Ian Agar

Long only, value, special situations, growth at reasonable price
Ian Agar
Long only, value, special situations, growth at reasonable price
Contributor since: 2012
If you look at the Form 4, the vast majority of those shares were "previously delivered to a third party in consideration for services that were never rendered and were subsequently returned to the reporting person." Also, the purchase price and the sale price are $0.52 cents apart, with a purchase price of $14.62 and a sale price of $15.14; the shares were not acquired prior to Friday's rise. Further, Shkreli still owns over 2.8 million shares after Friday's sale.
So your claim that this is material to Shkreli's reputation is moot.
Source: http://bit.ly/1iTBdVd
If Mr. Shkreli still was looking to make money the hedge fund way, wouldn't he be short his own company? Obviously this isn't the case. Also, I doubt people are waiting to see what he says on Twitter before making investing decisions, so your assertion that his Tweets were trying to trump up neutral news is speculation, at best. You mentioned that his "THANK GOD" tweet is evidence he was a lousy trader at the hedge fund. Do you really think your assertion would hold up in court? I can see it now: "The suspect murdered a man because he said 'no THANK GOD' when asked if he obeys the law." That would not fly far at all.
Also, a product is NOT going to sell itself. Coca Cola is still running advertisements in every space it can, yet it is an obvious legend of all time. Are you suggesting that successful drugs need no sales team at all? As said above, the diseases these drugs target are rare. In psychology, the term "availability heuristic" means a person makes a decision or conclusion based on the most recently available memories, such as a doctor making a diagnosis based on similarities to a show he watched the night prior. Medical doctors may NEVER run across these rare diseases, at least in an obvious, easy-to-diagnose manner. This is clearly where the need for sales, marketing, and publicity are needed--how would medical doctors prescribe a drug that they may not even know exists since the target consumer is such a rarity to begin with?
Hi Webdez1! Thank you for reading. I am sorry to hear about your loss. I don't hold a thoroughly researched opinion at this time on Sprout's stock, but I will echo a lot of what "howlda" mentioned to you.
I agree in that the market currently seems to be unpredictable at times, but this can be to your advantage in resolving your loss on SFM. For example, Bank of America (BAC) was on a steady track over the last year to two years to be the poster child for a buy-and-hold stock rebound, as Warren Buffet's large investment in the bank appeared to be paying off. The stock went from $7.50 to a recent peak of $18, but after the bank announced their accounting slip-up, it has dropped to the $14's right now unexpectedly. Now may be a buying time, or it may be the start of a greater loss. Playing it day-by-day, however, could be very profitable; sometimes there may be small patterns, like one day a stock is down 2% on no news, then it rebounds the following day by 3%. That could be a 3% gain for you.
Second, as howlda said, Whole Foods is seeing some trouble lately. This has definitely proven beneficial to Sprouts as they are direct competitors. This could provide Sprouts with the needed break to gain some leverage in the organic/natural food niche market, which may cause the stock to turnaround with time. I haven't researched Sprouts' most recent earnings report, but take a look particularly at their profit margins, revenue, and profit, and compare it to how their past outlook statements match up to these numbers. Is management steering the company in the right direction? Are they really taking advantage of competitor weakness?
Thanks again for reading.
Hi Strategicinvestor! Thanks for your readership and comments. I cannot wager on anything at the moment, but I can say that I am more referring to the companies in terms of investment potential. There are many points that can be said of the companies and stock prices on various factors, but my thesis primarily involves a few certain key aspects. First, as you can judge by the price action of JCP today and in the past few trading sessions, momentum plays a large part in it. Same goes for BAC--even when the bank had an unprofitable quarter, the price action swayed greatly depending on what the overall sentiment was. For example, when Warren Buffet announced his famous investment in BAC, the stock jumped over 9% (http://cnnmon.ie/1aYSb2E) on the news alone. The same appears to be happening regarding the JCP CEO's recent $1 million purchase of company stock.
Further, both companies have hit rock bottom prices, with BAC reaching $3.6 at the height of the mortgage crisis and JCP dropping to around $6.50. Both have since increased significantly, with BAC now over $15 and JCP over $10. Further, both companies have relied on wise decisions from reliable CEO's to fully unlock their turnaround potential. BAC CEO Brian Moynihan has steered the company away from its near bankruptcy-state a few years ago, and the same could potentially be said of Mr. Ullman of JCP. While former CEO Ron Johnson was brought in to revamp the company, he appears to have done far more damage than help. Yet, in only the second quarter (3Q 2013) that Mr. Ullman has been CEO since assuming his position this past April, JCP has already seen a year-over-year increase in online sales and same-store sales for the first time since December 2011.
