Carolyn, for once you're right. GILD is no BRK.A. Over the past year, Berkshire is up 17.29% - just a hair more than the S&P. GILD is up 23%. At the same time, saying you will ride a stock to zero is pretty silly - particularly when neither of these stocks has any prospect of going to zero. However, even saying that you will ride a stock down is pretty foolish. It implies that, even in a falling market, these two stocks will always be the best bargain. When Buffet dies, how far will Berkshire fall? There's no sense in buying what is essentially a holding company... unless you believe in the ability of management to consistently make the right acquisitions.
Actually, over 100 people die of peanut allergies in the US each year. (One of my crackpot biotech stocks is a small position in DBVT, a French company which has developed a transdermal patch to cure nut allergies.) And by the time you get put on amiodarone, you have enough other problems that you aren't going to qualify as a subject in a trial. One of the ironies is that amiodarone itself has never been subjected to clinical trials by the FDA. It was a European drug which, at one time, was one of the few alternatives for arrhythmia and was being used off-label here in the U.S. When the FDA banned it, the manufacturer threatened to withdraw the drug from the US market and the FDA backed down, finally approving it for use without ever reviewing any trial results.
Amiodarone is a drug of last resort for arrhythmia with many unpleasant side effects. My best friend, when other arrhythmia drugs had stopped working, underwent ablation (the surgical procedure to control arrhythmia) rather than go on amiodarone. The pulmonary side effects are particularly scary. Besides, it turns you blue. (seriously) And there are some studies which call its efficacy into question.
Well, perhaps you can explain the oracular "Blocks are due to derivatives" with which she dismissed my observations. She seems disinclined to do so, and has responded with strange analogies about the price of oranges, jumbles of meaningless figures, etc. She pays so little attention that she mistakes me for some overextended GILD zealot, advises me to "do your homework", points out the startling news that the stock is off its highs, and prophesizes dire things for my portfolio. I don't think I've been rude to Carolyn, although I've been sorely tempted.
Capitulation is what the Japanese and Germans had to eventually do. But those selling GILD are not selling because the stock is going down - it's going up. They're selling because it's not going up as fast as CELG or REGN. They're not capitulating, they're switching sides. More like the Italians.
The short position here is relatively small and hasn't changed much recently (although, due to the smaller daily volumes, the short ratio is much higher). In fact, the short position is about half the size of what it was last year at this time. I think that if the company really wanted the stock to drop at the last earnings call, they wouldn't have announced the buyback and the dividend ... which were obviously attempts to compensate for the high discount rates they were also announcing. The idea that entities would own a lot of stock and then try to drive the price down in order to pick up more shares cheaper is one of the most durable and silly myths.( Unless, perhaps, you're intent on owning the entire company.) If owned a lot of a stock, wouldn't I try to drive the price UP?
The fact remains that the stock is recovering and you are still short, having missed the opportunity to cover at a much lower price. The stock is obviously being supported by a strong IBB, but I don't see any sign of selling into that strength lately. 107.45 - and the likelihood of it reclaiming that level soon - is begging the question. By the way, you still haven't explained "Block trades are Derivatives." I an always eager to sit at the feet of the wiser ones and learn.
Today I posted some observations about the block trading in GILD becoming more aggressive over recent sessions and was rebutted by carolyn_novice, who maintained that "Block trades are Derivatives." When I asked for an explanation, she seemed to say that she was too busy and that I was wasting her time. She also said that she was "moving to ICLR". When I moved to ICLR, I see that every single post since March 2 was initiated by carolyn_novice ...and answered by carolyn_novice. There are 6 posts on the ICLR board today - all by carolyn_novice, and all of which have been responded to by carolyn_novice. So here's my followup question: If you have time to talk to yourself, why don't you have time to answer my first question?
To say "I am a trader and moved to ICLR" is disingenuous. According to your posting history, you've been invested in ICLR since last Sept. 7'th. It's done very well for you - up 32% since that point. Which, of course, is not quite as good as the 35% gain in the IBB over that same period.
Well, the dollar (and oil, which is, as we saw yesterday, largely a function of the dollar) certainly does play into this stock. If the plan was to garner $5 billion from non-US sales, for example, that has just become $4 billion, strictly on the FX effect. To say the stock is "institutionally owned" is fairly meaningless. Unless you actually keep your stock certificates under the mattress, your shares are "institutionally owned" in the name of your brokerage. You say that "spending time analyzing and second guessing what management, market makers and fund managers are doing is futile and exhausting." And then you proceed to do exactly that. Why? Because it's human nature to try and make sense of stuff. If you really believe that any attempt at analysis is futile, you ought to put all of your money into a market-weighted fund. (Not a bad idea for most people,incidentally.)
