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  • Merck Looks Poised For MannKind

    Back in the Spring I opined that I thought Merck would partner with MannKind after data came back from the Affinitty trials. I still think it will happen - Merck issued a press release saying they are cutting back on R&D and refocusing. From the October 1st press release:

    • The company will increase its focus on the key therapeutic areas that meet unmet medical needs, provide the best opportunities for the business and deliver the greatest value for customers - diabetes, acute hospital care, vaccines and oncology.

    Then on Merck's Q3 conference call this morning prepared statements included:

    "As we think about our business going forward, we are focused on balancing the short term and the long term by resourcing the key internal programs to deliver our pipeline, including potential game-changers like anti-PD1, while also augmenting our pipeline with even greater emphasis on external opportunities."


    "we remain ready to bolster the pipeline with external innovation at any time"

    In response to a question:

    Roger Perlmutter - President, Merck Research Laboratories

    "With respect to our programs, we have been looking at a variety of different ways to assist in the therapy of patients with diabetes. We haven't disclosed any information about how we might move forward in that area, so I really don't have any comments about that."

    Things are not going well for Merck. They have plenty of money and credit but they are under pressure and need to make something happen. They repeatedly brought up their patents expiring and their lead diabetes drug Januvia actually shrank in sales last quarter - while diabetes remains one of the fastest growing diseases in the world.

    I think Merck and MannKind will partner up.

    ...also I am working on an in-depth article on a new stock, email to be added to my free newsletter.

    Disclosure: I am long MNKD.

    Oct 28 2:10 PM | Link | 11 Comments
  • Trick-Or-Cash-Secured-Put

    For the third Halloween in a row I would like to dress up as a Cash Secured Put, and for the third Halloween in a row I am flummoxed at how to pull it off.

    I was thinking I could go as a celebrity whose initials are P.U.T. and then have ropes of cash tying me to something ("securing me"), or have friends dressed in cash carrying guns protecting ("securing") me. Perhaps a Covered Call would be easier to manage. Reverse Iron Condor?


    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Additional disclosure: I don't actually have anywhere to be on Halloween.

    Tags: Halloween
    Oct 27 10:04 PM | Link | 4 Comments
  • Log Up And Line On To Netflix

    Netflix's chart tells the story of a stock that has been basically flat with two huge surges:

    (click to enlarge)

    Or does it? Let's look at NFLX's chart logarithmically.

    (click to enlarge)

    If you have $100 and gain $20, you have a nice gain in percentage terms. If you have $1,000,000 and gain $20, you do not have a nice gain in percentage terms.

    Looking at the (Captain's) log shows similar percentage moves visually the same. A 10% move in 2004 looks the same as a 10% move in 2013.

    And knowing is half the battle.

    Oct 25 2:19 PM | Link | 8 Comments
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