Companies featured in this edition of the newsletter: IMNP, STLT, OPSSF/ OPS.V
This past week investors did not receive any market moving data during the week, which kept the Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now forecast for the first quarter unchanged at 0.3%. Investors did receive the first heavy batch of first quarter earnings during the past week, and the results have been mixed relative to lowered expectations. The Dow finished the week at 18,004 up 106 points or 0.6% from 17,897 from last week, and it is up 3.3% for the year. The Nasdaq underperformed this week, finishing at 4,906 down 32 points or -0.6% from 4,938 last week. It is down -2.0% for the year. The S&P 500 notched a fresh high for the year before registering its second weekly gain. It finished the week at 2,092 up 11 points or 0.5% from 2,081 last week, and it is up 2.3% for the year. And the Russell 2000 finished the week at 1,143 up 12 points or 1.1% from 1,131 last week, and it is up 0.6% for the year.
In economic news, the Housing Starts and Building Permits report for March was definitely a disappointment. Starts fell 8.8% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted 1.089 million units. Building permits declined 7.7% to 1.086 million. The positive thing in the report is that the number of homes under construction jumped to 990,000 from 985,000 in February. Existing home sales in March increased 5.1% month over month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million units. Rising prices, along with limited inventory at the low end, have impeded buying opportunities for first time buyers, whose share of existing home purchases in March held steady at 30%.
Initial claims were 247,000 for the week ending April 16, a decrease of 6,000 from the prior week’s unrevised level. Continuing claims for the week ending April 9 dropped by 39,000 to 2.137 million. The latest initial claims reading is the lowest level of initial claims since November 24, 1973 and marked the 59th straight week claims have been below 300,000, which is the longest streak since 1973. The Philadelphia Fed Index was a big disappointment. After turning positive in March following six straight negative readings, it dropped back into negative territory in April. The Leading Economic Index increased 0.2% in March. The added disappointment in the report is that February was revised lower to show a 0.1% decline after an originally reported 0.1% increase.
There were several market movers that reported first quarter 2016 earnings this week, especially in the technology sector. IBM reported net income of $2.0 billion or $2.09 per diluted share compared with $2.3 billion or $2.35 per share last year. Intel reported GAAP net income of $2.0 billion or $0.42 per diluted share compared with $2.0 billion or $0.41 per share in the same quarter of last year. Alphabet reported GAAP net income of $4.2 billion or $6.02 per diluted share compared with $3.5 billion or $5.10 per share in 2015. Microsoft also reported this week with GAAP net income of $3.8 billion or $0.47 per diluted share compared with $5.0 billion or $0.61 per diluted share last year.
In the consumer goods sector, PepsiCo reported net income of $931 million or $0.64 per diluted share compared with $1.2 billion or $0.81 per share in the same quarter of last year. Coca Cola reported net income of $1.5 billion or $0.34 per diluted share compared with $1.6 billion or $0.35 per share last year. General Motors reported net income of $ 2.0 billion or $1.24 per diluted share compared with $ 0.9 billion or $0.56 per share in 2015. In the healthcare sectors, Novartis AG reported net income of $ 2.8 billion or $1.17 per diluted share compared with $3.2 billion or $1.33 per share in the same quarter of last year. Johnson & Johnson reported net income of $4.3 billion or $1.54 per diluted share compared with $4.3 billion or $1.53 per share last year. Lastly, UnitedHealth reported net earnings of $1.6 billion or $1.67 per diluted share compared with $1.4 billion or $1.46 per share in 2015.
No Conferences of note will be taking place this week.
Volume Alert: Immune Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMNP), a biopharmaceutical company that applies a personalized approach to treating and developing novel, highly-targeted antibody therapeutics to improve the lives of patients with inflammatory diseases and cancer, saw a spike in its volume on Wednesday as it traded over 700,000 shares- three times its three month average daily volume.
Immune closed the week at $0.35.
Spotlight Innovation Inc. (QTCQB: STLT), a healthcare company that identifies and acquires rights to innovative and proprietary platform technology candidates with a focus on cancer drugs and treatment therapies, solutions for infectious disease, and other specialty and unique opportunities, announced that its proprietary Immunoplex™ epitope tag, which has previously been demonstrated to be stable, scalable, and producible in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), has now been demonstrated, in laboratory cell line models, to successfully attach to tumor cells in a consistent and reproducible manner.
