I think Brazil is going to be a question mark, if only because of the financial situation in that country. One of Sperzel's main challenges is to diversify away from Brazil a bit, which I think he's in the process of doing.
He gets $300,000 plus up to 50% bonus, plus options. My take is that he's going to be less interim and more permanent. It's unlikely they could or would have found a permanent CEO at $300,000 (in high tax NJ). My question is, is Stover going to be present or "telecommuting". Clearly, Richard and Miao can't be left "home alone" or there will be nothing left.
It's still not clear if this can be saved or sold.
They refuse to prequalify DPP HIV-Syph, a product which everyone acknowledges is awesome, and now they come running to CEMI: "Please help us stop this terrible Zika epidemic." Sperzel is remarkably patient and diplomatic, as he should be. But, I can voice my opinion!
Once again, we don't know exactly what the health effects of the virus might be. It could be nothing, it could be microcepahly. I've heard Guillain-Barre. We don't know how long the virus is present after infection.
Mosquito control will obviously be key. However, if this is sexually transmitted, or transmitted via blood products, that's a big problem.
I think CEMI has to lock down cash commitments before going further. They were left a bit high and dry on Ebola, and they shouldn't allow the same thing to happen with Zika. Chembio is not a freakin' charity, after all.
Here's the exact quote:
"If we were the wagering type, we’d bet that CEMI will have something to say about Zika on the next conference call." That's a pretty bold call. Would be real mud on face if it didn't happen. Maybe Sperzel didn't tell him point blank, but winks and nods in SF earlier this month.
OSUR really cashed in on Ebola. At every opportunity, Michels would say something to the effect: "Well, we're not going to develop this if there isn't money to do so and if there isn't a market for these Ebola products once we do."
Perhaps, CEMI should play hardball on Zika. They clearly leaked to BM at Zacks, which may not have been the best strategy if you want to pressure desperate governments, agencies, and donors.
One other thing. CEMI also got the shaft from the WHO on DPP HIV-Syph pre-qualification. I think CEMI should politlely request that WHO take a second look at that. Got to use the leverage when you have it.
Here are the facts: Fiocruz announced their own test a couple of weeks ago. BM from Zacks wrote that something would be said on CC in a month. CEMI has maintained dead silence on the issue. OSUR said yesterday that they don't have anything at the moment and won't until they get BIG BUCKS from someone.
My best guess as to what's going on is this: The Brazilians asked CEMI to develop a Chikungunya/Dengue/Zika multiplex and CEMI told them, "yes, but we need more time." The Brazilians said, "we can't wait, we're going to develop our own thing. Tell us when you're ready."
The Brazilian testing effort is inadequate, as has been noted by experts in Brazil. My guess is that CEMI is very close, perhaps even running field trials in Brazil
Zika is becoming a global pandemic, even though no one is sure about the health effects just yet. Africans in endemic regions seem to have immunity, whether that's genetic or acquired is unclear. Other populations appear highly vulnerable.
Brazil is hosting the Olympics. If the situation isn't controlled soon, I think there's a chance the whole thing is cancelled or postponed, especially given that Zika seems to be sexually transmitted as well. You can't have a million people returning to all corners of the world as Zika carriers. If CEMI has something, that's going to be a BIG DEAL.
Per OSUR, aid agencies and the government are begging for help. OSUR is wisely holding them hostage for a big payday. CEMI got the shaft on Ebola, in my opinion, and would be well=advised to make sure they get paid before saving the world.
That's pretty wild speculation on the part of an analyst, unless...
He met with CEMI only a couple of weeks ago. I think it's highly likely that Sperzel hinted to him that something is coming down the Zika track.
The small and medium diagnostic sector is really ripe for consolidation. Valuations have been knocked-down substantially. There are too many money-losing companies. I think we're entering an "eat or be eaten" stage. It's been my contention since day one that Sperzel sees CEMI as an acquisition vehicle. He really couldn't make any moves until he fixed Siebert's mess, which he's pretty much done at this point.
I look for him to do some sort of deal in 2016. The question of financing has yet to be answered.
I wonder what happened in Brazil. Clearly, CEMI must have known what Fiocruz was up to with their Dengue/Chikungunya/Zika "multiplex". Did CEMI bid for the project? Did CEMI indicate they couldn't achieve it? Is CEMI working on a separate track? These are all very interesting questions.
Miao can't do his usual reverse split ploy because the market cap less than $5 million, it's not going to help them regain compliance.
Cash payments were more than $1.3 million, plus other stuff. Tax will probably eat up nearly half. She's got a nice chunk of stock. I'm wonder if she and her friends might not try to make a bid here.
Of course, need reagents/Ag's. Wouldn't be at all surprised if Allen gave CEMI more money for this. If it's linked to microcephaly, it's absolutely imperative that a rapid test be made available ASAP. The alternative is unthinkably horrible.
By definition, if you've got the same people doing the same things, you're going to fail, which seems to be the case here. I'm just trying to understand what the goal is. If it's to turn things around, they're not going to succeed with Miao and Richard. That's obvious, and the market is indicating as much. I don't see any indication that Stover is particularly interested in doing anything, even if he were capable.
You'd think Heartland would be trying to find an exit strategy, ie locate a buyer. However, no indication that anyone is doing anything in particular.
Get rid of Miao and Richards. Keep only the 5 or 6 top salespeople and one marketing person. Consolidate the labs and the HQ. One location, that's it. Shelve future tests until the company regains its footing. Whatever it takes to stop losing money, even if that means losing half the revenue.