Readers Ask: Antares, GenVec, Xoma,

 |  Includes: ATRS, GNVC, XOMA
by: VFC's Stock House

In response to a number of requests that I've received via email or comments asking for 'VFC's Take' on numerous stocks that readers have found, I'll do my best to address as many as I can, as long as everyone takes a few things into account while reading:

- I have not thoroughly researched all of the stocks that I'm about to comment on. I've done the initial Due Diligence (DD) but my opinions are mostly based on my first impressions of the stock. I'm merely providing VFC's Take, as requested. Use that as a starting point to do your own DD.

- Don't get testy if I don't like your stock. Remember, this is just my initial impression and I take into consideration some variables that other people don't, that's why VFC's Take is not always the mainstream impression.

- I appreciate all the recent feedback, and keep the stock tips coming; this is a great forum for all investors of all levels to share tips and insights. There's a whole lot of stocks out there, but there's only a few gems. Let's keep trying to find those gems.

AIS: An email from David regarding Antares Pharma, Inc.:

Hello again, VFC (sorry I can't use your name, but I don't know what is is...)I want to thank you for giving your opinion on one of the previous stocks that I mentioned. I appreciate your taking the time for what could turn out to be other people's silly ideas. Here's another one, if you have a moment, but this one is for sure not silly and as a matter of fact, is a biotech. It's called Antares (ticker AIS), and it has been doing well lately. As a provider of new platforms for administering and delivering drugs to the body, it seems to me that it has potential, but I would like to hear the opinion of an expert.Thanks again! ds

VFC's Take: First of all, I would like to emphasize the fact that I'm no expert. I'm no expert and I'm no analyst and have never claimed to be either. Quite simply, I'm just a guy with an opinion who has found an enjoyable hobby - stock investing and the sharing of investment ideas. I just call it like I see it and I try to 'keep it real.' I appreciate all the positive feedback that I've received and I just wanted to make this point for all the new readers.

Now for AIS; right off the bat there are two things that I like about this company at the present time:

1. Additional financing is a non-issue for the next twelve months, according to the most recent quarterly report and

2. Revenues from product sales are growing.

Twelve months without having to raise any money is a fairly long period of time in the speculative world of biotech/small pharma and that means that the company can concentrate on advancing the pipeline and growing sales.

Antares has quite a few products in the pipeline related to it's proprietary delivery systems - which include gels, fast dissolving tablets and needle-free injection systems two of which are FDA approved.

AIS has recovered somewhat after dropping along with the rest of the market during the recent crash and as the company's delivery systems gain acceptance and traction in the market place, there should be a lot more room for this company - and it's stock price - to grow.

I like the technology of Antares' delivery systems and I think that AIS is a decent speculative pick based on the potential of those systems. I'd almost be ready to call AIS a long term growth pick, but I'll hold off on that call until we see cash flow positive and receive some affirmation that management is going to act responsibly with the growing revenue.

Do your own DD, but I think that AIS is a decent long term, speculative pick.

GVBP.OB: A comment from an anonymous reader regarding GENova Biotherapeutics, Inc.:


What are your thoughts on GVBP.OB (Genova Biotherapeutics)?

VFC's Take: In short - I like. I'll state the obvious and say that the risk/reward profile for GVBP while it traded for under a dime was terrific - in fact I would have called it a no-brainer for five cents - but with a market cap of roughly one hundred million right now, the risk/reward aspect is still decent.

Genova embodies two 'sectors' into one stock - stem cell and cancer treatment - and if any of it's early stage treatments for breast or prostate cancer pan out, then this company and it's stock will be a hit - period. However, the company is a long way out from taking anything to market.

Of note, the company is actively seeking partnerships and any announcement of a partnership agreement could significantly move the stock, especially if the agreement comes with an up front payment.

For the time being, I'd add this one to the watch list and see if the stock retreats at all after last Friday's significant move to the upside. It's worth buying a few 'just in case' shares because of the potential, especially if we see the low teens again, but keep in mind more financing will be in order sooner or later and the company already has over 300 million outstanding shares.

As I like to say, for the cost of a good night out on the town (especially the kind of night I had the other night) the small investor can buy a decent amount of shares of GVBP. If the products turn out not to work, you've only missed out on a good night out - but you'll also have missed the hangover. However, if the products work, the rewards will be very significant.

I like GVBP as a highly speculative stem cell/cancer play.

GNVC: A comment from an anonymous reader:

Hi Vinny,
Any thoughts on GNVC or XOMA as mid-term holds?

VFC's Take: I gave my take on GNVC in late July (CLICK HERE) and my opinion has not changed since that time.

I call it a decent enough speculative play, but my primary mid to long term cancer picks are AGEN, ONTY, PPHM, CVM and PCYC - with a spattering of a few others - so I'm not in. Any significant dip would change my mind on that stance.

There's a lot of potential here and I do think that the price will inch up to over a buck (at least) as time draws closer to the release of the results from the company's ongoing Phase III pancreatic cancer trials.

XOMA: I previously commented on XOMA in mid-August (CLICK HERE) and although my opinion has not changed much on this company, I am a tad bit more positive on the company's future thanks to the the $6 million partnership payment from Cephalon Inc.'s (NASDAQ:CEPH) Arana Therapeutics to fund XOMA's antibody research and development.

That being said, partnerships mean little to indicate future potential of a product (just ask Cell Genesys (CEGE)) and I still remain a bit skeptical about this company - if for no other reason than the fact that it's products are in such early stages of development and the stock trades at a market cap of nearly 150 million.

At the end of the day, the six million partnership payment could be a nice tax write off for Cephalon and be not much of an indicator of confidence in the pipeline.

I think there are better speculative plays out there than XOMA, but don't just take my word for it, do your own DD.

HWEG.PK: An email from Citizen Chin:

Not sure how closely you've been following mhtx (though I did see you mention them in a review of another stock you did), but in this past week the share price and volume have ramped up nicely. Share price closed today at .11, with volume of over 7.5 million - (that's like 25x normal volume), and volume this week averaged around 3-4 million per day. They also put out a press release, fluff perhaps, but it might also indicate some real progress, real or anticipated.

If you get a chance, I'd also like to read your thoughts on Hemiwedge Industries,

Thanks and happy trading to you...

VFC's Take: Hemiwedge's claim to fame would be the Hemiwedge Cartridge Valve - a product that the company claims is growing in popularity through increased distribution channels and is therefor bringing in more revenue. According to the most recently released financial reports, the bottom line is getting better, but the company is still a money loser.

As for the stock, I think that there are positives and negatives regarding an investment in HWEG. As a pure speculative investment, I consider OTCQB:MHTX the better bet (I use that company as a comparison because Citizen Chin mentioned it) because of the product potential, but as a trade HWEG could double or triple in price just on volatility alone.

I consider HWEG a small player in a large market and for that reason I wouldn't consider it a long term investment but I would consider buying a few shares to sell into any spike in price.

That's just my opinion.

Disclosure: No positions