The epitope tag is used in conjunction with a universal antibody to create an immune complex vaccine to target a broad range of cancer and infectious disease indications.
Tony Vanden Bush, PhD, co-inventor of Immunoplex™ and Spotlight Innovation’s manager of Product Development, mentioned that these results represent a significant benchmark in the development of Immunoplex™ components, and are another key step in achieving a personalized treatment approach for cancer patients.
Volume Alert: Spotlight Innovation Inc. (QTCQB: STLT), a healthcare company that identifies and acquires rights to innovative and proprietary platform technology candidates with a focus on cancer drugs and treatment therapies, solutions for infectious disease, and other specialty and unique opportunities, has continued its weekly jump in volume last week as it traded over 54,000 shares versus an average of 40,000 shares per week.
Spotlight finished the week $0.52.
Opsens Inc. (OTCQX: OPSSF) (TSX: OPS.V), a healthcare company that engages in the development, manufacture, sale, and installation of fiber optic sensors for interventional cardiology, fractional flow reserve (FFR), oil and gas, and industrial applications, released the results for its second quarter ended February 29, 2016.
In the second quarter, consolidated sales reached $2,741,000, an increase of 20%, supported by growth in FFR sales, This was partially offset by lower revenue of $390,000 in the industrial sector, the result of a major contract in the mining sector in the comparative quarter in 2015. Gross margin decreased from $1,109,000 to $767,000 for the quarter ended February 29, 2016, compared with the same period last year. The decrease in gross margin in explained by the relocation of the medical activities into the new facility that has temporarily interrupted the production during the second quarter of fiscal 2016.
The net loss amounted to $1,523,000 for the three month period ended February 29,2016, compared with a net loss of $880,000 for the corresponding period last year. For the first half of 2016, sales of FFR products reached $2,145,000 compared with $163,000 for the same period last year, an increase of $1,982,000. Consolidated revenue totaled $4,452,000 and $6,724,000 for the first half of 2016 and 2015. In 2015, non-recurring revenue of $3,458,000 related to a distribution agreement had been accounted for. Opsens is confident that the sales growth will continue as Opsens expands commercialization of its FFR products.
In March 2016, Opsens began to occupy its new headquarters for medical activities into its new state of the art facility. The move will affect revenue growth in the third quarter 2016, but the completion of the move will accelerate growth to meet the increasing demand for Opsens’ FFR products. The Company also recently announced receipt of the 510(k) approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the marketing of the OptoWire II in the United States.
Louis Laflamme President and Chief Executive Officer of Opsens mentioned that the very positive feedback on the performance of the OptoWire II allows them to believe that they hold all the elements to gain share in the growing FFR market and reach their goal to become the first choice of cardiologists.
Also, this week an analyst from RBC Capital Markets increased the price target on Opsens from $1.50 to $2.00. Opsen’s Q2 results were slightly above expectations, and medical revenues grew significantly this quarter. They believe the move to the new facility in combination with FDA approval for the OptoWire II, and several strong hires should prepare the company for accelerated growth and very strong commercial launch.
Opsens closed the week at $0.97 on the OTCQX under OPSSF and $1.25 on the Venture Exchange under OPS.V.
A profile, description, or other mention of a company in the newsletter is neither an offer nor solicitation to buy or sell any securities mentioned. While we believe all sources of information to be factual and reliable, in no way do we represent or guarantee the accuracy thereof, nor the statements made herein. THE READER SHOULD VERIFY ALL CLAIMS AND DO ITS OWN DUE DILIGENCE BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY SECURITIES MENTIONED. This publication accepts compensation from companies that it features. This newsletter should not be regarded as an independent publication. Our editors may, from time to time, acquire positions in the companies that they cover. This could represent a conflict of interest. The CEOcast newsletter shall be under no obligation to inform readers about its trading activities. CEOcast's editors reserve the right to buy or sell shares in these companies at any time. The following companies, featured in this newsletter, have compensated CEOcast: Immune Pharmaceuticals, ten thousand dollars cash per month. Spotlight Innovation, ten thousand dollars cash per month. Opsens, fifteen thousand dollars cash.