Companies featured in this edition of the newsletter: ENZ, IMNP, STLT, OPSSF/ OPS.V
This week equity indices climbed through the first half of the week, but slumped leading into the weekend as investors were focused on the global growth concerns. The stock market endured its second consecutive range bound week. The Dow finished the week at 17,865 up 58 points or 0.3% from 17,807, and it is up 2.5% for the year. The Nasdaq finished the week down 48 points or -1.0% at 4,895 from 4,943, and it is down -2.3% for the year. The S&P 500 finished the week at 2,096 down 3 points or -0.1% from 2,099, and it is up 2.6% for the year. The Russell 2000 finished the week at 1,163 up 0.57 points or 0.0% from 1,164, and it is up 2.5% for the year.
In economic news, nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 0.6% annual rate in the first quarter, versus an originally reported decrease of 1.0%. Unit labor costs, in turn, were revised higher, logging an increase of 4.5% versus an originally reported increase of 4.0%. Total outstanding consumer credit increased by $13.4 billion in April after increasing a downwardly revised $28.4 billion in March. Initial claims for the week ending June 4 were 264,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the prior week. Continuing claims for the week ending May 28 decreased by 77,000 to 2.095 million. Initial claims have remained below 300,000 for the 66th straight week, which is the longest streak since 1973. Wholesale inventories increased 0.6% in April after increasing an upwardly revised 0.2% in March. The preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for June checked in at 94.3, down slightly from the final reading of 94.7 for May and down from the 96.1 reading seen in June 2015. The Treasury Budget for May showed a deficit of $52.5 billion versus a deficit of $84.1 billion in May 2015.
No market movers reported earnings this week.
This is another big week for conferences, as several will be taking place across the week. To start, the Stifel Industrials Conference will take place on June 13, 2016 in New York. The Deutsche Bank dbAccess Global Consumer Conference will take place on June 14-16, 2016 in Paris, France. The RBC Capital Markets Global Mining and Minerals Conference will take place on June 14-15, 2016 in Boston, MA. The Morgan Stanley Financials Conference will take place on June 14, 2016 in New York. The Citi 2016 Industrials Conference will take place on June 14-15, 2016 in Boston, MA. The Piper Jaffray 36th Annual Consumer Conference will take place on June 14-15, 2016 in New York. Lastly, the William Blair 36th Annual Growth Stock Conference 2016 will take place on June 14-15, 2016 in Chicago, IL.
Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ), a pioneer in molecular diagnostics, announced that the New York State Department of Health has granted conditional approval for use of Enzo Clinical Labs’ AmpiProbe Candidiasis™ assay, the Company’s second test aimed at the rapidly expanding women’s health market and the third to be approved utilizing one of the Company’s proprietary technology platforms.
Elazar Rabbani, Ph.D., Enzo CEO and Chairman, mentioned that the Candida approval, while important in and of itself, and having been approved less than three months after submission, strengthens their commitment to utilize their proprietary technologies to develop clinically relevant diagnostics, while to helping to relieve the cost pressures that independent laboratories are bearing. He also added that by developing a broad technology base, Enzo has positioned the Company for a robust flow of products and services that will provide medically relevant, cost effective solutions easily adaptable to the workflow of the clinical laboratory, and that its ability to do so is based on several factors.
Products in the Company’s development pipeline include an extensive line of assays for detection of numerous women’s health infectious agents as well as for use in the identification of pathogens for other markets. The Company also reported that it expects to roll out a line of products designed to aid pathologists in distinguishing the characteristics of various tumors from biopsy specimens using technology developed by Enzo scientists. The Company’s molecular based products are targeted at a market estimated to be in excess of $3 billion worth of laboratory service revenue.
Enzo also reported results for the third fiscal quarter and nine months ended April 30, 2016, with strong across the board advances.
Barry Weiner, President of Enzo, commented that this has been another quarter of significant progress for Enzo, as they continue to execute on their strategic plan. Again this quarter they demonstrated strong financial results and benefits of our integrated operating structure. The Clinical Labs Division remains on a solid growth trend, with molecular diagnostics increasingly predominant in its activities, as physician-clients recognize its unique capabilities and especially the Lab’s ability to provide services, assays and tests, particularly in the realm of women’s health issues. Enzo’s program to develop new test for their AmpiProbe™, FlowScript™ and other platforms is successfully moving forward rapidly, underscored by the New York State Department of Health’s conditional approval just three months after submission of our AmpiProbe™ Candidiasis assay, which allows similar authorization in the past year or so for our HCV and FlowScript™ assays.
