Immunotherapy ETF Heats Up

Noah Kiedrowski - Contributor - Biotech - Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy Heats Up

The Immunotherapy space has ushered in a new class of therapies to combat a variety of diseases, most notably cancer. Immunotherapy has been emerging from the backdrop of oncology research for years most notably from smaller companies such as Dendreon, Kite Pharma and Juno Therapeutics as leaders in the space. Dendreon was first-to-market with its activated cellular therapy, Provenge® in 2010 followed by a 7-year gap until Novartis’ Kymriah® was approved in August of 2017 which was shortly followed up by the approval of Kite Pharma’s Yescata® in November of 2017.

Now, immunotherapy is at the forefront in oncology as a leading therapeutic which has been shown to cure cancer in previously untreatable patients. Immunotherapy ushers in a new class of promising therapies by harnessing the body’s immune system to recognize and eradicate debilitating diseases, specifically cancer. Immunotherapy has been shown to have a favorable side effect profile and best-in-class efficacy across many different disease states. These therapies may provide a powerful technology to contend with a host of diseases, and in a future state, may potentially serve as a preventative technology similar to a traditional vaccine. Immunotherapy has evolved into many different classifications with differing modalities over the past several years, which has given rise to a growing number mid and small-cap biotechnology companies. In late 2015, The Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (NASDAQ:CNCR) and provides investors with an opportunity to invest in this unique cohort.

Immunotherapy – The Science

Generally speaking, cancer is immuno-tolerant, meaning these cancerous cells evade the surveillance mechanisms of the immune system and thus persist, proliferate and manifest disease within the host. The immune system cannot distinguish cancerous cells from normal host cells thus giving rise to malignancy and metastasis. Continue reading "Immunotherapy ETF Heats Up"

Hasbro: Positive Earnings and Growth Ahead

Noah Kiedrowski - Contributor - Biotech - Hasbro Inc.

Introduction and Backdrop:

Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) just released earnings, and the stock shot up from $94 to $103 or 9.5% as a result of navigating the challenging retail landscape and positive commentary on the conference call for future growth avenues. In mid-summer of 2017, Hasbro had witnessed a two-leg sell-off from its 52-week high of $116 to $88 or a 24% slide. The first leg down was from $116 to $95 followed by a second leg down from $95 to $88. These sell-offs were primarily due to retail softness and lowered guidance due to the Toys R Us bankruptcy filing which drove the stock down to $88. Hasbro was faced with a challenging environment and had to lower its guidance through the holiday season. The stock has been trading erratically since mid-summer of 2017 with 10% swings in the stock price. Ostensibly, Hasbro looks to be turning the corner and effectively managing this challenging backdrop and forging ahead with many current and future growth catalysts.

Hasbro has many current and future growth catalysts with major movie franchises, specifically with Marvel and Star Wars. Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars: The Last Jedi rounded out 2017, posting worldwide box office gross of $854 million and $1.33 billion, respectively. Black Panther posted record-breaking numbers in its debut with $235 million domestic opening at the box office over the Presidents Day weekend. Upcoming Marvel and Star Wars movies include Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars Han Solo and Ant-Man and The Wasp to highlight a few major films. Taking into account Hasbro’s growth, the potential acquisition of Mattel, Q1-Q2 2018 catalysts, trading at a P/E of ~20, boasting a 2.4% dividend yield and initiatives within Hasbro Studios to propel growth further presents a compelling long-term buy. Continue reading "Hasbro: Positive Earnings and Growth Ahead"

Disney: Black Panther Setting The Pace

Noah Kiedrowski - Contributor - Biotech

Setting The Pace and FY2018:

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is fresh off reporting its first quarter for FY2018 and has set the stage for a strong year ahead. The studio segment is off to a great start with record-breaking movie releases such as Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Coco surpassing $854 million, $1.33 billion and $715 million in worldwide box office receipts, respectively. Black Panther entered the fray with a record-breaking President’s Day weekend opening of $185 million in domestic box office sales. Disney has one of its biggest movie slates for FY2018 with Ant Man and The Wasp, The Avengers: Infinity War, Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Incredibles 2 and Mulan (live-action film) around the corner. Parks and Resorts are posting strong growth where revenues grew 13% year-over-year in Q1, and operating income now surpasses its Media Networks segment income, bringing in $1.35 billion vs. $1.19 billion, respectively. Disney is aggressively trying to shore up its stalling Media Networks segment with a confluence of growth catalysts via streaming with Hulu (30% stake and will likely be expanded to a majority 60% stake after the Fox acquisition), BAMTech, Sling, ESPN streaming service and a Disney branded service coming in 2019. Disney is evolving to address the deteriorating Media Networks business segment with major streaming initiatives. Disney offers a compelling long-term investment opportunity considering the growth, Fox acquisition, pipeline, Media Networks remediation plan, diversity of its portfolio, tax reform, share repurchase program and dividend growth.
Continue reading "Disney: Black Panther Setting The Pace"

