downside,Kohl’s lowered its EPS guidance to $3.603.65 (from $3.804.00) to reflect lower than expected gross margins (we estimate were down 5060bps versus our prior model for up 40bp), which was mainly due to mix, timing of sales, and promotional environment as the company worked to exit the year with clean inventory positions (planning to end the year with inventories down mid-to-high SD)…

    AlthoughKohl’s still has a reasonable 1H’17 opportunity with easy gross margin compares, Under Armour (UA) launch, and potential for a new CFO, we believe disappointing Holiday sales and the guidance cut removed most of the market’s excitement around a return to momentum, reviving the secular bear case around department stores and Kohl’s. Maintaining Underperform and lowering price target to $42.

    Kohl’s market capitalization fell to $7.7 billion today from $9.2 billion yesterday. It reported net income of $673 million on sales of $19 billion in 2016.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Under Armour’s (UAA) guidance last month was so bad that the stock lost a quarter of its value in just one day. Some analysts have stuck with the company, but many more have downgraded it. But that’s in the past. Now, Under Armour’s products are hitting the shelves at Kohl’s (KSS), and some have worried that it could dilute Under Armour’s brand. Kohl’s, meanwhile, has had troubles of its own–its stock is down 23% during the past three months–as investors have worried about the internet destroying retail as we know it. Which begs the question: Are you in trouble when you’re looking at Kohl’s as a savior?

stock report today: BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.(BMRN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Skorney’s namesVertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX),Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), and Curis (CRIS) his top biotech picks for 2017, while Ulz chosesBioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) andParatek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK).

  • [By Keith Speights]

    You might not have heard too much about Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), and Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA). These are three biotech stocks that you could be overlooking — but deserve your attention. Here’s why.

  • [By George Budwell, Rich Smith, and Matthew DiLallo]

    With this question in mind, we asked three of our contributors which stocks they recommend to buy and hold for the next 20 years. They suggestedBioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD), andLockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). Below, they discuss why they chose these particular stocks, and why investors with a long-term outlook may want to consider adding them to their portfolios right now.

stock report today: New York & Company Inc.(NWY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of New York & Company, Inc. (NYSE: NWY) got a boost, shooting up 13 percent to $2.31 as the company posted upbeat quarterly results.

    The GEO Group Inc (NYSE: GEO) shares were also up, gaining 19 percent to $23.27. Following Thursday’s Department of Justice news regarding privately-managed prisons, GEO Group dropped on Thursday, but rebounded Friday after issuing a response to the DoJ.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    New York & Company, Inc. (NYSE: NWY) shares dropped 42 percent to $1.72 after the company reported downbeat Q1 results and issued a weak Q2 forecast.

stock report today: BlackRock, Inc.(BLK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    Vanguard's latest fee cuts answer two such moves this year, including one this month, by rival BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) and one fee reduction announcement by Charles Schwab Corp (NYSE: SCHW).

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Nintendo has a new stockholder: Shares of video game console maker Nintendo (NTDOY) rose slightly on news asset manager BlackRock (BLK) owns a 5.17% stake. With the new Nintendo Switch console being met with strong demand, the disclosure shouldn’t come as a shocker. If there is anything I have learned from covering Nintendo through the years, it’s that when the stock gets hot it tends to stay hot until something causes investors to reverse course. Nintendo’s stock is up 23% in the last three months, but look for more gains in the short-term. 

stock market analysis software

The opening sentence of the Wall Street Journal’s Oct. 24, 2016, article about the AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) deal to acquire Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) for $108.7 billion says it all.

Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

“Buying Time Warner Inc. will make AT&T among the most heavily indebted companies on earth.”

stock market analysis software: BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.(BMRN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Skorney’s namesVertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX),Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), and Curis (CRIS) his top biotech picks for 2017, while Ulz chosesBioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) andParatek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK).

  • [By George Budwell, Rich Smith, and Matthew DiLallo]

    With this question in mind, we asked three of our contributors which stocks they recommend to buy and hold for the next 20 years. They suggestedBioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD), andLockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). Below, they discuss why they chose these particular stocks, and why investors with a long-term outlook may want to consider adding them to their portfolios right now.

  • [By Keith Speights]

    You might not have heard too much about Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), and Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA). These are three biotech stocks that you could be overlooking — but deserve your attention. Here’s why.

stock market analysis software: Kalytera Therapeutics, Inc. (QUEZF)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Javier Hasse]

    Kalytera Therapeutics Inc (OTC: QUEZF) closed a C$13.4 million ($10.2 million) tranche of a private placement for the acquisition of Talent Biotechs Ltd.

stock market analysis software: Forward Pharma A/S(FWP)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By George Budwell]

    Shares of theDanish drugmaker Forward Pharma A/S (NASDAQ:FWP) gained 48.2% yesterday as the result of a settlement and licensing deal with Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB)involving an ongoing patent dispute over the multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera. Per the terms of the deal, Biogen will fork overa non-refundable$1.25 billion licensing fee, and possibly pay 10% to 20% royalties on Tecfidera’snet sales to Forward starting in 2021.

