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Thomas Almond
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I have been retired for over ten years. I did the online poker thing, but got tired of it after three million hands, so I have decided to take my poker bank and make a serious stab at playing with stocks. I have been in and out of the market for 15 years, but this is the first time I have ever... More
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  • TWTR Will Be Under $30 In June.

    I swear it has becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between shameless day/swing trade "Pump and Dumpers" and delusional Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) investors suffering from "gold fever".

    No one in their right mind can honestly make a valid argument that TWTR is trading at this valuation because of some "years down the road" potential given what we know about how this IPO was done with such a small float to make the stock easily manipulated in either direction. The steady stream of media hype to go with it tells you that some very influential forces are behind this pump and dump scam.

    The only type of person who would consider buying TWTR at the current price to hold long would have to be the type of person who would fall for one of those Nigerian e-mail scams.

    Everyone I know that is bullish about TWTR on StockTwits is glued to their trading platform all day every day making sure they are ready to pull the plug and dump the shares on a moments notice. Some of them began exiting last Friday. The smart ones did anyway. Others are just day trading it. Today they got burned. Playing TWTR as a Bull is like playing musical chairs. The music will stop on a moments notice. When it does there will be a great many bag holders wishing they had not been so greedy.

    Earnings will be an exercise in damage control. The question to be answered is how much they lost. Not how much they made, but in the end the only thing the Bulls will talk about is the revenue. Not the expenses. Profits have never existed with TWTR and that fact must be ignored to inflate the share price and keep it up long enough so that 10's of millions of the 450 million currently locked shares can be dumped on the market for far more than they are worth. That process will begin February 15th and end sometime in May.

    Twitter will give their quarterly earnings report on February 5th, but what most people will not realize is that the revenue numbers will be padded with the Holiday Seasons advertising sales which accounts for nearly a 1/3 of the yearly advertising revenue. It was a smart decision to time TWTR's first ER to coincide with the 4th Quarter of the year which has ALWAYS been their bumper quarter. It will make them look much better than they really are and the Bulls will try and pump their dump with it. Of that you can be sure.

    Making matters worse is the fact that they will use NON-GAAP accounting methods to hide as much of the reality as they can get away with. In particular the Bulls blinded by greed will completely ignore the expense of the compensation packages that will inevitably lead to significant shareholder dilution taking the current 545 million share float up to 705 million.

    Wait until June to buy shares. You will likely see TWTR below $30 per share.

    Disclosure: I am short TWTR, .

    Additional disclosure: Additional disclosure: Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed to constitute investment advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation or endorsement to buy or sell any security.

    Tags: TWTR
    Jan 07 5:32 PM | Link | 2 Comments
  • Mast Therapeutics, Inc.: A Swing Traders Play Too

    Mast Therapeutics, Inc (NYSEMKT:MSTX) is a great long term investment, but I have been swing trading it successfully now for a couple of months. It seems to be trading within its Bollinger Band offering repeatable opportunities for between 10% to 20% profit per swing trade.

    There is a solid bottom due to the cash on hand with financing just recently out of the way and multiple good catalysts upcoming in the third and fourth quarters. Trading both below book ($0.76) and well below enterprise value has the bulls calling this play a no brainer.

    This new evaluation of MST-118 EPIC trial with phase III redesigned (Peds only) sets up MSTX for huge win. A new article published on 9/25 called "Mast Therapeutics Begins Pivotal Phase 3 Study in Children with Sickle Cell Disease" can be accessed at the hyperlink.

    For Swing Traders

    Here are a few of the sources I use to help keep abreast of when to buy and when to sell. I don't base my decision when to buy, or sell solely on these analytics, but they are fun to use and do provide valuable insight towards making decisions.

    Stock Consultant at

    Three Bullish Indicators with an overall technical summery that is 90% Bullish with zero Bearish Indicators as of the time of this publication.

    1) Intermediate trend bullish, Downtrend turned sideways, possible bottom. (This is the third time in a row it has bottomed here)

    2) Mild bullish 3 day chart pattern with Good 3 day accumulation.

    3) at support

    Candlestick chart patterns at

    Our system's recommendation today is to BUY. The BULLISH HARAMI CROSS pattern finally received a confirmation because the prices crossed the confirmation level which was at 0.4331, and our valid average buying price stands now at 0.4340. The previous SELL recommendation was issued on 9/11/2013, 9 days ago, when the stock price was 0.4500. Since then MSTX has fallen by -3.56%.