IBB - Challenging 2016, Recovering 2017 and Resurgence in 2018

Noah Kiedrowski - Contributor - Biotech


The Biotechnology cohort has finally broken out and reached a 52-week high while making up much of the lost ground during the pummeling from both sides of the political aisle during the 2016 presidential race. Tweets and excerpts from the campaign trail from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump put the biotech cohort through the wringer via taking aim at drug pricing. The sustained sell-off lead to the entire cohort to sell off from all-time highs of $132 to $83 or 37% in only six months as measured via the iShares Biotechnology Index ETF (IBB). From February of 2016 through June of 2017 IBB traded in a tight range from $83 to $98 while Donald Trump continually fired shots against the healthcare sector. Any healthcare related stocks became volatile on the heels of any statement or tweet from Donald Trump. Shortly after the inauguration, Trump stated that drug companies are “getting away with murder” when speaking to the drug pricing issue. The previously proposed healthcare legislation never materialized thus a level of certainty has entered the picture, and the drug pricing threats are not perceived to be as bad as initially feared. Recently the index has had a resurgence moving to a 52-week high of $118 with a much clearer runway ahead as the political headwinds continue to abate. As the confluence of abating political threats, drug pricing certainty, merger, and acquisition activity ramps and continuity of the current health care backdrop, I feel the index has room to continue its upward trend and retrace its 2015 level of $130.

AbbVie Earnings Setting the Tone

AbbVie (ABBV) reported Q4 numbers that beat expectations and updated guidance above consensus estimates for 2018, and as a result, the stock moved up 14%. This earnings announcement stroked the entire biotech cohort and had pumped more life into the group that has seen a steady rise leading up to this statement. Other large-cap companies that have plenty of upside based on its multi-year highs include Celgene (CELG) which is off 35%, Regeneron (REGN) which is off 31% and Gilead (GILD) which is off 29% based on current prices. Even specialty pharma Allergan (AGN) is off a staggering 43% as well. All of these names may be due for a resurgence if quarterly results beat and guidance is raised similarly as AbbVie. Continue reading "IBB - Challenging 2016, Recovering 2017 and Resurgence in 2018"

Will Facebook Finally Break Through $200?

Noah Kiedrowski - Contributor - Biotech


Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is on tap to report Q4 FY2017 earnings along with its full-year FY2017 numbers. Facebook recently breached the $189 level as earnings approached, however it recently sold off from these highs following news that Facebook would overhaul its news feed in favor of “meaningful social interactions” versus “relevant content.” I think this news was timely with the upcoming earnings announcement as Facebook will once again deliver phenomenal growth numbers across the business with beats on both top and bottom lines. Once the growth trajectory is affirmed with EPS moving in lock-step, the stock only becomes cheaper, and thus this pull-back could be a rare buying opportunity before the stock breaking through the $200 barrier. Facebook ended 2017 with a monster return of 53%, however, considering its growth the stock remains relatively cheap with a P/E of 34.8 and PEG of 1.23 implying an annual EPS growth rate of 28.3%. Once the newly designed news feed launches in conjunction with earnings later this month, I think the stock could break through the $200 level imminently. I feel that Facebook represents value even after this massive run through 2017 and I maintain my long thesis with a price target of $230 by the end of 2018.

News Feed Overhaul

Facebook announced major changes are coming to its news feed to prioritize “meaningful social interactions” on the social media’s news feed as opposed “relevant content.” With this reformatting, users will start seeing less public content from businesses or publishers and more posts from their friends. Mark Zuckerburg expects that the time people spend on the social media network will decrease as a result however it will be “more valuable.” Facebook sold-off on the news as investors and analysts regarded this as an overall negative impact on earnings. Facebook sold-off over 5% on the news or $10 per share as analysts weighed in on the new roll-out. Overwhelmingly, analysts remain positive on shares of Facebook with JP Morgan’s Doug Anmuth maintaining his overweight rating and a $230 target price. I feel that the news feed overhaul will be negligible to earnings, especially over the long term. This sell-off is an excellent opportunity to enter the stock before what will likely be a fantastic earnings announcement. Continue reading "Will Facebook Finally Break Through $200?"