Thursday, February 12, 2009

Notable News 2/12/2009: ARIA, PGN, KO, VIA, MDRX, CBR

The market has started the day on a negative note, seeming to want to test its November lows sooner rather than later. The Dow closed at 7552.29 on 11/20/2008.  On the same day the S & P 500 hit 752.44.  The S & P 500 is just hovering above 815 in early trading.

Citigroup initiated ISIS as a hold.  I have bought and sold that one many times and I am currently in the gambler's paradise with just 50 shares.  My last buy was in the 10 and change area with the sale close to 15.  I mentioned the latest transactions in a prior post. (sell at: Microsoft Buy/ISIS sold in IRA/ AEGON PREFERRED STOCKS  and buy at:ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS (ISIS)
I do not have access to the Citigroup report but I could make a guess why an analyst would not stick his neck out for an unproven company struggling to bring its first main drug to market.  I have a little more faith in it but will trade it and will reduce my risks by never owning more than 200 shares.  I am not a buyer at 15. 

Coca Cola had a good report with earnings at 64 cents before items compared to estimates of 61 cents.  The Coca-Cola Company Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2008 Results: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance   Coca-Cola shares rise as profit tops view: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance  Unit case volume increased 29% in China and 28% in India.  The U.S. is the big drag with units decreasing 3%. 

For a media company, relatively speaking, and with all the usual caveats,  Viacom had a decent report earning 76 cents before items on flat year to year revenue.  Viacom Reports Full-Year and Fourth Quarter 2008 Results: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance   Viacom 4Q profit falls: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance  Viacom shares fell 54.3% in 2008.  The earnings results were below the consensus forecast however. Viacom's quarterly net tumbles 69%, hurt by lower ad revenue - MarketWatch

Progress Energy (PGN), a small position in the main account having sold the shares in an IRA,  reported 47 cents from ongoing operations and maintained its 2009 forecast.  GAAP earnings came in at 41 cents.   Progress Energy Announces 2008 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results; Affirms 2009 Earnings Guidance: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance  When I read the results from other utilities around the country, GXP does stand out as unique in its badness which indicates to me at least that the primary problem is GXP's management rather than the excuses given by management.   

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA), another position, reported a loss as expected. ARIAD Reports Financial Guidance for 2009 and Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2008 Financial Results: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance  I just focused on the status of its clinical trials and the cash burn rate.  The company ended 2008 with 39.1 million in cash and burned 48.5 million.  The company expects to receive a 50 million dollar milestone payment from Merck in 2009 and expects to burn between 24 to 28 million.   This one is highly speculative and dependent on FDA approval of its lead drug candidate deforolimus.  The company expects to complete enrollment in 2009 in its Phase 3 trials, in cooperation with Merck, on oral deforolimus in patients with metastatic sarcomas.  As mentioned earlier, there are some corporate governance issues with ARIA.

I did look at the fact sheet found at the WSJ online about the details of the stimulus bill which will without question never be looked at by those who just label the spending as pork.  One reason that I checked it was to confirm that the 19 billion for health care information technology was still in the bill.  Those funds are still in the bill, and this is relevant to my recent purchase of Allscripts- MisysMDRX: Summary for Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Sol - Yahoo! Finance

Ciber, a small position at 50 shares, was awarded a contract with Montgomery County in Maryland to install Oracle software. CIBER Wins Contract With Montgomery County, Maryland to Implement Oracle E- Business Solution: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Retail sales gained 1% last month, the first rise in six months.  Retail sales rise 1 percent in January - Yahoo! Finance

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