Archive for May, 2010

Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NBIX) – Buzz Stock of the Day

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

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Shares of drug developer, Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX) were up 54 percent in morning trading on Tuesday, after the company announced “statistically significant and clinically meaningful” top-line efficacy results from its Daisy PETAL phase II study of elagolix, a treatment for patients with endometriosis.

The San Diego-based company said the drug, elagolix, showed statistically significant reductions in pelvic pain during menstruation, and non-menstrual pelvic pain and dyspareunia, or painful intercourse, when compared to placebo. The US based Daisy PETAL study enrolled 137 endometriosis subjects into one of two treatment groups; elagolix 150 mg or placebo once daily for two months of treatment, in a double-blind design. Subjects are continuing for four months of open-label elagolix treatment and assessments. These top-line efficacy results are based on the ITT population of 132 women.

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Shares began rallying in after-hours trading on Monday, after the company issued its announcement.

“The Daisy PETAL study was successful, all primary and secondary efficacy endpoints were met, and provided exactly the information we need to move this program forward,” said Chris O’Brien, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Neurocrine in a statement. “We now have confirmation that the daily scales for menstrual and non-menstrual pelvic pain, developed with extensive input from the FDA and patients, function well in a clinical trial setting. These daily endpoints reflect the way women with endometriosis experience their symptoms and also demonstrate improvement with elagolix.”

Shares of NBIX have been up as much as 58 percent in the past three months.

Sterling Financial Corp. (STSA) – Buzz Stock of the Day

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Shares of Sterling Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: STSA) were up as much as 33 percent today after it was announced that private-firm, Warburg Pincus would invest $139 million to support the bank’s recapitalization plan.

If the deal goes through, Warburg Pincus would own about 20 percent of Sterling’s common stock. The investment would augment last month’s announcement that Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL) of Boston will invest $134.7 million in the struggling Spokane bank if certain conditions are met.

As part of the Warburg Pincus investment, Thomas H. Lee Partners agreed to adjust the size of its previously announced proposed investment to equal the Warburg Pincus investment. Upon the closing of the recapitalization transactions, the two firms would invest a total of $278 million combined, and would hold an ownership stake of about 40% of Sterling Financial.

“We are pleased to announce Warburg Pincus as an investor in Sterling,” said Sterling’s president and CEO, Greg Seibly. “Warburg Pincus is a highly successful bank sector investor that has long-standing and deep knowledge of our company.”

Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane, Wash., is the bank holding company for Sterling Savings Bank, a commercial bank, and Golf Savings Bank, a savings bank focused on single-family mortgage originations.

Vasomedical, Inc. (VASO) – Penny Stock of the Day

Monday, May 24th, 2010

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Shares of Vasomedical, Inc. (OTCBB: VASO) were up as much as 86 percent on Monday after the company announced that its subsidiary was appointed the exclusive representative for select GE Healthcare Diagnostic Imaging products to specific market segments in the 48 contiguous states of the United States and District of Columbia received signed a sales representative agreement. GE Healthcare is the healthcare business unit of GE (NYSE: GE – News). The Company has already received financial commitments for up to $5 million to fund this project.

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“This representation agreement is an example of Vasomedical’s strategy to expand its operations into new areas of potential growth in healthcare,” stated Abraham E. Cohen, Chairman of the Board of Vasomedical, Inc. in a statement.

The agreement is for an initial term of three years commencing July 1, 2010, subject to extension and also subject to earlier termination under certain circumstances.

Vasomedical, Inc. is primarily engaged in designing, manufacturing, marketing and supporting EECP(R) external counterpulsation systems based on the Company’s proprietary technology. Offered exclusively by Vasomedical, EECP therapy is a safe, non-invasive, outpatient treatment option for patients suffering from ischemic heart diseases such as angina and heart failure

In early April, the company announced that it received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market its Vasomedical-BIOX™ Model 2301 Combined ECG Holter and Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring Recorder and Software Analysis System.

“These are the first in a line of Vasomedical-BIOX™ ECG Holter and Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring Systems that Vasomedical intends to bring to the marketplace,” said Dr. Jun Ma, President and CEO of Vasomedical, Inc.

Shares of Vasomedical are up more than 300 percent over the past 12 months.

AuthenTec, Inc. (AUTH) – Buzz Stock of the Day

Thursday, May 13th, 2010


Shares of identity management solutions provider, AuthenTec, Inc. (Nasdaq: AUTH) were up as much as 45 percent on Thursday after the company announced it had regained a key customer, and reported better-than-expected first quarter revenue.

Shares traded as high as $3.49, up from $2.40 at Wednesday’s close.
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The company reported a “significant design win with a leading PC OEM for 2011” and hopes to return to profitability early next year, according to Reuters.

“We believe the key customer is likely Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ),” Capstone Investments analyst Jeff Schreiner said in a note this morning. The recapture of HP-based revenue significantly alters future prospects for AuthenTec, Schreiner said upgrading the stock to “buy” from “hold.”

For the three months ended April 2, the company posted a net loss of $4.7 million, or 16 cents per share, compared with a loss of $4.5 million, or 16 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding items, AuthenTec posted a loss of 8 cents per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue rose 30 percent to $9.2 million from $7 million.

Analysts, on average, were expecting a loss of 8 cents per share on revenue of $8.6 million, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Shares of AUTH have been up as much as 45 percent over the past three months.

Metabolix, Inc. (MBLX) – Buzz Stock of the Day

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

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Shares of bioplastics developer, Metabolix, Inc. (Nasdaq: MBLX) surged as much as 18 percent in morning trading on Wednesday after the company announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its plastics products Mirel F1005 and F1006 for use in food contact applications.

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“With the Clinton plant now in operation, and this FDA clearance, we now can move forward with brand owners’ requests to use Mirel in their injection molded food packaging applications,” said Richard Eno, CEO of Metabolix in a statement. “These applications, which currently consume billions of pounds of petroleum-based polymers per year, offer considerable opportunity for growth of our biobased, biodegradable polymer, Mirel.”

Metabolix shares are up 54 percent over the past three months