With both Enzo Clinical Labs and Enzo Life Sciences posting positive revenue gains, total revenue increased to $26.4 million, from $24.0 million a year ago. Cost of goods was approximately even year over year based on a percentage of revenues. Gross margin improved $1 million, or 9%, to $11.4 million, while gross profit as a percentage of revenue essentially remained even at 43.3% and 43.7%, respectively, Selling, general and administrative expenses increased slightly, to $10.9 million, from $10.2 million, reflecting increased selling expenses and higher Lab related costs due to new business, but as a percentage of revenues, SG&A improved to 41% from 42% a year ago. Legal expenses declined 17%, to $1.6 million, although year ago results also reflected approximately $0.2 million in net legal settlements. There were no legal settlements in the fiscal 2016 third quarter.
Net loss amounted to ($2.1) million, compared to a year ago net loss of ($2.9) million, a $0.8 million improvement. Basic and fully diluted share loss equaled ($0.05), versus ($0.06) last year. On a non-GAAP basis, the net loss per fully diluted share was ($0.04) compared to ($0.07) per fully diluted share in the prior year period. The EBITDA loss (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), a non-GAAP measure, improved by approximately $0.9 million, to $1.1 million.
As of April 30, 2016, current assets totaled $55.2 million, compared with current liabilities of $21.7 million, a current ratio of 2.54-to-1. Cash and cash equivalents amounted to $32.4 million. Subsequent to receiving proceeds from the recent Delaware patent infringement case settlement with Life Technologies, cash and cash equivalents were over $50 million.
The company conducted a conference call on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 8:30 AM ET. For those that could not listen to the live broadcast, a replay has been available two hours after the end of the live call, through midnight (ET) on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. The replay of the conference call can be accessed by dialing 1-800-585-8367, and when prompted, use PIN number 20839071. International callers can dial 1-404-537-3406 use the same PIN number.
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.
Enzo closed the week at $5.99.
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, and Hadasit, the Technology Transfer company of The Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem, Israel, announced today that they together filed a provisional patent on the oral use of anti-eotaxin monoclonal antibodies, including Immune’s bertilimumab, for the treatment of inflammatory gastro-intestinal (GI) and liver diseases. Immune signed a licensing agreement with Hadasit in conjunction with the provisional patent filing.
According to Professor Yaron IIan, Professor of Medicine, Gastro-Enterology and Liver Units and Director, Department of Medicine at Hebrew University’s Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel, oral administration of a non-absorbable mouse anti-eotaxin -1 antibody showed biological activity in the gut, and exerted a systematic immuno-modulatory effect to alleviate immune-mediated hepatitis in an animal model. The data suggests that testing for eotaxin-1 serum levels, and using oral bertilimumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody, may enable the identification and treatment of patients with high-eotaxin-1-associated NASH.
Professor Ilan also added that personalized therapies might help provide an optimized safety to efficacy ratio by selecting patients with higher response rates based on specific biomarkers.
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 over 6,000,000 shares- that’s about eleven times its three month average daily volume.
Immune closed the week at $0.50.
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 it has finalized plans for entering into an agreement with Maitland Labs, based in Orlando, Florida, to establish its drug production and product development facilities at Maitland Lab’s sterile fill drug production plant, currently under construction. The facility is scheduled to be operational in September 2016, and will be FDA registered and compliant with Good Manufacturing Practice standards. Spotlight Innovation will also use the facility to produce for use in pre-clinical testing for its clinical trials.
Spotlight Innovation’s Director of Product Development, Paul Reid, PhD, mentioned that as they continue to move forward with their pre-clinical and clinical trials, the opportunity to be based in a state of the art, first in class processing facility will offer the consistency and greater efficiency in the production and delivery of clinical samples, and future manufacturing capability.
Spotlight finished the week at $0.40.
Volume 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, saw more than average trading volume across both the bulletin board and the Toronto Venture Exchange last week. On the bulletin board it traded over 15,000 shares on Tuesday- that’s two times its three-month average daily volume. It typically trades around 6,000 shares a day. It also traded a lot on the venture exchange, especially on Thursday as it traded over 100,000 shares-about three times its three-month average daily volume.
Opsens closed the week at $1.20 on the OTCQX under OPSSF and $1.49 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. Spotlight Innovation, ten thousand dollars cash per month Opsens, fifteen thousand dollars cash.