with both their stock selection and their ill-timed, ill-conceived efforts to persuade NVO shareholders to sell everything and speculate on MNKD.
MNKD longs are now scratching their heads and wondering what is they missed with their thesis; it certainly cannot be that the product isn't as good as purported. No, it must be that the medical community, the diabetic community and that the world at large is just missing it....whatever it is.
Alternatively they could be spending inordinate time lashing out at those who don't wholeheartedly agree with their belief that an old gen insulin, when combined with a particle inhaler, represents the next miracle treatment for diabetes.
Or, could it be that in a state of utter embarrassment they are hiding out, after trying coming to this board and telling NVO shareholders to sell 100% of their stock to buy MNKD?
As of the date of this post, it should be noted that NVO shares are up a whopping 32% US since the start of 2015.
What a terrible paired trade that must have been, to short NVO and buy MNKD. Blithering, gibbering idiots.
The Canadian division of Costco was roughly 18% the size of Costco America. What will the future revenue stream of Amex be when Costo America, a business MORE than 5X the size of the Canadian account, is removed from the picture.
If an investor is buying Amex as a busted growth story; one that relies on run-off cash flow to buy back distressed stock, that is one thing. However, I suspect that most presently own this stock as an actual growth vehicle.
Metformin is NOT insulin. In sharp, clear contrast, what NVO intends to produce and market is an actual oral insulin.
The man appears to be worse than an idiot; he's actually a contrary indicator. With his track record as a mutual fund manager (Absolutely the WORST fund in its class for last 3, 5 and 10 years, according to Morningstar), he has a habit of recommending stocks as buys just before they peter out, or get hit by terrible news. On the street, his fund is affectionately known as the "Falling Knives Fund".
It was a bad, bad day for Mannkind shareholders when he identified this stock as a hot buy.
Whatever he says to do, just do the opposite and you'll be OK.
Tesoro DID warn on Q1 earnings in an 8k.
"Tesoro stated that as a result of the strike, operating expenses are expected to increase from that in its previous guidance. Also, capture rates are expected to fall below the historical average for its West Coast system.
Tesoro anticipates operating costs per barrel from its California refinery to range between $7.70 and $7.95. Moreover, strike at Martinez and turnaround at Anacortes and Salt Lake City are anticipated to reduce capture rates by about $1.50–$2.00 per barrel in the first quarter of the year."
" inventory build up are expected to consume a part of the working capital in the first quarter".
So, the company indicated that expenses are higher, capture rates are lower and that instead of being cash flow positive, they actually consumed working capital in Q1. Does that sound like any good news for the quarter that just ended?
Now that Brent spreads have taken a hit, the potential for better Q2 looks a bit more distant. Undoubtedly, short term hedge funds have moved their money elsewhere.
Physicians clearly understand the similarities between Exubera and Afrezza. Regardless of particulate size, the fact remains that both products are hormones inhaled directly into the pulmonary system. The lungs are particularly susceptible to developing cancer from hormonal use. This is why various hormones are presently black-boxed for lung cancer.
Exubera was pulled fast off the market after it was determined that user lung cancer incidence increased by roughly 5X that of diabetics that took other medications. Pfizer wasn't as concerned about marketing; the primary risk was litigation for selling an unsafe product.
To put that into perspective, the traditional likelihood of developing llung cancer, according to Cancer.org, is between 1 in 13 to 1 in 16, depending upon whether you are a male or female. This combines smokers and non-smokers.
To up those odds almost fivefold is very sobering.
Fewer than 800 total scrips written, in 7 weeks, for a supposed 'Category Killer". Thank goodness that most owners of NVO are institutional and not prone to the whimsical ramblings of retail speculators
Anyone who accepts the advice of a manager running a fund that remains, either in the bottom 99% of all funds in its class, or that most times is rated as THE worst fund in its class for the past 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and ten years, deserves to lose money.
An aggressive equity mutual fund manager that cannot beat treasuries over a decade; that opinion, no matter how articulately presented, isn't worth squat.
Simply Google "Sanofi picks Perkins to head Diabetes Co-Stars". One article can be found in the Medical Marketing and Media publication.
The article notes, "Celebrity campaigns are a standard trope of diabetes drug marketing".
Elizabeth Perkins has a paid contract with Sanofi, as a diabetes spokesperson.
So being objectively honest means, in your view, selling a company with a blue chip stock with forecast revenues of $14 billion US for a speculative company with nominal sales and a questionable product, simply because an actress has received a paid contract to use and promote a diabetic product?
We'll see if Elizabeth Perkins develops a nasty cough in a few years.
