Intra-Cellular Therapies (“ITCI”) Stock Soars While Key Clinical Data Not Presented to Shareholders Looks Highly Disappointing

(July 15th, 2015) Biotech stocks have been on fire. And for good reason as numerous life-saving discoveries have come out of small, previously-unknown firms, making their owners rich many times over. But beneath the surface, a number of troubling drug development companies have caught the attention of investors with clinical data that’s dubious at best. With seemingly endless amounts of optimism, these biotech stocks have ridden the wave of investor enthusiam even when the data doesn’t look as promising as the market caps seem to indicate.

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All You Ever Wanted to Know About Retrophin But Were Afraid to Ask

(June 2nd, 2014) Humans, like atoms, abhor unsteady states of existence. Just like electron transport gravitates towards a steady-state, people gravitate towards peaceful lands and away from battleground areas. Read more

Know What to Buy When Putin Comes Knocking

So Putin rolls a bunch of tanks up to the Ukrainian border and the market slides a percent or so. In any other market that would be considered a yawn. But here in the good ‘ol US of A, where the average active investor can barely remember the dog days of ’08, few traders seem to have the skill set necessary to maneuver in a down market. Having done this for 20+ years, I thought it would be helpful to share my trading tips for when war comes knocking.
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QuickNote 5/8/13 : CIE / FXEN

Cobalt Energy (NYSE: CIE) and FX Energy (Nasdaq: FXEN) are both staring at major binary events in the next 30-90 days that make the call options in both names very attractive spec plays.

Cobalt is currently about to spud the Lontra, a massive Pre-Salt prospect in offshore Angola (Block 20) that, without exaggeration, is the world’s most highly anticipated wildcat well of all of 2013.

On top of this exciting drill, there are 3-5 additional wells being drilled this year that could lead to 1 billion+ barrel finds. I’m afraid to even write what the upper limits of a potential Lontra find could be, but needless to say it could exceed the entire company’s proven reserves to date.

Cobalt announced a secondary offering this morning of 50,000,000 shares by long time backer Goldman, Sachs & Co. Goldman ponied up a significant amount of the risk capital to bootstrap this world class exploration company and is now reaping its’ just rewards. Goldman has been a seller in the past, and has proven itself to be acting outside of any insider information out there – they have sold large blocks in front of major succesful finds in the past. In other words, I wouldn’t read anything into the chances for Lontra hitting black gold from today’s large sale of stock.

FX Energy is slated to announce the preliminary results from two wells that could be company-defining in size. The Tuchola has already successfully flared gas, approximately 5 million cubic feet per day with traces of condensate. The Plawce is a large frack job being done by Halliburton, which if successful could lead to dozens of similar plays within acreage FX controls. Success on either front could lead to additional reserves worth many multiples of the current stock price.

Cobalt is down around $2/share off the secondary, and that makes the out of the money calls a far better buy today then they were before. I’ve purchased chunks of the Oct $30s, and some Jan 22.5c for good measure. Both are great risk/reward flyers.

FX Energy seems to be suffering from the apathetic attention of a market that is fed up with management’s prior failures. I should know – I was one of those who got stung on last year’s Kutno dud. But the market shouldn’t care about that if either Tuchola or Plawce pan out. I can remove the risk in this name by scooping up the June, September and December 5 calls for pennies. If both of these wells get plugged & abandoned I’m out of this name with little damage, whereas if either one of these pan out I’m good to go. We should know a lot more about both of these wells in the next 4-6 weeks, but to play this spec conservatively I would recommend spreading your chips over the various option months available.

These plays are suitable only for those traders with the ability to sustain 100% losses, as both these calls will go zero if things don’t play out. When I buy such positions, I always ask myself, if, in the event I had 10 similar ‘hands’ to bet on, would I be sitting at this blackjack table and putting ‘gelt on the felt’.

In the case of both Cobalt & FX Energy, the answer is a resounding YES.

At the time of the publication of this QuickNote, the author was long Cobalt Energy calls, and FX Energy calls and common stock. Positions may change at any time.

” Concentration is my motto – first honesty, then industry, then concentration. ” Andrew Carnegie