There are many other points and discussion topics that we could trade regarding the two companies but the above summarizes why, although BAC and JCP are two different businesses and have different profit sources, they are still similar from an investment standpoint.
Thanks again for your feedback!
Very great point, 200Bucks. That is definitely something I did not think about but even further adds to my confidence in the stock. I am staying long for the long term and will add more on dips, in addition to swing trading at times. Big money maker in the making with JCP, in my opinion. Thanks for your comment!
Thank you for your comment and readership, ems-99. I totally agree with you regarding a visit to JCPenney that I conducted this past weekend. It was bustling and I noticed the classic old pricing strategy in place. No longer was "everything" on sale at the everyday price; rather, I recognized the traditional targeted sales, with some items being higher priced than others. Business is back, pricing is back, I definitely see the recovery taking place. I think Mr. Ullman is really turning this ship around and the evidence is quite tangible.
I enjoyed my trip to JCPenney, if for no other reason than to simply scope out the situation incident to my stock purchase. Thanks again for reading!
Hi doggiecool! The reason for this may be due to delays in article review, as SeekingAlpha for example has about a 24-hour editorial review time frame. Perhaps articles covering the CEO's stock purchase may start to surface tomorrow. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed reading in regards to the other positive aspects of this company's stock. Thanks for your readership!
Thank you for your readership! :)
Hi BudH! Thank you for your comment and readership. I look forward to seeing how the stock plays out over the next six months. As I mentioned, I do believe Safeway to be a great company; I am just uncertain of the future given the solid information so far. However, you bring up good points and I enjoy seeing reader feedback to expand my investing knowledge! Thanks!
Thank you for providing a viewpoint based on research and facts. When I first read you were short JCP at the top of the article, I honestly thought it would be another bashing article (getting tired of those). But I enjoyed reading your factual analysis from previous experiences.
I am long JCP and will find the coming few days to possibly be a buying opportunity on weakness. Warren Buffet, back in October, said he believes in JCP and is not worried about the retailer making a comeback--he was right on the money when he said the same about BAC (shares have doubled for him). I came to the same conclusion on JCP even before Buffet's comments, and I so far have made some money by swing trading JCP in addition to my core long position.
Anyway, great article! Keep up the high-quality writing!
Thank you for your response. The reason it was not mentioned in my article was because the buyout was not the primary driver over the past 6-12 months of the stock price. If you look at the 6-month chart, (http://yhoo.it/1c1eQwC;range=6m;compare=;ind... you will notice that the share price was at approximately $32.90 on October 21,2013, the day before Reuters reported talks of a buyout. The stock slowly reached that point over the months prior.
Therefore, while the buyout rumors shot the price to $35 after being reported, my article is analyzing the factual, material details that have brought the share price up to its current $32+ range over the past year--which were completely independent of any buyout rumors and is a price that was reached before any rumors of buyout surfaced. I believe the merit and topic of a potential buyout are suitable for a different article, which has already been covered anyway in previous SeekingAlpha articles, as the debate of such a buyout being practical or real is a whole separate issue. I also hold a personal journalistic integrity policy to not comment on unconfirmed rumors without having some kind of verified factual information to report on; that is not currently the case with such rumors.
I appreciate your readership. Thank you for your comment and I hope I have addressed any concerns you may have had.
Hi Bob2bob! Thank you for your comment and readership. I completely agree with you: it is a solid investment for the long-term, and the dividend alone eventually will buy your shares. Each time earnings are released, usually the stock drops 3-5%, but I find this to be a buying opportunity. It usually rebounds, and a quick gain can be made this way, too.
Thanks for your comment!
Hi AdamDivy! Thanks for your readership and your comment. I agree that Safeway was an excellent deal in the low-20's and below. I feel regretful for not buying shares then as it would have been a great investment, but hindsight is 20/20 I suppose! At this point, I am going to wait for it to go downward and then I may consider buying.
Congratulations on your gains! Good luck to you.
