Companies featured in this edition of the newsletter: ENZ, IMNP, OPSSF/ OPS.V
The fed funds futures market is pricing in a 55.0% likelihood of a rate hike in July, and this week’s discussion gave a boost to the greenback, which helped the dollar index register its third consecutive advance after notching a fresh low for 2016 during the first week of May. The stock market ended the trading week on a modestly higher note thanks to a Friday rally. The Dow lagged and finished the week down 39 points or -0.2% at 17,500 from 17,540 last week, and it is up 0.4% for the year. The Nasdaq outperformed this week finishing at 4,770 up 51 points or 1.1% from 4,719 last week, though it is down -4.7% for the year. The S&P 500 locked in a gain and finished at 2,052 up 5 points or 0.3% from 2,047 last week, and it is up 0.4% for the year. The Russell 2000 finished the week up 10 points or 0.9% at 1,112 from 1,102 last week, and it is down -2.1% for the year.
The Consumer Price Index for April produced a headline surprise, with total CPI rising 0.4% month over month and core CPI, which excludes food and energy, increasing 0.2% as expected. Over the last twelve months, CPI is up 1.1% on an adjusted basis versus 0.9% in March. Housing starts increased 6.6% month over month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.172 million units. Building permits increased 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.116 million, and permits for March were revised down to 1.077 million from 1.086 million. Total housing starts are 1.7% below the April 2015 rate while total building permits are 5.3% below the April 2015 estimate. The Industrial Production report for April proved to be a positive surprise as production increased at a faster than expected rate of 0.7%. Capacity utilization also surprised to the upside, coming in at 75.4%.
The initial claims for the week ending May 14 decreased by 16,000 to 278,000, and continuing claims for the week ending May 7 decreased by 13,000 to 2.152 million. Initial claims stayed below 300,000 for the 63rd straight week; a streak not seen since 1973. The Philadelphia Fed Index registered a reading of -1.8 for May, which was a slight deterioration from the April reading of -1.6. The month of May marked the eighth negative reading in the last nine months for the Philadelphia Fed Index. The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index increased 0.6% in April after a downwardly revised unchanged reading for March. Existing home sales increased 1.7% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million from an upwardly revised 5.36 million in March. The April number was better than expected and qualifies as another data point supporting a pickup in second quarter growth.
This week Home Depot reported 1Q Fiscal 2016 net earnings of $1.8 billion or $1.44 per diluted share compared with $1.6 billion or $1.21 per share in the same quarter of fiscal 2015. Lowe’s reported 1Q 2016 net earnings of $884 million or $0.98 per diluted share compared with $ 673 million or $ 0.70 per share in 2015. Target reported 1Q 2016 net earnings of $632 million or $1.05 per diluted share compared with $ 635 million or $0.98 per share in the same quarter last year. Walmart reported 1Q Fiscal 2017 consolidated net income of $3.1 billion or $0.98 per diluted share compared with $ 3.3 billion or $1.03 per share in 1Q Fiscal 2016. Cisco Systems reported 3Q 2016 GAAP net income of $2.3 billion or $ 0.46 per diluted share compared with $2.4 billion or $0.47 last year.
The JP Morgan 44th Annual Technology, Media and Telecom Conference will be held May 23-25, 2016 in Boston, MA. The UBS 2016 Global Healthcare Conference will be held May 23-25, 2016 in New York. The B. Riley and Company 17th Annual Investor Conference will be held May 25-26, 2016 in Hollywood, CA. And lastly, the Barrington Research 10th Annual Spring Conference will be held May 25, 2016 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, IL.
Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ), a pioneer in molecular diagnostics, announced that its subsidiary, Enzo Life Sciences, Inc., has reached and finalized a settlement with Life Technologies Corporation, a subsidiary of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO), involving payment of $35 million to Enzo in an action brought in Delaware Federal District Court by Enzo alleging infringement of its U.S. Patents Nos. 6,992,180 entitled Oligo- or Polynucleotides Comprising Phosphate Moiety Labeled Nucleotides and 7,064,197 entitled System, Array and Non-Porous Solid Support Comprising Fixed or Immobilized Nucleic Acids.
This settlement resolving the dispute between Enzo Life Sciences and Life Technologies impacts only one of 11 cases originally brought by Enzo in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware alleging patent infringements against various companies, four of which are now resolved and seven of which remain pending.
Volume Alert:Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ), a pioneer in molecular diagnostics, saw a spike in its trading volume on Wednesday as it traded over 400,000 shares- that’s over two times it’s three month average daily volume.
Price Alert:Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ), a pioneer in molecular diagnostics, hit a 52 week high this past week on Monday at $6.47.
Enzo closed the week at $6.20.
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, announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016.
Immune continues to pursue its strategy to unlock the value of its diversified pipeline through the development, financing and strategic partnering of specifically focused asset groups, and it continues to execute its R&D plan with progress for all its key assets.
Immune reported a loss attributable to common stockholders of $6.0 million, or $0.17 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, compared to a loss attributable to common stockholders of $3.6 million, or $0.15 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. R&D expenses increased by $0.9 million, due to higher salaries and employee benefits, license fees and clinical trial expenses. G&A expenses increased by $0.1 million due to higher salaries and rent expense partially offset by lower professional fees.
Non-operating expense was $0.7 million during the three months ended March 31,2016 compared with non-operating expense of $0.1 million during the three months ended March 31, 2015, an increase of $0.6 million which is primarily due to higher interest expense and derivative liability expense.
Dr. Daniel Teper, CEO of Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc. mentioned that they are structuring the Company strategically to ensure long term comprehensive financing of their product pipeline and enable focused execution. They also continue to progress in their clinical trials with bertilimumab as they increase patient enrollment and are on track to achieve their operational and financial objectives for 2016.
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 as it traded almost 600,000 shares- that’s three times its three month average daily volume.
Immune closed the week at $0.27.
Price Alert: 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, hit a 52 week high at $1.05 on the bulletin board and $1.40 on the Toronto Venture Exchange this past week.
Opsens closed the week at $1.05 on the OTCQX under OPSSF and $1.40 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: Enzo Biochem, five thousand dollars cash per month. Immune Pharmaceuticals, ten thousand dollars cash per month. Opsens, fifteen thousand dollars cash.