    Market Outlook

    Let's jump on our white horses and go for a bullish ride. Today's candlestick has a white body and its close is above the confirmation level. The bullish pattern that was previously identified is finally confirmed and a BUY signal is generated. The trend is also bullish and perhaps it is the right time to participate in bullish fervor. The market is telling you about a new profit. Do not miss this bullish opportunity.

    Here at you can find some great analysis tools.

    Mast Therapeutics Inc is now traded for 0.43 . This company has historical hype elasticity of 0.35 and average elasticity to hype of competition of 0.44. Mast Therapeutics Inc is projected to increase in value after the next headline with price jump to $0.57. The average volatility of media hype impact on the company stock price is about 84.43%. The price appreciation on the next news is estimated to be 32.67% where as daily expected return is now at 0.15%. The volatility of related hype on Mast is about 67.26% with expected price after next announcement by competition of 0.87. The company has Current Ratio of 15.93 suggesting that it is liquid enough and is able to pay its financial obligations when they are due. Given investment horizon of 30 days, the next projected press release will be in a few days.

    P.S. Enjoy these resources for other stocks as well.

    Disclosure: I am long MSTX.

    Tags: MSTX, Biotech
    Sep 23 3:16 PM | Link | 28 Comments
  • Mast Therapeutics Inc; A Potential Ten Bagger

    Over the past few months it is estimated that over 54,000,000 shares of the 102,710,000 shares outstanding of Mast Therapeutics Inc. (NYSE MKT: MSTX) have been bought up by the "Who's Who" of Institutional Investment firms, yet the PPS has remained at, or very near the 52 week low of $0.41 which is less than the $0.50 the institutions just recently paid in the June 2013 offering which implies the current market cap is roughly $14 million under cash value. As with most stock offerings their are institutional warrants with options to buy additional shares. They would not be in the money until the PPS reaches $0.65 which from this writers point of view would make a great first target price netting a very generous profit for a shorter term swing trade given the current PPS.

    The opportunity to buy stock in this company while it is trading below book value will not likely last much longer. MSTX has over $50 million in cash with no debt. There is no further risk of an ATM dilution with the June 2013 financing out of the way. Given the current burn rate of $5-6 million a quarter and available cash of $69.6 million (once all warrants are exercised) MSTX has adequate financial resources for at least 3 years, which would allow them ample time to bring at least one application of their lead product MST-188 to market.

    The Pipeline

    MSTX is initially developing MST-188 as their lead product candidate to be used as a treatment for complications arising from sickle cell disease.

    Exelbine™, or ANX-530 (vinorelbine injectable emulsion), is a novel emulsion formulation of the chemotherapy drug vinorelbine (Navelbine®). MSTX is seeking a partner or outside investor to continue development of the Exelbine program.

    ANX-514 (docetaxel for injectable emulsion) is a novel, detergent-free emulsion formulation of the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. MSTX is seeking a partner or outside investor to continue development of the ANX-514 program.

    A Fresh Start

    MSTX changed their corporate name in March of 2013. Prior to the name change it was called ADVENTRX and traded under the ticker (NYSE MKT: ANX). Over the years the stock has traded to as high as $12.00 per share to as low as it is right now. The company's recent name change is the beginning of a new story. There's nothing like a clean break with the past if you want to focus on the future.

    MSTX certainly meets the criteria to classify it as a bottom play. It is not too far of a stretch to postulate that MSTX is a candidate for a buyout offer that could see the PPS double, or triple overnight. That is in fact a rumor that has been being floated for quite some time, but certainly not one that I would suggest is worth banking on; although it may very well be one worth cashing in on at some point.

    It is my belief that the positive results of studies and trials that have met their end points; along with the recent financing to fully fund the phase III trials of MST-188 in conjunction with the massive influx of institutional investors and positive analyst coverage have created a perfect storm.

    The conditions for a series of positive catalysts that could propel the PPS of MSTX to increasing multiples of its current value are in place. For those more risk averse MSTX appears to be poised for a short term profitable swing trade at the very least as we approach the MST-118 FDA Orphan status designation as the next near term catalyst.

    2013 Catalyst Event Timing

    Initiate tQT/QTc Study Completed

    Secure Orphan Designation for MST-188 for SCD in EU Completed

    Activate First Site in Phase 3 Study Completed

    File New Patent Applications Completed

    Dose First Subject in Phase 3 Study Completed

    Report data from tQT/QTc Study Q3 Completed

    (See Sample of Positive Data we can expect during Phase III Trials.)

    Submit Applications for U.S. Government Funding for Phase 2 Study in Resuscitation of Shock following Major Trauma Q3

    Request Orphan Designation for MST-188 for ALI in U.S. Q3

    Initiate Nonclinical Proof-of-Concept Study in Heart Failure Q3

    Open First Ex-U.S. Clinical Site in Phase 3 Study Q4

    Initiate Phase 2 Study in ALI Q4 '13/Q1 '14

    A Sample of the Positive Data to Come from the Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UC Davis School of Medicine, Davis, CA, USA.