I asked you to explain your cryptic statement "Blocks are due to Derivatives". You seem to have ducked the question, hiding under the "Let us not waste each other's time" blowoff. Your statement that "Your response reflects you (sic) frustration" because "GILD is not moving in the direction you are used to" is silly. You are the one with a short position and the expectation that the stock will move down, which it has not been doing lately. In fact, looking back, you obviously missed a chance to cover your short down around 97.
But back to my question: What the heck does "Blocks are due to Derivatives" mean? I realize that you are pressed for time, but please take a moment from your busy schedule to enlighten us.
AZN, being a British company, earns pounds sterling, which has just reached a new 5 year low against the dollar. They're probably doing fine in terms of pounds sterling. Sometimes it pays to buy American.
Carolyn, I've basically been out of GILD - or short - since the last earnings release. However, when the stock begins to close near the high of the day, something has changed. I have a small long position at this point. Since it represents less than 1% of my portfolio, I don't think I'll "take a major loss". I don't doubt that the retail investors are getting discouraged. At one time the tenor of posts here was speculation as to whether it would take a week or two weeks to reach 120. At the moment, we are hearing folks bewailing the failure of the stock to keep pace with CELG. Or REGN. Or you name it. This stock, in my opinion is undergoing revaluation. Eventually, the market will have to recognize the potential in their pipeline in addition to the cashflow from the existing franchises in HCV and HIV. Incidentally, at one point last year, GILD constituted over 10% of my portfolios. This, I think, was the largest relative position I've held in any stock since the financial implosion, when I took very large positions in closed end muni bond funds.
PS Would you care to explain "Blocks are due to Derivatives"?
There we are: 640,000 shares @ 101.44. Close enough. About $65 million worth.
Well, I'm assuming that the blocks being reported after hours are GILD buybacks. If this is so, it's certain that everyone on Wall Street knows this and will let The Big Dog hunt. I would guesstimate that there have been about 8 million shares crossing this way over the past two weeks, which would represent less than $1 billion. However, when volume is low, as it has been recently, this is enough to control price action, I think. Let's see if they picked up another chunk at 101.50 today.
Yes, it's important to admit when you're wrong. The most fatal tendency in investing is the need to be proven right. At the end of February, I was predicting the end of the biotech bubble. This was certainly wrong, as it turned out. The IBB has moved from 335 on Feb 24 (my Cassandra day) to 365. One of the unfortunate outcomes was that I sold my PCYC, thinking the market was telling me that no one would pay more than 150 for it. However, by the beginning of March, I recognized the error of my ways and got back into MDVN and INCY and initiated or added to positions in some smaller biotechs. (One of which, HZNP, was suggested by a poster here.) At the moment, the market seems to be telling us that the buyback program is not going to let this fall below 100. In fact, it strongly suggests that this will close no lower than 101.50 today. I took a short position at 100.22 yesterday, but have covered and gone long. Consider it, Carolyn.
You misunderstand my point. I was suggesting that the buyback program has been supporting the price aggressively over recent sessions, not holding it down. They could have accumulated a lot of shares yesterday at prices well below 100.31 if they just wanted cheap shares. As for how much more they can buy with $15 billion, the answer is a lot. I would guess that they've spent less than a billion to this point.
Volume has been relatively light over recent sessions, but there have been large blocks reported after hours - half a million shares yesterday, up to a million shares on some other days. If I am correct in assuming that these blocks are the result of GILD buybacks, the trend is interesting. These blocks have consistently set the closing price. Last week, there were occasions when, during the last few minutes of trading, the stock dropped to what had obviously been the price at which the stock was being bought in the dark pools. But for the past two days, the stock has held up and the large blocks were traded at the high end of the day's range. This suggests that the buyback strategy has shifted from just supporting the stock price to aggressively trying to drive it up.. Because if the aim had merely been to accumulate shares at the lowest possible price, they could have bought those shares much more cheaply both yesterday and Monday. (For example, the after hours blocks yesterday were at 100.31, if I recall, near the day's high.) The other interesting thing is that the MM's obviously know the price at which GILD is adding shares. So GILD itself is, in effect, setting the closing price. (At the moment, it looks like 101.50.) I note that some longs here say they are adding shares. I would suggest that if you are long, you are adding shares whether you know it or not. The company is taking the cash in your shares and using it to buy more shares. So your commitment to GILD stock, as opposed to cash, is increasing daily.
As we know, that "runup" today was based upon the fact that many had shorted the averages in anticipation of a more hawkish Fed statement. The relatively dovish statement made it easy to take out the shorts, and the fact that the statement didn't drive the dollar up further helped energy stocks rally, which drove more shorts to cover. The uptick in volume on GILD today was early, while the stock was dropping, and I suspect that when we finally get a really high volume day it will be on a move down.