Except, all Vivus longs, are disappointed with the decrease in Vivus' share price since Qsymia was launched on September 17th. The conference call was also disappointing, and it did not adequately answer or address a lot of investor concerns.
The lack of information regarding a Stendra partnership or its commercialization plans is troubling as well. Vivus has until April 27, 2013 to commercialize Stendra in the USA. As a result, they may be inclined to continue to drag out any negotiations with potential partners until some time early next year. However, the resulting loss in stock value recently may motivate Vivus to reach a Stendra deal sooner, perhaps later this quarter. Unfortunately, we do not have any way of knowing this for sure.
I don't blame any investor if they decide, or have decided in the past, to sell their Vivus shares. This is a very volatile investment, and is not suitable for all investors. This is true of biotechs in general, and especially true of Vivus, in particular.
I still believe in the overall Vivus story, but I am concerned about the poor execution thus far, and the slow sales uptake for Qsymia. I still believe in Qsymia as a superior product and its potential to be a blockbuster drug, and the leader in the obesity drug category. But, I realize that this will take some time.
I have decided to be patient and not make a long-term investment decision solely based on 6 weeks of Qsymia script data. Everyone should make their own personal investment decisions. The market has punished Vivus severely, and it has taken a "wait and see" attitude to see if Vivus' management will be successful in commercializing Qsymia and Stendra.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Alt, I have not seen you respond to this thread that you started with over 40 responses from board members. I have previously posted on this thread that I can understand your sense of having disappointed your fellow longs with your advocacy of Vvus but dont let the short stuffs get a true long like yourself down. Hang tough, Amigo!! You will still be proven right about Vvus, and even if you arent you did put your money where your convictions were and that is all anyone could ask of you. You are in good company with too many others to name on this board, Mooky, Todzun, etc. who just as am I, are all your friends and fellow longs. Dont let the shorts and the temporary pps of Vvus get you down!!!
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I appreciate your kind words.
I have been focused on doing more research on Vivus and some other stocks. I am content to be patient and let the actions of Vivus and its stock price speak for itself over the next few months.
I have not given up on Vivus or the the Vivus story. I do realize that with the recent set-backs (negative EMA opinion, slow Qsymia sales, high script abandonment rate, low percentage of insurance coverage, etc.) it will take longer for Vivus to reach the price levels that I still believe that the shares will get to.
I do plan to "hang tough" and stay around for the long-term. The market is waiting for Vivus to show results, and I will do the same. We are still early in this process, and Qsymia was launched just over 6 weeks ago.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I believe management showing apathy is due to the fact they know deep down doctors don't accept Qysmia as a weight loss drug due to the high side effects verses the risk and the effort to sway their thinking is time consuming and lack of resources with only 150 sales rep. Also just thinking of the liability that each doctors carry with their insurance coverage; why risk being sued and having your insurance cost go up? It would be better if the saw an alternative and Belviq is right there and I'm sure doctors are well aware of it. Eisai is a company with experience of two previous blockbuster drugs which they have sucessfully marketed in the US; so my believe is they are doing an excellent job of advertising the timeline of the availability of Belviq which will be available in about a couple of months.
This is a very worrisome post coming from you. I can see you are seeing some leadership weakness, and that can be very damaging. in a competition like VVUS soon will have with ARNA, leadership is crucial. marketing and convincing are crucial. but somehow management here is not coming through at all. they could have prepared the debacle post earnings much better. they could have handled the european news much better.
certainly the fact that we dont hear management react to a halving of the stock price in one month cannot be encouraging. and dilationary tactic for Stendra partnership which make you lose a good chunk of a billion dollar in capital are not the smartest way to run a company.
i think in the long run this company might deliver, if they play their cards smart. but right now we are bloodied and worried about the wisdom of those who hold our money.
aT i feel sorry for the losses but you went up on hype and the machine has abandoned you. See it for what it is know execution on either product. I don't care what you buy but what positives did Leland produce except for hope.
Merry's update #2
On the Shares and Qsymia
Qsymia: On the starter dose now for 6 days. No side effects. No changes to eating habits other than less inclined to snack. Tale of the tape is a surprising minus 2.5 lbs.I don't know how, but careful AM and PM weight tracking and it just is. So, with drug I am pleased.
On the Shares: I have been long about 10,000 shares since July 2010 investment in LEAPS. Have traded some along the way but have basically maintained the core position with a cost basis around $7.00. Conference call was honestly pitiful and painful. Mike particularly seemed more interested in evading questions that answering in a forthwright and honest way. There was defensiveness throughout. Comments that we were still negotiating with Stendra, and that we would not be providing future updates on numbers of scripts were shameful and disrespectful to shareholders. Others on the call were also more interested in evading questions than providing answers Leland was the only one that tried to salvage some optimism. As a shareholder we just wanted facts, plans, regular ongoing transparency and the truth. That's not what we got.
Halfway through the conference call I began liquidating my position and was out completely before the call was over. I still believe in the drug, but management's strategy of focusing on specialty docs has to be questioned. A slow roll out isn't the objective. A careful roll out should have been the objective...perhaps slowly or not. Ramp at this rate is not acceptable, not when you have 150 person sales force. If they've called on 25,000 docs specialty docs and only got 3,000 to prescribe to 1.5 patients, and the majority of prescrivers are PCPs anyway, then something is wrong with their sales strategy.
Abandonement of 30% is unnacceptable. Issue now should be to get folks on drug and losing weight so that there is person to person and media chatter. Profit now is secondary and abandonment rate of 30% without an action plan to overcome 30% abandonment in place is foolish. Vivus should have a strategy for paying for drug, at least initially until folks see results.
With this call, management lost my confidence and the market agrees. I may re-enter at the right price or if new strategies or developments are announced vis a vis marketing plans, retail availablility, marketing partners, growth in new scripts, developments with European appeal or developments in other countries in the world.
So Sorry friends. For now....I'm just a Qsymia patient, 1 tablet per day.
What's more likely than success after a mere 6 weeks? Sucess after a year or two or three. You can check other small-cap pharma for examples:
(Look up ITMN, up over 10% today on earnings. Notice they launched in Sept of 2011, not in Sept of 2012. "InterMune reported Esbriet® (pirfenidone) net revenue in the third quarter of 2012 of $7.5 million, approximately 91 percent of which was from Germany, which was the first country in which Esbriet was launched in September 2011. "
Apparently, it only takes a tiny $7 mil in rev to get some people excited into expecting more down the road.)
JB, Shaggy's mom PS remember that the whole sector has gone down--check IBB to see this. The shorts can't dump forever. They have to cover at some point.
To be succinct in my view, what we have here is an adjustment in the expected time intervals, but no asset impairment has taken place. None. The current price is not sustainable because the only change has been to some intervals of time between events that will happen. Time marches on with all intervals going to zero.