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    Last Friday, our Under the Radar Moversnewsletter suggested going long on small cap clinical-stage biopharmaceutical stock Forward Pharma A/S (NASDAQ: FWP):

stock market analysis software: Old National Bancorp Capital Trust I(ONB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The twenty stocks in Worth’s basket are: Ameriprise Financial (AMP) Bank of America, Banner (BANR), Citigroup, Citizens Financial Group (CFG), East West Bancorp (EWBC), First NBC Bank Holding (FNBC), HFF (HF), KeyCorp(KEY), Legacy Texas Financial Group (LTXB), Lincoln National (LNC), Morgan Stanley, Old National Bancorp (ONB), PacWest Bancorp (PACW), PNC Financial Services Group (PNC), Principal Financial Group (PFG), Stifel Financial (SF), SVB Financial Group (SIVB), TCF Financial (TCB), and Wells Fargo.

  • [By kiplinger]

     Old National Bancorp (ONB) is a 181-year-old financial institution with 195 branches, mainly in the Midwest. The stock, which is still down by about one-third from its prerecession high, trades at just 13 times projected 2016 earnings and yields an attractive 3.4%. If interest rates ever rise, the bank should benefit from a widening spread between its cost of funds and the interest rates borrowers pay.

    It’s a favorite of David Dreman, author of the classic 1980 book Contrarian Investment Strategy. His philosophy: “We believe that the markets are not perfectly efficient.” Some stocks, in other words, are judged by the market to be cheaper than their actual worth.

stock market analysis software: Sandstorm Gold Ltd(SAND )

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Sandstorm Gold (NYSEMKT:SAND) has outperformed the precious metal itself over the past year, with shares rising 35% year to date. Last month it reported third-quarter profits of $7 million, a big U-turn from 2015, when it suffered losses of $5.5 million. In fact, its entire operation was doing better with greater production: lower cash costs, but higher cash margins; and greater operating cash flows, all of which allowed it to pay down its revolving credit facility. That means it has no bank debt and its entire $110 million revolving credit facility is available to make acquisitions.

stock market analysis software: Agenus Inc.(AGEN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Benzinga's newsdesk monitors options activity to notice unusual patterns. These large volume (and often out of the money) trades were initially published intraday in Benzinga Professional . These trades were placed during Friday's regular session.

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    Shares of Agenus Inc (NASDAQ:AGEN), a biopharmaceutical company developing cancer therapies, had fallen about 14.5% as of 3:20 p.m. EST on Wednesday. Investors weren’t too thrilled about its cancer vaccine’s recent clinical trial failure.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Agenus (NASDAQ: AGEN) rose 22.99% to $3.37 after the company reported positive follow-on Phase 2 results for brain cancer vaccine.

    Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) shares jumped 18.23% to $10.18 after private equity firm Sycamore Partners bought a 7.96% stake in the company.

  • [By Lisa Levin] Gainers
    Aimmune Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: AIMT) shares jumped 35 percent to $34.64 in response to failed DBVT peanut allergy trial.
    Exactech, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXAC) shares surged 30.9 percent to $41.88 after the company agreed to be acquired by TPG Capital for $42 per share in cash.
    Dextera Surgical Inc (NASDAQ: DXTR) shares climbed 27.6 percent to $0.238 after surging 40.48 percent on Friday.
    Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ: PETS) jumped 21.8 percent to $44.73 as the company reported better-than-expected Q2 results.
    SenesTech Inc (NASDAQ: SNES) shares surged 21.7 percent to $1.95 after the company disclosed that Univar will be marketing and selling ContraPest.
    Yulong Eco-Materials Ltd (NASDAQ: YECO) shares gained 18.3 percent to $0.560.
    One Horizon Group Inc (NASDAQ: OHGI) shares rose 18 percent to $1.18.
    Atossa Genetics Inc (NASDAQ: ATOS) shares climbed 18 percent to $0.566. Atossa Genetics is schedule to host a conference call to announce preliminary results from Phase 1 study of oral Endoxifen on October 25, 2017.
    ReneSola Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: SOL) shares rose 15.3 percent to $2.72
    Renren Inc (NYSE: RENN) shares gained 11.9 percent to $10.71 after gaining 2.68 percent on Friday.
    Kalvista Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: KALV) shares rose 11.8 percent to $12.59. KalVista Pharma 13D filing from Longwood Fund showed registration for an 8.7 percent stake.
    Xunlei Ltd (NASDAQ: XNET) shares gained 9.4 percent to $7.20 after surging 25.33 percent on Friday.
    VF Corp (NYSE: VFC) shares surged 7.1 percent to $71.09 after the company reported upbeat earnings for its third quarter and raised its FY2017 guidance.
    CAI International Inc (NYSE: CAI) rose 6.6 percent to $39.70. Cowen & Co. upgraded CAI from Market Perform to Outperform.
    Agenus Inc (NASDAQ: AGEN) shares gained 5.7 percent to $4.58 as the company disclosed that GSK's shingle vaccine received FDA approval.
    Deltic Timber Corp (NYSE: DEL) shares climbed 5.6 percent to $94.11