    MSTX)+Said+Clinical+QT+Study+Of+MST-188+Met+Primary+Endpoint/8522279.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Overlooked Meaning of the Successful QT/QTc Trial. When the poloxamer 188 drug was first acquired by MSTX, it was stated that the solution to the negative effects of the previous clinical trials was thought to be "a failure on the manufacturer's part to provide a proper level of purification". The success of the 64 patient QT/QTc trial has verified that evaluation. What we have now is a safe drug that was found to be "generally well-tolerated at both therapeutic and supratherapeutic doses", that has already been granted Orphan Drug Designation for pediatric SCD (Sickle Cell Disease) in Europe. Now what remains is verification of the data which has been derived from over 100 pharmacology studies, more than 15 clinical studies in multiple indications in which over 2,500 subjects have been exposed to both purified and non-purified poloxamer 188, and over two decades of experience manufacturing and purifying poloxamers.

    Video of Management of Mast Therapeutics speaking about MST-188 for Sickle Cell Disease.

    Valuation by Dawson James Securities

    Based upon the recent merger and acquisition activity, it is estimated that the SCD application of MST-188 is valued at $340-$665 million. Assessing MST-188's market potential and valuation in respect to cardiovascular related diseases is much easier. According to leading analysts, the Peripheral Arterial Disease therapeutics market is expected to reach $1 billion by 2017, the estimated global market for Acute Heart Failure therapeutics is projected to reach $4.8 billion by the year 2017, and global Acute Ischemic Stroke therapeutics market is expected to reach approximately $880m by 2018. MSTX is grossly undervalued with a market cap of only $44 million, while its leading product has multi-billion dollar potential. Appreciation of 5x to 10x ($2.25- $4.50) in the two years leading up to the Phase 3 results is not unreasonable and may occur sooner based on partnerships and Phase 2 ALI results.

    JMP Securities initiated coverage on MSTX with a Market Outperform on 4/2/2013 with a PT $2.00.

    Piper Jaffray initiated coverage of MSTX on 6/25/2013 to Overweight with a PT of $1.00.

    Vista Partners updated coverage of MSTX on 7/18/2013 with a twelve-month price target of $2.25.

    Ross Silver, Principal Analyst at Vista Partners, stated, "MSTX completed an underwritten public offering in June with institutional investors that include Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN), Deerfield Capital Management & others that collectively own approximately 50% of MSTX post the offering. Attracting these prestigious investors to fully fund their Phase 3 sickle cell trial is encouraging." Mr. Silver continued, "Per the first quarter earnings release on May 15, 2013; MSTX has opened more than a dozen clinical sites in EPIC and is on track to meet its goal of opening approximately 40 U.S. sites by year-end. MSTX plans to support U.S. enrollment by opening roughly 30 sites outside the U.S., beginning early next year. MSTX remains the only company with a new drug in phase 3 development in sickle cell disease and investigators have been enthusiastic about the potential for MST-188 to become the first agent approved to treat an on-going vaso-occlusive crisis of sickle cell disease. Mr. Silver concluded, "MSTX also plans to develop MST-188 in complications of arterial disease, initially as an adjunct to thrombolytics in acute limb ischemia (ALI), a complication of peripheral arterial disease. Peripheral arterial disease affects an estimated 8 to 12 million people in the United States."

    Not for the Risk Averse

    Investing in biotech companies is a notoriously risky business, but on the upside it has a notoriously mad profit potential. Results of pending and future studies can always go wrong. The timeline for clinical and manufacturing activities can be delayed. The regulatory approval process with the FDA is both costly and time consuming and more often than not results in extreme volatility as a company awaits an FDA response to an application. Biotech companies invariably run out of cash with their high burn rates resulting in shareholder dilution to raise funds. The timing of your entry to buy and exit to sell a biotech stock are of the utmost importance to consider and should be based on as much up to date due diligence as is possible. Biotech plays are very much catalyst-driven by events that result in positive and negative news. The old saying that goes "buy the rumor, sell the news" is arguably more true for biotech stocks than most other sectors. MSTX is no exception to the rule and is certainly a high risk play, but at the current discounted PPS the risk-reward profile was tempting enough to entice this writer to gamble on it.

    Disclosure: I am long MSTX.

    Additional disclosure: Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed to constitute investment advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation or endorsement to buy or sell any security.

    Aug 19 5:29 PM | Link | 14 Comments
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