Thank you for reading and commenting, Mr. Bryan. I am sorry regarding the 13% drop in stock price on your shares, but it is good to hear your purchase was limited in quantity and that you and your wife are enjoying the company ownership aspect of stock. I too have a few sentiment purchases. In the past year, I purchased Wendy's stock because I was completely obsessed with their pretzel sandwiches and I craved the feeling of being a partial owner of that delicious goodness every time I walked in a Wendy's location. I completely understand the joy such stock ownership brings.
As for the dilution, it appears that yesterday they announced a detailed press release regarding dates and such. I look forward to following the stock in the coming year to see where it reaches a stable resting place after the dust settles.
Thanks again!
Thank you very much for your readership and comment, buzzavery. I agree that this is a long-term process in transferring from a landline focused company to an enterprise and business focused company. So far, they are doing quite well in my eyes! I feel some people may see the company only skin-deep and conclude there is not much hope. However, I am holding for the long term, and so far the dividends I have collected have placed me in the green on WIN. I imagine the same may be true for you, and if so, congratulations!
Thanks again!
Thank you both for your comments and readership. The article is referring to the $0.25 dividend per quarter, equaling $1 annually. I apologize for any confusion I may have caused. Thanks!
Thank you mwaldmer for your comment. I am glad you enjoyed the article.
I, too, have grown tiresome of negative articles regarding the company. I have always believed the company has a lot of promise and is doing fine work in the telecommunications market. For this, I strongly believe they are setting themselves up for a bright future, but it is not an immediate future. However, with the safe dividend, I have always thought that an investor buying now, with a multi-year timeframe, would be paid to wait and someday it will all pay off. I continue to believe this with each new press release or earnings report, and I continue to hold for the long term.
Thanks again for your comment!
Thank you for your comment, meichler. I seem to have overlooked including the "per quarter" indication in the article, so thank you for catching that. I appreciate your readership!
Thank you for your comment, rgperrin. I received S&P's report through my broker and upon reading it recently, I was delighted to see their 5 star rating. They also painted a positive outlook on the company, and I was very happy to see some optimism, as well. So many articles are quick to bash Windstream, especially its dividend which has yet to slash its dividend, despite the fear on the street. I reiterate, much like in my article above, that I do not believe the company will slash the dividend any time soon. The company places it as a top priority and has made this clear in numerous press releases. The financials add up, in my opinion, too.
Thanks for your readership and comment!
Another biased article...This is not the first article to have come out in the past three months saying that ARR is going down the drain and is horrible. There is money to be made if your purchases are timed right. If you bought in mid-August when it dipped below $4, you are at a profit and likely to continue to gain. The word on the street is now that after Friday's job report, which was a disappointment, the Fed may not taper starting this month, as previously thought. ARR rose on the news. If the Fed were to indeed decide not to taper so soon at their meeting in the coming week and a half, then ARR may see some great gains (albeit maybe only temporarily until the next round of tapering rumors, but enough time to book a worthwhile profit).
I think ARR is all about timing right now. Perhaps buy and hold is not good to do at this volatile point, but it certainly is worthy of more time than a quick day trade or not buying at all. I'm holding for a little while longer.
The question becomes where is the funding for the investigation coming from? And what is the current state of the investigation? These are things only insiders know. To say they would need more loans for the investigation may or may not be true; if Takeda is funding enough of it, then there would be no need and then it is great that AFFY paid off its existing debt.
Ultimately, nobody on the outside knows at this point. We can only be optimistic or pessimistic based on the information we know, and paying off debt sounds like a positive sign to me. As has been said, companies going bankrupt don't make it a top priority to pay off their debt first. Very bullish.
In regards to the pessimism in the 10K and related press releases, it is reasonable to say, however, the pessimistic statements are for protection and liability purposes.
Think about it: if three lawsuits against Affymax seem bad right now, just picture how many lawsuits there would be if the company gave a *positive* press release (such as "there is good hope Omontys is coming back" or to the like), and then the company goes BK instead. Or the FDA rejects Omontys altogether, or so on. Then people would be shouting, "Why didn't Affymax mention they were considering bankruptcy???!!!" and calling their lawyers.
The company would be sued into the next millennium for NOT warning investors about the potential for BK/layoffs/etc..!! Damned if you do, damned if you don't really.
Let's just summarize AFFY at this point:
Monday - OMONTYS lives!! $300 by Friday!!!