Pfizer's product is a very directly comparable; particulate size is smaller but the fact remains that a hormone is being directly administered into the pulmonary system. The pulmonary system is very susceptible to developing lung cancers due to hormones; which is why even hormone replacement therapy is black-boxed for lung cancer
According to Dr. Karen Reckamp, assistant professor of medicine at City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, California, “We see more and more non-smoking women getting lung cancer in general and often younger women. We know that there are estrogen receptors in the lung and in lung cancers and so there’s definitely an interaction between the development of lung cancer and hormones
The very first incidence of lung cancer, in a patient that is taking Afrezza, could take Mannkind and push it into a chapter 11. It won't even matter if the reason for the lung cancer is not directly attributable to Afrezza use; the previous experience with inhaled insulin in the marketplace resulted in a $2.7 billion write-off as soon as cancer was detected in users of the inhaled product.....and there were only a handful of scrips written at that time. Inhaled insulin may be forever tainted accordingly.
Class action lawyers will feast on MNKD and make it a charred husk, should lung cancer ever turn out to evident in one patient taking Afrezza or heaven forbid, two.
And given the statistical likelihood of lung cancer in any population sample, doesn't that mean that a positive diagnosis of a lung cancer patient is just a matter of time? The first reaction of a lung cancer patient will be denial (I've got diabetes and NOW cancer?) and then anger (I can live with diabetes, lung cancer will kill me....I'm calling a lawyer). And then, it's a litigation feeding frenzy.
Sanofi is taking a big enough chance as it is, on this product.
It appears the term "category killer" for Mannkind's product might only meet up to half of the name. Very few prescriptions written and a potentially conflict for Sanofi reps who don't want to siphon off existing SNY scrips for an unknown drug that Sanofi co-markets. Right now, that SNY rep has limited reputational risk with their physicians; should Afrezza not work out, safety wise, tolerance wise or efficacy wise, there is considerable risk to the doctor-rep relationshilp. Would a SNY drug rep take that risk?
The reps at Sanofi are in a real pickle. They lose any moral high ground when they try to advise a doctor to only switch away NVO scrips to Afrezza while leaving existing SNY scrips alone. If the rep tries to approach marketing from a level playing field, they'll have to attempt shifting some SNY scrips, as well as NVO scripts, to Afrezza. That's not a good business decision, dollar-wise.
Finally, there's the coughing..... Reps probably don't have an effective way to push-back on that objection.
GLP-1 is selling like hotcakes and represents the fastest growing segment of the diabetic treatment market. Additionally, it is a premium priced product.
The fact that there was any utilization of the GLP-1 by the body represents a significant accomplishment, given the well understood issues pertaining to oral formulation. To have the same HBA1c reduction from a pill as an injection, regardless of the fact that it takes 40mg of GLP-1 to accomplish that result, is an exciting result. Hence the pop in the shares on the phase 2 news. NVO isn't held by many retail investors, this is almost purely an institutional play.
As to the side effects; being reported as the same to injection, that doesn't seem to be much of an impediment. Sales of Liraglutide are growing at solid double digit annual rates, despite being unavailable through one of the world's largest PBMs.
An oral formulation, all else being equal, could be a mega-blockbuster and may even put some of the competitors products right out of business. If Novo's phase 3 testing comes through as planned (NVO tends to shelve their work, long before phase 2, if it doesn't demonstrate the ability to be "best in class"), this could be quite disruptive for the competition. It is big, big stuff.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
All else being equal, will diabetics prefer a best-in-class GLP in oral form as compared to an older generation insulin pulverized into particulates and administered via inhaler? Will doctors feel easier about writing a scrip for a proven GLP that doesn't give anyone pause as to possible pulmonary risks of putting hormones into the lungs?
Afrezza is probably a decade late to the party; it appears that pharmaceutical advances might have leapfrogged what seemed to be an interesting, but ultimately flawed, concept in the early 2000s.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
This is the TRUE game changer.....not those stupid inhaled systems being bandied about by some speculators, that have the potential to accelerate lung cancer.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
BarclayCard and MasterCard have evidently teamed up to wrest the JetBlue account from American Express.
The disclosure was posted on Bloomberg a few minutes ago, but remains subject to official confirmation by JetBlue.
The issue is globalization. American Express relies upon a closed loop system that does not allow them to effectively partner with the interchange giants, Unionpay, Visa and MasterCard.
American Express emphasized their American business above all else. However, businesses with global aspirations need a global interchange and the ability to partner with local issuers. Customers such as Costco have essentially outgrown Amex. JetBlue was widely expected to be the next defection. Who is next?
COF might get the processing contract with Costco or they might not. It could also possibly go to A VISA processor.
However, both AMEX and Costco have issued separate statements indicating that the contract will be ending and will not be renewed. Without a contract, AMEX cards won't be used at Costco. It's just that simple.
Costco is doing what is in the best interests of Costco. Sadly for Amex, Costco's growth ambitions have diverged from American Express. Outside of the United States, Amex has a relatively small global market share and that market share is dropping vs China Unionpay, MasterCard and Visa. Costco has recently expanded into mainland Europe for the first time (Spain is their first market), and has made a renewed push into Mexico via their recent consolidation of the joint venture.
Outside of the United States, China Unionpay is the dominant processor, with MasterCard in second place. China Unionpay does use MasterCard co-brands to some extent. If Costco wants to continue their global growth, then AMEX is simply not the interchange network to deal with.