Stocks To Watch This Week: Dec. 5-9

by: VFC's Stock House

Last week held a series of nice rebounds as the news from Europe started to improve. Here's a few stories to watch for the coming week ...

SIRI: With rumors still swirling that SiriusXM (NASDAQ:SIRI) is on the hook to be fully bought-out by Liberty Media (LCAPA) (LCAPB) (LSTZA) (LSTZB). Investors are paying extra attention to the stock that is already one of the most actively-traded stocks on the Nasdaq. Shares flirted with the $2 mark on Friday, before settling down and closing at $1.86.

With the holiday gift-buying season now in full swing, SiriusXM investors will be expecting another solid fourth quarter, especially with this being the first full quarter of next-generation receivers on the market.

SIRI recovered quickly after dipping to below $1.50 for a period a couple of months ago, and once again the hype is building at an opportune time for investors looking for a return to the two dollar mark. If a buyout were to take place, one would have assumed it might have occurred when the share price was depressed earlier this year, rather than when it was on the rise again, but talk is enough to keep people interested and the volatility should continue for this company and its share price that continues to boost an already-impressive lineup of on-air music and personalities.

Continue to monitor this story as the debate over a buyout plays out in the headlines.

NFLX: Another week gone by, and another week that we see the Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) share price beaten and battered after the questionable moves of this past summer that sent customers and investors fleeing in flocks.

The short term key for Netflix is attracting back the customers that left after Netflix announced a price increase for its services, in addition to the spin-off of its DVD-by-mail service. Having retracting those decisions, the company may have been on the verge of a quick rebound before a round of dilutive financing announced last month.

Long term, Netflix is looking to boost its international presence, but that may not be enough to keep investors interested over the short to midterm as profits are now not expected to be seen until 2013.

Still a giant in the home-viewing of DVDs and streaming content, it's likely that this company's stock won't remain depressed for long, but it's taking more convincing than originally assumed to lure back both the customers and investors that bailed out in droves earlier this year.

This will be a story to watch for the remainder of this year, and well into next.

RIMM: Research In Motion (RIMM) is another technology giant that posted nothing but huge disappointment over the past 52 weeks. During that period shares at one point traded for over seventy dollars, but another ten percent price hit this past Friday on profit warnings sent shares down even further to the sixteen dollar range.

RIM warned last week that it would not meet its year-end sales estimates, in part due to anemic sales of its competitor to the iPad, the PlayBook. The PlayBook has done little to make any headway in the tablet market dominated by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and the BlackBerry continues to fall out of favor with consumers following a highly-publicized outage earlier this year that left the Blackberry services derailed for days.

In an attempt to reverse the dismal sales numbers for the PlayBook, RIM lowered prices for the tablet in time for the Christmas season. Less BlackBerry unit sales may also be expected, if current trends continue, but sales for the previous quarter were in line with estimates.

With the RIMM share price trading well off the 52-week highs, some have speculated that this company could be another candidate for a high profile buyout, but others argue that it's unlikely the Canadian regulators would allow such a sale to take place.

Given the swift decline in share price, is RIMM a bargain? Is a buyout scenario setting up? Can BlackBerry and PlayBook sales increase enough to put a stop to this company's pronounced decline?

This a story to watch.


SPPI: Shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SPPI) have continued their impressive rise this year and closed last week trading for higher than fourteen bucks. In November the FDA approved the removal of the bioscan requirement for its Zevalin treatment and two FDA approval requests are on line to be submitted in 2012.

Given the removal of the bioscan, sales of Zevalin could significantly increase, while the company's lead product, Fusilev, is already demonstrating nice growth on the market.

The Spectrum potential makes the company a buyout candidate in itself, but it could also turn into a go-it-alone growth play, too, as Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JAZZ) became when its shares flew to highs of over forty bucks.

Keep an eye on Spectrum; might be another JAZZ in the making.

NBY: NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT:NBY) is already making a mark for potentially developing a medical solution for the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, and the good news continued last week for the company as it was announced that the goal of establishing a proof-of-concept for lead product candidate NVC-422 urinary catheter blockage and encrustation in patients with spinal cord injury was established in 'Part A' of an ongoing Phase II trial. Part B of the trial is already underway and results are expected within in the first half of 2012.

Should the positive outcomes continue for NBY, the company could have three Phase III trials ongoing in 2013, gearing up to launch its Aganocide compounds into major markets as an alternative for already-established treatments that may be diminishing in effectiveness due to patient resistance.

LPTN: Lpath Inc (LPTN.OB) has been gaining increasing attention of late for its ImmuneY2 platform that has already lured in a big-time partner in the name of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). ImmuneY2 contains the ability to generate therapeutic antibodies that bind to and inhibit bioactive lipids that contribute to the spreading and growth of various diseases and inflammatory/auto-immune disorders. The market potential for this technology in treating a plethora of modern day illnesses and diseases, should it advance past the clinical stages, is huge, and Lpath is first applying its technology to the treatment of Wet AMD and cancer, both multi-billion dollar markets.

Lpath is the first to have successfully taken this technology as far along in trials as it had and could turn into one of the better biotech success stories of 2012, if Pfizer doesn't decide to just outright buy Lpath to hold all rights to the technology.

Keep an eye on this one, it's not often that a Phase II company lands solid support and backing from a big player like Pfizer.

ONTY: Oncothyreon (ONTY) would probably be getting more attention right now if not for the struggles of Dendreon (NASDAQ:DNDN) in bringing its prostate cancer immunotherapeutic treatment to full market penetration. Phase III trials for ONTY's own cancer immunotherapy treatment are winding down and if we see positive results, then it's possible that this stock could see similar action to what Dendreon saw when Provenge realized successful Phase IIIs.

Enthusiasm for the sector is being held down by Dendreon's ill-fated attempt to quickly solve issues of reimbursement for the expensive Provenge treatment, but a turnaround on the part of DNDN - or the emergence of another player who is more successful in commercializing its product could land cancer immunotherapy treatments right back in the spotlight.

Maybe Oncothyreon is that player.

CCLR: Switching from tech, to biotech, to food - it's still worth keeping an eye on Chanticleer Holdings (OTC:CCLR). The successes of McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) during the economic downturn are a demonstration that the consumer will always find the spare cash to dine out. Holding the rights to the Hooters name, Chanticleer should prosper from that mantra as well. As are other major restaurant brands, Chanticleer is pushing into the international markets and 2012 should be another year of growth on that front for the Hooters brand as international expansion continues. Stores opened recently in Australia and South Africa highlight the expansion for Hooters.

BAC: Relatively speaking, the big banks - such as Band of America (NYSE:BAC) and Citi (NYSE:C) - did not fare as well as the broad market in last week's rebound. The threat of exposure to the European Euro crisis that could still materialize, as well as continued uncertainty to the US housing market, has the big banks and their investors still 'playing it safe.' High-profile lawsuits are also keeping investors away. That said, the financials provided investors a boost coming out of the 2008 recession lows, and should the economy continue to recover - even at modest paces - then the likes of BAC could quickly turn into share price doubles. Another option than investing in the individual banks themselves is taking a financial ETF, such as the Financial Sector SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLF).

Disclosure: I am long NBY, DNDN, YUM, MCD, OTC:CCLR, BAC, XLF.