Tuesday - The world is ending!! AFFY is already bankrupt!! The management is a conspiracy theory against shareholders!!
And repeat for the rest of the week/month.....
It is sad to see that people change their entire sentiment off of one article-just look at Chelsea Therapeutics last week after a Seeking Alpha article came out saying it could double.
I like your article. I am young and I am more focused on growth stocks and such, but hearing your wisdom and experience really puts life into perspective for me and inspires me to start focusing dividend growth stocks for when my next 20-30 years have passed. Good article!
KERX is definitely ready for a correction. The volume has declined compared to Monday (the start of this explosion) and clearly, the percent increase each day is now very little. I've already sold and realised my profits. I think it is safe to wait for the pullback before buying more for a longer-term run.
I am going to ignore StreetAuthority. Very misleading title and I agree with the majority here: this dividend is hardly anything to write about-a special dividend is exactly that: "special," not expected.
sundate36, thank you for your post. I apologize for the late reply.
I have also increased my position, thus lowering my average. I feel the stock has also found support, as you mentioned, and as January 1st comes closer, the stock should at least start heading upward. With the new CEO slowly but surely coming into play, I think the longer-term gains for VRML are slowly coming together. I'm definitely holding this for a while.
Thanks again, and good luck!
I completely disagree with this article. Teavana realistically could not have been priced in because SBUX has traded in the $50 area for several months now-well before the Teavana news was released.
Additionally, the headline today is that Starbucks wants to open 1500 more stores in the United States alone, in addition to reaching 1500 in China by 2015. It also will report in January its first quarter with Verisimo sales, which supposedly have been doing quite well given the initial demand figures.
Starbucks still has plenty of room to run and it hardly has reached a plateau. For the super short term-maybe two weeks to a month-there might not be much movement. But the winter season historically does amazing for the company, and there are plenty of new initiatives that have nowhere near been priced in.
There are several things I would like further consideration on.
First, you mention, "We called and visited a few Teavana locations over Black Friday weekend to hear whether the Company's sales tactics have changed." How many did you visit and call on Black Friday, and how did it compare to your intial calls/visits before testing? You also mentioned calling the Customer Service telephone line and asking, prior to laboratory testing, but not after the results came back. I am hesitant to feel convinced they truly dictated a change in their pitch, post-lab results, simply because a few cashiers said other than you were expecting.
Second, I also am hesitant to feel convinced based off of one lab's results. It is extremely common for companies, such as biotechnology companies, as well as scholars to test products and items through multiple different independent sources. To test it through one lab and consider their results to be absolutely conclusive-enough to build an entire short-stock case and publish it worldwide-is weak, in my opinion. I have a degree in Psychology and I know if I ever presented a thesis that not only supports my well-established personal bias, but also uses one single sole source of research that I hand-picked, my studies would hardly be reputable or viewed as competent. Research, on this scale and in this scope, should hold the same standards.
With only one laboratory researching, there are many things that could have occured that would not be validated without a second opinion. This is common knowledge-again, consider the case of biotechnology companies testing their products through multiple labs and research studies. You recommend investors conduct their own research through their own contacts with a different laboratory. Do we have these results? Has anybody actually done this? Has this issue turned into a lawsuit? Surely you could enjoy a better financial gain through a large-scale lawsuit than simply hoping your stock position pays off in reaction to your research.
In summary, considering your (assumably) large short position in TEA, and the fact that only one choice lab was consulted, I do not feel convinced but rather see this as a weak, biased science experiment.
I hold no position in TEA nor do I have any plans to. I have no financial interest either way.
Thanks sundate36! I hope you got in at the lower price, closer to $1.20. I am still at a slight loss but I am appreciative for every cent closer to my buy price! And this 40+% jump for the OVA-1 study helps greatly. Good news!
Another advantage to monthly dividend payers is the benefits gained by reinvesting the dividends and, consequentially, obtaining more shares sooner. This can make a difference in stocks that noticeably change in price frequently-I'd rather get 10 more shares from my dividend now at, say $5, than wait until the end of the quarter when the price has rised to, say $7. Good article!
I have a feeling the only thing that could send it sharply lower, excluding any more one-time surprise bad news reports, would be a slash in the dividend. That would really send it to new lows! Otherwise, I see this stock either flat or slightly upward in the next 1-2 years.