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  • Pandora: Profitability On The Way, Business Model Is Stronger Than It Appears [View article]
    it seems that almost every article on either Pandora or Sirius XM ignites debate about the two companies. We, however, see no reason that the 2 companies cannot co-exist. These 2 companies are targeting different markets, and have different business models. While there could come a time when the two are true competitors, we do not think that they are as of this moment
    Feb 14, 2012. 10:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora: Profitability On The Way, Business Model Is Stronger Than It Appears [View article]
    what we meant by that statement is that the data Pandora collects of a user's listening habits allows for more precise ads, not exact ones. There is no technology out today that allows a company to know exactly what you want to buy next. Having said that, ads based on demographics have been around for years. TV is a great example of that. Its why there are pharmaceutical ads are the most common ones on 60 minutes, or ads for children's products in cartoons. because you choose what show to watch, the networks and advertisers can make a guess as to what your tastes may be. Same with Pandora. Unlike traditional radio, you choose what kind of music you want to listen on Pandora. As such, the company can, over time, target ads more effectively. But it can't know exactly what ad to place in front of you. That technology simply does not exist yet.
    Feb 14, 2012. 10:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Sprint: Results Prove Turnaround Is In Progress, And Business Is Healing [View article]
    thank you. we dont see AAPL as an acquirer simply because we dont see how an AAPL/S merger would mesh. Sprint is in a wholly different business, and a merger with it would upset Apple's other carrier partners a great deal. as for dish, that is more difficult to say. their ceo is a great negotiator, and you can bet that if S is in play, dish will, at the very least, be at the table.
    Feb 9, 2012. 12:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amylin Pharmaceuticals: There Are Better Investment Opportunities In Biotech [View article]
    we compared incivek to bydureon not in terms of the medicinal applications, but their competitive positions in the perspective fields. both are the first of a new class of medicines for their perspective diseases, and how each company works to hold its first-mover advantage is critical.

    the article never advises readers to sell amylin, nor does it say the stock is a good short candidate. the purpose was to simply highlight the belief that there are better biotechnology companies to invest in. a look at the holdings of the biotechnology etf we own, the first trust nyse arca biotechnology index fund (FBT) shows that amylin is the second largest holding.
    Feb 3, 2012. 05:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amylin Pharmaceuticals: There Are Better Investment Opportunities In Biotech [View article]
    The goal of the article was not to say Bydureon wont sell in the marketplace, or that is is somehow a bad drug. Indeed, analysts at Robert Baird & Co. estimates call for sales of up to $754 million by 2015. ( and Deutsche Bank thinks sales could reach $1 billion by then ( The scope of the article should have been clearer. The point it was trying to make was that Amylin has its work cut out for it, and that at the current price the stock is trading at, there are better biotechnology companies to invest in. Amylin still owes $1.2 billion in royalties to Eli Lilly, which is developing its own once weekly treatment in the same class of medicine (GLP-1) as Bydureon ( Eli Lilly will have learned from Amylin's previous 2 applications to the FDA, and is most likely working hard to ensure that its drug, dulaglutide, gets approved on the first try (it is currently in Phase III trials).

    Given the long delays in getting Bydureon approved by the FDA, many analysts have cut sales projections for Bydureon to a point where it could be easier for Amylin to beat them. However, financials concerns are once again present. 8% of Bydureon sales must be paid to Alkermes, and there is still $1.2 billion in royalties to be paid. The characterization of the termination of the partnership between Amylin and Eli Lilly as being worse for Amylin was due to mostly to this. Eli Lilly, which received a $1.2 billion secured bond from Amylin, will get paid no matter what happens to Bydureon. While Bydureon will sell, the structuring of this deal does make it seem like Eli Lilly dictated terms to Amylin.

    While it is always good for patients to have more choice in the drug market, it is not always ideal for the companies that sell into that market. While Victoza is dosed daily, the DURATION-6 trial showed that Bydureon does not work as well as Victoza ( Patients on Victoza had better control of their blood sugar than those on Bydureon, a fact revealed by Amylin's own studies. In addition, the needles used in Victoza are smaller than those used in Bydureon (

    In addition to Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline is developing its own weekly diabetes drug, albiglutide, which is in Phase III trials ( There is a reason that the vast majority of our exposure to biotechology stocks is through ETF's, since that approach minimizes the risk of any one company failing to commercialize its products or execute as well as it should. There is a reason that the only two biotechnology stocks we own outright are Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX). Alexion's drugs have no competition, due to its specialty focus on orphan diseases. And Vertex has outlined a clear path to make Incivek, its HCV drug, mean little to the company in the long term.

    Vertex was used as an example in the article because of the parallels it has with Amylin. Incivek was the first HCV drug on the market to improve on existing treatments in a meaningful way, much as Bydureon is the first in its class. Yet the stock has stagnated over the past year, as investors are concerned about the effects of interferon-free therapies on Incivek sales, even though most of those are still at least 2 years away from market. However, Vertex is rapidly diversifying. Kalydeco was recently approved for the treatment of a rare form of cystic fibrosis and the Vertex pipeline is filled with several new therapies. The selling point of Incivek at this moment in time is that it is the only drug of its kind, and by the time superior drugs appear on the market, Vertex will have moved on. The question is, can Amylin move on past Bydureon? While the monthly version of Bydureon is promising, it is at least several years away, and Amylin will have to step up when Eli Lilly and Glaxo launch their weekly diabetes medicines if it wants to maintain its first-mover advantage. We will be listening closely on the next conference call to see what management has to say about its prospects.

