End Of The Year Shopping Spree Should Have Trius On The List

| About: Merck & (MRK)

As the year closes, and the Republicans and the President try to resolve fiscal cliff issues, the market continues to fall as a result of uncertainty, and buying opportunities are apparent. One would look for low risk, a certain degree of stability, a reasonable explanation of why an undervalue situation exists, and a peek of future catalysts or uptick opportunities - essentially, a solid buying opportunity.

Trius Therapeutics (TSRX) shares were approximately 30% higher in September than at current trading levels of $4.84. There has been no outward apparent reason for their decline. No bad clinical trial disclosure, no FDA delays on postponements, no management shakeups, and no new significant competitive entries in markets they are active in.

A low risk environment exists. The company reported via its Form 10Q Third Quarter Financial Results September that it had $70.9 million of cash and investments. The company burned through $46.7 million in cash from operations and investments in the first nine months of the year. Other efforts to raise proceeds consisted of $49.9 million of new financing activities. End of year cash is now pegged at $65 million, sufficient to fund operations into 2014 without any new financing rounds. There is a stability present, enough to warrant a risk.

A reasonable explanation for low share costs is hard to quantify, especially considering the aforementioned facts. Uncertainty in markets and investments over a U.S. fiscal cliff most likely played a role as evidenced in other markets and companies. The market in general has been on a progressive decline for months, falling especially sharply in the last few weeks. Concerns over share dilution may play a role, as the company has entered into several financing agreements and has all but stated that it expects to need additional financing surrounding commercialization of Tedizolid Phosphate, its current Phase 3 flagship. There is also a sentiment that perhaps institutional investors are simply waiting until Tedizolid is a done deal in late 2013-14, with big partners, and that the lack of volume and purchase has caused price decline. The fact is, there essentially is no single smoking gun related to the price decline.

On the horizon in 2013-2014, is the following;

-Tedizolid Phosphate top line data perhaps by end of Q1. Relatively safe ground here as phase 3 data is already in.

-Tedizolid Phosphate FDA approval.

-A phase 3 study in lung infections in 2013. Prelim data has been encouraging and viewed positive. Data projected for 2014.

-phase 3 trial in bacteremia in 2014, data results expected in 2015.

-Potential news of company efforts to secure additional financing associated with commercialization, perhaps different from its $25 million committed equity financing facility with Terrapin Opportunity, L.P. earlier this year. Perhaps additional strong marketing and financing partners will materialize. This should be viewed as positive and a path towards building a strong revenue stream vs a negative sentiment of share dilution.

Individually and collectively, these represent positive factors, catalysts and uptick opportunities, making for a good item on an end of year shopping list for the prudent investor.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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