    The intent of the article was not to pan Bydureon or its medicinal attributes. Rather, it was to highlight that Amylin is facing an uphill battle in its road to profitability. To compete against Novo Nordisk in Europe, the company will need to muster a lot of marketing muscle, and the loss of Eli Lilly's financial backing will most likely strain the balance sheet even more. Michael King, of Rodman & Renshaw noted that Amylin quickly needs to re-partner with another pharmaceutical company to market Bydureon outside the United States. Amylin itself noted this in outlining its 2012 corporate strategy (;highlight=).

    Analysts have, for the most part, been rather cold in their receptions of the Bydureon approval. Goldman Sachs revised its price target from $7 to $11, but still kept a sell rating ( Baird raised its price target from $15 to $17 on the back of the Bydureon approval. With Amylin shares trading at over $17, the question is how much more upside is there from current levels? Although, given the pessimism prevailing on Wall Street, it could be easier for Amylin to beat expectations.

    Helix Investment Management was founded in San Diego, and we can tell you that Amylin, along with many other biotechnology companies, is a source of pride for our city. We would like to believe that Amylin will be successful, and hope that it is. But at the moment, there are better investment opportunities in the biotechnology sector. That was the message this article was trying to send. We eagerly await the conference call on Monday. New data and management commentary on the state of the market could lead us to revise our opinion on Amylin.This article was never intended to argue that Amlylin is a stock to short. We happen to be long Amylin via the First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index Fund. The message the article was trying to send was that there are better investment opportunities in this sector relative to Amylin. But that message should have been delivered in a clearer way that did not appear to criticize Bydureon. As such, we have decided to donate the proceeds from this article's page views to the American Diabetes Association.
    Feb 3, 2012. 02:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy J.C. Penney: The Turnaround (And Rally) Has Only Just Begun [View article]
    analysts were skeptical of johnson's plans for the apple retail business in 2000 as well.

    someone at seeking alpha liked the article, otherwise it wouldn't have been marked as an editor's pick.
    Feb 2, 2012. 12:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy J.C. Penney: The Turnaround (And Rally) Has Only Just Begun [View article]
    thank you for the compliment. thoughts as to where the stock goes should it break resistance?
    Feb 2, 2012. 11:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy J.C. Penney: The Turnaround (And Rally) Has Only Just Begun [View article]
    very true words. retail is most definitely a complex business. the challenge is to pick out retailers that have what it takes to differentiate themselves from the competition. hopefully, the future JC Penney will be a more unique place to shop
    Feb 2, 2012. 11:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy J.C. Penney: The Turnaround (And Rally) Has Only Just Begun [View article]
    the essential rationale for the stock is that cost savings, as well as the store modernization and merchandising programs, will ultimately restore sales. In his analyst day presentation, johnson spelled out his goal of increasing market share from its present 3%. as for advertising, simply spending the most on advertising does not guarantee the promotion of your brand. Costco, for instance, spends nothing on promoting itself, yet sales are just fine. JC Penney needs to make its promotions more effective, not simply ramp up ad spending. the overall retail environment is pretty healthy, as evidence by the release of january sales numbers by many major retailers

    of those, the companies with negative comps, like Gap, are those with structural issues that are unrelated to the economy. most retailers, however, are doing fine.
    Feb 2, 2012. 11:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy J.C. Penney: The Turnaround (And Rally) Has Only Just Begun [View article]
    JC Penney has been trapped in a cycle of under-investment for several years, no doubt about it. however, it looks like they are going to aggressively modernize the stores to escape a future where they are the next Sears. only time will tell if Ron Johnson is successful in his endeavor to change the company
    Feb 2, 2012. 11:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy J.C. Penney: The Turnaround (And Rally) Has Only Just Begun [View article]
    it is true that right now, JCP's trailing P/E is far above the sector average. the thing to remember is that investing in JCP going forward is based on the belief that Johnson can re-energize the company and deliver earnings growth at a rate much faster than TGT or WMT. if he can, JCP's multiple no longer looks so unreasonable
    Feb 2, 2012. 11:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy J.C. Penney: The Turnaround (And Rally) Has Only Just Begun [View article]
    some good points there. Q1 2012 results will be released on May 10
    Feb 2, 2012. 11:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy J.C. Penney: The Turnaround (And Rally) Has Only Just Begun [View article]
    according to google finance, JCP is up just under 60% from its august low. and it is important to keep this rally in context. just a few years ago, JCP was trading in the 70's and 80's. it may take some time to get there, but the turnaround will be successful in returning the stock to its past prices
    Feb 2, 2012. 11:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals: Great Pipeline, Valuation And Future [View article]
    those numbers are derived from credit suisse data. it seems that the numbers are based on an assumption that kalydeco can expand its market in the long run
    Jan 31, 2012. 03:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clearwire: At Long Last, Positive EBITDA And LightSquared Collapse Confirm Deep Value [View article]
    CLWR's debt and equity raises, totaling some $1 billion, are all marked for the LTE buildout, which should begin this year and go into 2013. the network should be up and running sometime then
    Jan 29, 2012. 02:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment