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Independent Security Analysis. Technical Analysis. Fundamental Analysis. Watchlists. My Portfolio.

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Erba Diagnostics: This Low Float Stock Is Ready To Fly

By The Wall Street Fox → Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The opportunity of discovering a stock with an extremely low float, strong fundamentals, and virtually zero followers is enormous. These types of stocks have been subject to ridiculous gains in a short period of time. Examples include Vision Media (VISN), InterCloud Systems (ICLD), and ARC Wireless (ARCW).

Vision Media has a float of approximately 4.5 million shares. Shares gained more than 1300%+ in three months.

InterCloud Systems has a float of approximately 3.8 million shares. The stock jumped more than 500% in less than two months.

ARC Wireless has a float of approximately 1 million shares. Shares soared more than 400% in three months.

The float of a stock, in simplest terms, represents the number of shares available for the public to buy. When a company with a low stock float announces good news, the buyers tend to be more aggressive than the sellers, and constrained demand leads to serious spikes in price and volume. This is a double-edged sword, as the price can sharply decline on any negative news. Supply and demand is in effect more than ever for low float stocks.

The next low float stock that is bound to make heads spin is Erba Diagnostics (ERB), a fully integrated in vitro diagnostics company I first highlighted back in November. Erba Diagnostics has a float of approximately 7.5 million shares, extremely solid fundamentals with upcoming catalysts, and a chart eerily similar to the ones posted above (minus Intercloud).

The elevator pitch behind Erba, which I've discussed in detail in my previous article, is as follows: Erba Diagnostics (USA) consists of six wholly owned subsidiaries, and has a parent company named Erba Manheim, which consists of five wholly owned subsidiaries and Erba Diagnostics. The synergies behind the 13 divisions of the Erba group are through the roof, and it is in the best interest of the parent company's CEO and founder, Suresh Vazirani, to recognize these synergies by merging together all of the companies into a single, public entity, Erba Diagnostics.

Insiders own 82% of Erba Diagnostics, and management has dropped subtle hints of continued acquisitions in the future, both in the U.S. and abroad. The combined revenues of all 13 divisions should reach a minimum of $600 million, which at a 2x revenue multiple would represent approximately $27 dollars per share.Even if the company issued 40 million shares and diluted the company (highly unlikely), bringing the current number of outstanding shares to 83 million, the fully combined company would be worth approximately $15 per share. With shares currently trading around $2.15, and a current market capitalization of $92 million, Erba's valuation is out of whack.

The Synergies

After digging through some of Erba's old SEC filings, I stumbled upon an investor presentation that was filed in September of 2012. Here are some quotes that point out blatant synergies between the subsidiaries of Erba Diagnostics and highlight the market potential of this massive diagnostics company.

-Erba Diagnostics' diverse product portfolio consists of more than 200 FDA cleared products, and more than 400 CE marked products.

-Transasia (Vazirani's first company) owns 78% of Erba, and the relationship between the two is "expected to expand Erba's customer and geographic markets."

-Transasia's customer base is expected to have access to Erba's suite of products, including its immunology platform. Transasia's customer base is five times greater than Erba's.

-Erba's geographic markets will expand into India, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Keep in mind that Erba Manheim's Transasia division is located in India, Erba Lachema is located in Eastern Europe, and Erba DDS is located in the Middle East.

-Transasia is expected to introduce its products into Erba's sales channel.

-Erba is targeting a $60 billion in vitro diagnostics market that is growing at a rapid rate. Specifically, Erba is targeting the Infectious disease market, autoimmunity disease market, and immunoassay market with its lineup of more than 400 products.

-The autoimmune market remains a niche market with no single company currently posing a dominant market position.

-Erba currently has 250 systems placed in the USA under a Reagent Rental Agreement. This agreement allows customers to obtain the system with no up-front cost as long as they purchase test kits for the system from Erba.

-One system currently generates an average of $30,000 in test kit revenue per year. The company is targeting 12% system expansion per year in the US.

-Erba's goal continues to be a leader in the diagnostics industry, and they expect to accomplish this through, "working capital, synergistic acquisitions, and Transasia's sales channel."

Erba's Upcoming Catalyst

It's only a matter of time before Erba begins to pop up on investor radars. The entire Erba group has joined together at several medical exhibitions to showcase their product portfolio to the medical community and investors alike. The most recent trade show occurred last month in Germany, at the 2013 MEDICA exhibition. These events generate buzz and exposure for Erba, and as more and more people take note of this company, their massive product portfolio, and their extensive geographical reach, more investors will take note and buy into the company.

The next big event that will surely put Erba on the map of investors is the 32nd annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, taking place in San Francisco during the week of January 13th. This conference is the type of exposure that can propel Erba to the forefront of the investing community.

The entire Erba group will be present at the conference, and will be giving a presentation to attendees. Erba recently hired Stonegate Securities for investor relations and public relations. This move shows that Erba is gearing up for a big debut to institutional investors. This may be the catalyst that induces a run up in shares similar to run ups experienced by the low float companies listed above.

Erba Diagnostic's improving business has resulted in an improved balance sheet, growing sales both organically and externally, and increased profitability quarter over quarter. Quarterly earnings serve as a catalyst for Erba, and the continued improvement in the company's fundamentals will surely act as a positive catalyst for the stock price.

Erba's latest 10-Q showed revenues increasing 83%, and gross profit increasing by 46% year over year. The company reported positive net income for the second quarter in a row, and the recently established Erba Mexico subsidiary should begin to generate revenues soon, as it targets a market that is expected to surpass $400 million this year.

Erba expects to experience an increase in sales as the Affordable Care Act is implemented in the US. Erba recently doubled the production capacity at its Miami Lakes facility, and will be acquiring two vacant buildings next to the plant. The organic growth stemming from Erba Diagnostics and its five subsidiaries is almost as exciting as the potential growth through future consolidation and acquisitions.


Erba Diagnostics presents a solid investment opportunity for many investors at current prices. Although this is a small cap company that is subject to volatility, the company is growing, has turned profitable, and is positioned in a massive market that is continuing to expand. Erba has an offering of more than 400 FDA and CE approved products, and will be able to reach a global audience through the sales channel of Transasia.

This is a stock with almost zero followers, and it went under the radar ever since Suresh Vazirani acquired the division from Phillip Frost's previous company, IVAX Corporation. Erba Dianostics has a total of 7 followers on StockTwits, 121 on Seeking Alpha, and only one article has been published on the company...mine. This company is poised to gain an increase in followers after the company presents itself at the 32nd annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference to institutional investors, and with a float of only 7 million shares, this stock is primed to take off once the market realizes that the fair value and the current value are grossly apart.

All TIme Lows And Turnaround Initiatives Make Imris A Compelling Investment

By The Wall Street Fox → Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Attempting to catch a falling knife is a fool's errand, but picking one up off the ground is a different story. Imris Inc.(IMRS) is a Canadian medical device company that specializes in developing, manufacturing, and marketing surgical theatres for hospitals. The company's stock has been on a rollercoaster since its IPO on the NASDAQ in 2010, falling from a high of $8.78 to today's share price of $1.33.

With a new CEO in place, recently launched business initiatives, and an all-time low stock price, Imris is in turnaround mode and seems to be developing a bottom. Improving fundamentals and continued revenue growth signal that this knife is ready to be picked up off the ground.

The intimidating challenge of selling capital-intensive surgical platforms to cash strapped h
ospitals is now less daunting with management's recently launched multi-source sales program, which should help speed up the decision process and lessen the cost for Imris's potential customers. With a focus on intra-operative MRI's and other visualization techniques, Imris is carving itself out as a niche player in the surgical market and should begin to see increased traction as the company introduces new products and reduces costs for their customers through its new sales initiative.

The Product

Imris focuses on providing state of the art image guided therapy systems to hospitals. Their main product is the Visius Surgical Theatre, a 2-3 room operating theatre that houses various equipment which comes in different formats and configurations. The main advantage of the Visius Surgical Theatre is the ability to conduct real time visualizations such as an MRI in the middle of a surgical procedure without moving the patient. Below is a picture of a typical operation room utilizing the Visius Theatre, and here is a video that walks you through the room.

Depending on the surgical theatre, an MRI, Angiography, or Computed Tomography can be conducted in the middle of an operation. The recently launched iCT is the first ceiling mounted CT scanner in the world that decreases radiation exposure when compared to current CT imaging systems. Currently, Imris is developing two therapy platforms, a surgical robot named the Symbis Surgical System, and a system that allows for MR guided radiation therapy thanks to a partnership with Varian Medical (VAR). The company's belief is that improved patient outcomes and reduced costs of care can be achieved through the combination of enhanced visualization and therapy deliveries, and there is data to back this up. 86% of surgical tumor procedures utilizing intra-operative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (iMRI) removed the entire tumor, compared to just 53% for operations not using iMRI.

Any traditional surgery to treat a number of complications and conditions can be conducted in a Visius Surgical Theatre. The company is specifically targeting brain, pituitary, and spine procedures, which total more than 3.5 million procedures worldwide. The Symbis Surgical System will be specifically targeting neurosurgical and spinal operations, which amounts to more than 2 million procedures worldwide. Clearly, the market potential for Imris is massive, but with only 60 Visius Surgical Systems installed to date Imris has a long way to go before obtaining just a sliver of the pie.

New Sales Initiative Will Spur Growth

The biggest challenge for Imris has been closing deals. The company's sales have been stagnant for a while, due to long, drawn out decision delays. In the past year Imris has sold a total of five Visius Theatres, and usually completes one sale per quarter. The sales cycle is lengthy, and because of the systems high price tag and large footprint, many different groups are involved in the decision making process at hospitals. The company sold one Visus Surgical System during Q3 2013.

To address this issue, recently hired CEO Jay Miller implemented a multisource sales initiative that allows customers to obtain specific components of the Visius Surgical Theatre directly from qualified OEM partners at a lower cost. The program commenced last quarter for customers who had delayed their purchasing process. While this may sound foolish to the common businessman, it's not.

Hospitals are still required to commit to a long term service contract with Imris, Imris still completes the installation of the system, and instruments and accessories are still purchased from Imris. This has moved the sales process forward for a number of potential customers, who are now in the late stages of the decision process. The cost savings under this new approach make purchasing a system more flexible and realistic for a hospital and its budget. Partially removing the middleman (Imris) will pave the way for increased sales and should result in higher revenues for the company as more and more service contracts are signed.

The Business Model

Imris's business model is identical to that of other surgical platform companies with similar products, such as Intuitive Surgical's (ISRG) Da Vinci system and TransEnterix's (TRXC) Surgibot. The Visius System has an initial price tag of $3 to $7 million for the iMRI model, and $1.5 to $3.5 million for the recently launched iCT model. The company expects to generate revenue from the iCT by the end of 2013. Customers must sign a service contract, which has an average cost of $300,000 per year, and usually entails a minimum commitment of 4-5 years. The company also collects revenue from instruments and accessories that are utilized during operations; these cost approximately $1,000 per procedure. As the company begins to commercialize more surgical products and sell more systems, the recurring revenue stream will become more predictable, robust, and will significantly contribute to the company's financial position.

The Symbis Surgical System will cost roughly $2 million, have an annual service contract of approximately $200,000 per year, and cost roughly $1,200 in instruments and accessories per procedure. The company has not provided a timeline for the commercialization of the Symbis System, but based on the current state of development, I believe the product will be on the market by 2016. This is still an early stage product, but the Symbis Surgical System will be an ideal fit for the already installed Visius Theatre base because it will be the first surgical robot in the world that is compatible with MR and CT imaging systems. This should offer many unique advantages to both the surgeon and patient.

Why Imris Can Propel Higher

Imris has a sales funnel of more than $500 million, which makes booking orders a primary goal for the company. As more orders are booked, revenues will jump and service revenues will continue to grow at an increasing rate.

In Q3 of 2013, Imris increased revenues by 54%, and service revenues by 108%, compared to the year prior. The company's Q3 EPS stood at -$0.07, a 63% improvement over the year prior. The company's backlog continues to stand above $100 million, gross margins are increasing, and the company's financial health has been improving quarter after quarter.

Because of the high selling points of Imris's products, one sale can increase revenues by up to $12 million. Therefore, if the company manages to book more than one order in a quarter, a surge in revenues and surprise to Wall Street could occur. This is highly likely now that Imris has rolled out a new sales approach and has introduced its new iCT system. With several hospitals now in the late stages of the decision making process, a blowout quarter may be right around the corner for Imris.
The sale of one Visius System represents an average of $6 million in revenue, followed by an average of $300,000 paid annually for a minimum of 4-5 years, and an average of $130,000 worth in accessories per year at today's current operation rate. Therefore, the sale of one Visius Sugical Theatre represents an average revenue of $8 million over the 5-year contract, and higher end systems can reach more than $15 million in revenue over a 5-year contract. These types of numbers are massive for just one order, and should significantly boost annual revenues past the current level of $50 million as more orders are booked.

Imris is gearing up for strong growth, after recently relocating its business from Canada to Minnesota. The reasons behind this move were highlighted in the last conference call, and point to further expansion in the future. CEO Jay Miller stated:
Not only will we be manufacturing and shipping iMRI systems, but we expect that over time we'll be shipping and manufacturing significant volume of iCTs. On top of that over time, we expect we will be shipping robotic systems as well and on top of disposables. So we will have more things where we will need more space, which is exactly why we took on the space in operations that we did.
The company has experienced management in place who are capable of executing Imris's business plan. Jay Miller was the former COO and President of Imris and took over as CEO this past summer, replacing founder David Graves.

Patent Portfolio

Imris owns 100% of its intellectual property, which includes more than 50 patents either already issued or pending in the U.S. and Canada. These patents don't expire until 2030, and cover integral parts of the Visius Surgical Theatre. Some of the granted patents cover image-guided intervention, the use for automated medical robotics, MR-guided radiation therapy, and the ability to image when MR is positioned. These are high valued patents that protect advanced technology and act as barriers of entry to competing companies.


Currently, Imris has a market cap of $67 million, generates annual revenue of more than $50 million, and has ~52 million shares outstanding. If Imris begins to execute its business plan and increase sales through their new sales initiative, then shares should experience a sharp reversal. If Imris manages to sell one and a half Visius System per quarter, and one ceiling mounted CT scanner every quarter, with service revenues and revenues generated from instruments and accessories remaining flat, then yearly revenues for Imris could reach approximately $100 million. At 1x sales, this would move IMRS' share price to roughly $1.92, representing 45% upside when compared to today's level. Utilizing Imris's current price/sales multiple of 1.22X revenues would equate to $2.34 per share, and a 2X multiple would equal $3.84 per share.

Risks to Consider and Potential Downside

Imris Inc. is a small cap company that is highly volatile and subject to all risks related to said companies. The company has an accumulated deficit of more than $100 million and has yet to turn a profit. Competition is also intense as hospitals opt for cheaper visualization devices that are less capital intensive than Imris's products.

The practice of selling expensive platforms to cash strapped hospitals will continue to be an obstacle for the company, and Imris's high priced products are a double edged sword. If the company manages to book more than one order per quarter revenues would soar, but any delay or the cancellation of just order would lead to a significant drop in revenues and share price. Shares of Imris are down 65% YTD, and hit an all time low of $1.16 after disappointing earnings were released in early November.
The initial revenues generated from the sale of one Visius Surgical System represent ~$0.12 per share. Based on a 2X multiple, the failure to sell a Visius System would result in a drop of $0.24 per share. At today's current prices, shares would drop to $1.09 if Imris disappointed investors and failed to sell any systems in a quarter. Therefore, if Imris fails to sell any systems during Q4 2013, the potential downside is approximately 18%.

The recently launched iCT system represents approximately $0.06 per share for every unit sold. Imris would have to sell two iCT systems to make up for the lost revenue of one Visius Theatre. Since Imris expects to book sales of their iCT system by the end of 2013, any potential drop in Visius revenues should be offset by revenues generated from the iCT. If Imris only manages to sell one iCT system and zero Visius system's from Q4 2013, then shares could see a potential downside of 9%. The sale of two Visius Systems and two iCT systems for Q4 2013 would represent potential upside of 55%. With a book value of $1.07 per share, Imris has more upside than downside potential.


Imris has come a long way since it re-branded its Visius Surgical Theatre in 2011. At the end of Q3 2013, Imris had sufficient funds to continue operations for more than a year without the need for raising additional capital. Imris should begin to see an increase in business as their recently established partnerships with medical companies Varian Medical and Siemens Healthcare (SI) lead to new distribution channels and increased sales. The company's new sales initiative and recently launched CT scanner should lead to immediate revenue growth that will continue to improve the company's financials, offer predictability of revenues with an increase in recurring service contracts, and lead to eventual profitability. At current prices of $1.33, Imris' risk/reward profile makes a compelling investment for speculators who believe the company and its new CEO will be able to turn around the company and begin to increase bookings.

All information was sourced from the company's investor presentations, conference calls, and SEC filings found here.

The Bozzo Effect: Drop In Frost Related Stocks Presents Buying Opportunity

By The Wall Street Fox → Monday, December 16, 2013

On Wednesday, December 11th, Anthony Bozza of Lakewood Capital Management publicly released his in depth bear thesis on Opko Health (OPK), which resulted in a steep, three day sell off for shares of the closely followed pharmaceutical and diagnostics company. After reading through the detailed report, it is clear that Bozza has presented a well thought out analysis of why Opko Health should be trading 75%-100% lower than today's current prices, though others disagree (Opko Health fired back at Bozza stating that his report is, "based on distorted and inaccurate information.") At the same time, it's extremely difficult to bet against a self-made billionaire who has a knack for creating and investing in small businesses that go on to deliver tremendous returns for shareholders. While Bozza considers this type of thinking a reason behind Opko Health's consistent and unwarranted price appreciation, I'd argue that history repeats itself. Here is a look at some of Phillip Frost's past investments:
  • Continucare: $16.8 million stake grew to $170 million (+900%)
  • Dreams: $2 million invested, grew to $15 million (+650%
  • Whitman Education: $6 million invested, grew to $175 million (+2800%)
  • Key Pharmaceuticals: $5 million invested, grew to $180 million (+3500%)
  • Rolapitant: $29 million invested, grew to $190 million (+580%)
  • IVAX: $100 million invested, grew to $1.5 billion (+1400%)
  • North American Vaccine: $10 million stake grew to $140 million (+1300%)
And here's a look at some of Frost's current investments:

Notice how all of the charts above move to the right and up.

After closely monitoring and researching the developments of the stocks listed above, I can confidently tell you that improving fundamentals and strong business developments are the reasons behind these price actions, rather than a "Frost feeding frenzy".

Bozza's bearish report on Opko dedicates a section to the associated business partners and public entities of Dr. Frost, and labels two of Frost's partners as "serial stock promoters". Bozza highlights questionable business practices from the past, noting that one company (Tiger Media, shown above) was revealed to be a fraud, and that Frost's business partners have been subject to multiple lawsuits. Bozza includes a tangled graphic of Frost and his associated holdings, which is quite revealing.

This chart should label Frost associates Michael Brauser and Barry Honig as serial entrepreneurs rather than promoters. Since Bozza's comments on Wednesday, several companies listed above have taken a hit, offering a prime entry point for the speculative investor. Some of the more promising investments are listed below.

Neovasc Inc: 12/13/13 $3.64
Neovasc's shares have shed more than 10% since Bozza's comments. The small cap medical device company has a promising set of catalysts approaching for its core tissue division and for its two life saving vascular devices, The Reducer and The Tiara. The Reducer recently released extremely positive top line results of its sham-controlled COSIRA trial, and full results should be released by the end of the month. The device is already CE marked in Europe, and is the first minimally invasive treatment for Refractory Angina. Based off of comparable devices, the device can be worth anywhere from $5.00 to $14.00 per share.
The Tiara has received an extremely broad patent for treating Mitral Regurgitation, and is the frontrunner in bringing an effective product to the market for the first time ever. Neovasc tested the device in animals and recently published strong data supporting the safety and efficacy of the device. The first human implantation is scheduled for Q1 of 2014. If approved and brought to market, this would be a billion dollar device.

Neovasc's Peripatch tissue division continues to boast strong growth and profit numbers, as shown in its latest quarterly filing. This profitable division should see increased revenues as more of Neovasc's customers gain FDA approval for their vascular devices that utilize Neovasc's Peripatch tissue. The profit generated from the tissue division funds the development of The Reducer and The Tiara, which is unique for a small medical company, which would usually have to rely on secondary offerings (dilution) to generate the necessary development funds. The expanding growth of Neovasc and its tissue division will not end anytime soon as they finalize the divestment of its low margin patch division and benefit from the rapidly growing heart valve market.

Bozzo's Opko report includes a sentence about Neovasc, which states, "So far in 2013, Neovasc has generated operating losses of C$ 4.8 million and has a book value of just C$7.4 million." This shortsighted statement does not provide a picture of the tremendous shareholder value that has been built at Neovasc over the years.

Tiger Media: 12/13/13 $1.20

Tiger Media is a nationwide advertising company based out of Shanghai, China. Fraud was exposed at the company in the past, which Bozza brings up in his report multiple times. Frost has remained invested in the Tiger Media despite the discovered fraud and replaced management in 2012. The company implemented a new business model that went live and began generating revenue this past summer. Frost is satisfied with the current CEO, Peter Tan, and had this to say about him and the company's future:
The initial team that was put together in China was dismissed. And we have a new CEO in place, Peter Tan, who is a terrific guy. I just came back from Shanghai a few days ago and met with the people in their offices. It's functioning beautifully now. We expect the company to be profitable early next year. The installation of their advertising screens are amazing. They're very classy and very elegant. It's a terrific business model now with good management.
The new name for that is Tiger Media. That is a company that as often happens, struggled initially, but we think we have a good formula now. We expect it to grow rapidly.
I'm an investor there. I'm not managing that business but since I have a significant position I try to keep abreast of what's happening.
Shares of Tiger Media dropped more than 10% since Bozza's report was released. The company has been declining for weeks since it hit an intraday high of $2.00 back in October. The recent departure of Tiger's CFO (a career move), and a reduction in the pricing of existing warrants, have left shares trading near key resistance levels. Shares may potentially be putting in a bottom near $1.20, as the company gears up for profitability next year.

Here's what Bozza had to say about Tiger Media.
The company has since changed its name to Tiger Media and trades for $1.30 per share with Frost still owning 28% of the company. Despite the fact that the company was a disastrous investment for Dr. Frost, that the books turned out to be fake and that the new Tiger Media (still trading under the ticker IDI), recorded no revenues for any of the past three years, Dr. Frost inexplicably continues to buy shares of this seemingly worthless entity with a ~$40 million market capitalization, most recently buying around $250,000 in stock on July 10, 2013.
Again, Bozza's statement regarding Tiger Media is focused solely on the past, and he fails to mention any of the positive developments that have recently taken place at the company.

TransEnterix: 12/13/13 $1.29

TransEnterix is a small cap medical device company that is awaiting FDA approval for its surgical robot, The Surgibot, which is based on its unique Spider System technology. The device is expected to be approved in 2014, and offers several advantages to Intuitive Surgical's Da Vinci System. The Surgibot is a minimally invasive surgical platform that utilizes a single incision that is about the size of a dime. The system has a much smaller footprint than the Da Vinci, will be considerably cheaper for hospitals, and allows surgeons to operate by the patient's side. A brief demonstration of the Spider System technology can be viewed here.

Since Bozza's report was released, shares of TransEnterix have shed more than 20% and are entering bargain territory. The company is led by Todd Pope, former executive of Johnson and Johnson, and plans to present at the Stifel Nicolaus MedTech Madness 2013 event on December 16th. The strong likelihood of the Surgibot gaining FDA approval and the disruptive potential that the device possesses makes shares very attractive at these levels, which haven't been touched since the reverse merger between TransEnterix and Safestitch Medical was closed in September.

Biozone: 12/13/13 $.54

Biozone Pharmaceuticals has been on a rollercoaster recently, after practically becoming a shell company when it sold most of its business to MusclePharm (MSLP). Shortly after the company signed a letter of intent with CoCrystal Discoveries to initiate a reverse merger. CoCrystal was a private company that had received a significant investment from both Opko and Teva (TEVA) back in 2011. The company is focused on creating antiviral therapies to treat hepatitis C, influenza, the rhinovirus, and more. The company's Chief Scientist is Roger Kornberg, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2006, and is a board member of Teva. The company has been utilizing high throughput x-ray crystallography and other methods developed by Kornberg to "develop superior versions of existing drug, as well as first in class drugs."

CoCrystal offers far more value than any of the Biozone assets that were recently sold off to MusclePharm, and investors should view this as an early stage medical company that seems to have made progress in the development of their five unique therapies (CoCrystal has been in operation since 2008). Still in the early development stage, Biozone remains a risky investment, but shares do look appealing as a long term play after dropping more than 10% since Bozza's comments.
Here are some bullish quotes from last month's merger press release:
We believe in our ability to discover oral, once-a-day, broad-spectrum antiviral drug candidates targeting the polymerase enzyme of the Hepatitis C virus. Our other first-in-class therapeutic programs have the potential to be billion dollar opportunities as well. (Biozone CEO Dr. Wilcox)
We are excited about the breadth of the management team at CoCrystal Discovery. There are compelling advantages to the technologies for small molecule inhibitors of the viral replication complex. In addition to the groundbreaking technology that CoCrystal Discovery possesses, I am always one to bet on management. With Dr. Wilcox's top-notch pedigree and success in bringing products to the market, I am confident in the future of this company. This merger will provide greater resources to help bring products of the combined company to market and offer shareholders an opportunity to realize significant value on their investment. (Phillip Frost)
Bozza's report details a lawsuit that was filed against Frost, Honig, and Brauser by the original founder of Biozone, and shines light on several business transactions that occurred between MusclePharm and Biozne prior to their announced deal. While Bozza is inferring that nothing but shady dealings are taking place behind Biozone, I'd argue that it's just business as usual. Frost is invested in a plethora of groundbreaking technologies and procedures, and the merging or sale of Frost related companies should be viewed as a strategic business move aimed at aligning synergies rather than a shady business move. Here's one of Bozza's comments on CoCrystal:
In the more than four years since Opko made its investment, there has been little apparent progress at Cocrystal as disclosed by Opko and the book value of the investment is just $2.5 million.
For the third time, Bozza has issued a shortsighted statement that solely focuses on the past and does not account for any of the positive developments that have recently occurred. While Bozza has extensively studied the ins and outs of Opko Health, he has failed to understand the core competencies of several Frost related investments.

All long Opko investors and Phillip Frost followers should send Anthony Bozza a thank you note this holiday season for creating a unique buying opportunity in several promising stocks. Bozza's constant focus on past developments and his inability to grasp the magnitude of Phillip Frost's business investments and the amount of time it takes for these investments to develop has left the above-mentioned companies trading at a considerable discount. With no business fundamentals changing, the recent drop in Frost related stocks is unwarranted. I believe Bozza has underestimated the integrity of Frost, and Bozza may very well become friends with Frost if he's ever forced to cover his short position. All prospective investors should monitor Opko Health and the above mentioned companies as investor presentations commence and trial results are released.

Long Awaited Android Device Can Push Nokia To New Highs

By The Wall Street Fox → Wednesday, December 11, 2013
A possible reason behind Microsoft's (MSFT) acquisition of Nokia (NOK) was to prevent the Finnish company from releasing popular, hardware capable Android devices once their exclusivity deal expired with the software giant in 2014. Rumors of Nokia developing an android capable device have been running wild among fanboys, investors, and tech enthusiasts for over a year. Recently, it has been revealed (via rumor) that Nokia is still planning to go ahead with its low cost android device, codenamed 'Normandy', with insiders reporting that the project is "full steam ahead". News of this device still being developed should come as a surprise to most investors who are expecting the company to be phoneless by the first quarter of 2014. The metrics of an android phone provide a lucrative opportunity for Nokia, but it will be short lived once the deal with Microsoft closes. Microsoft's fear of a Nokia android device was well warranted, and the device likely served as leverage for Nokia during negotiations with Microsoft. While Normandy's future may be in limbo, it seems clear that Nokia is keen on the revitalization of its phone business once it's permitted to do so in 2016.
News of this device comes at an interesting time for the company, which just received a tax bill from Indian authorities amounting to an outrageous $3.4 billion. Nokia's stock price took a hit during market hours, but recouped its losses after gaining 1.6% to close at $8.05 in after-hours trading. The tax dispute is threatening the timely closing of Nokia's deal with Microsoft, due to several assets currently frozen by Indian authorities which are apart of the deal with Microsoft, including Nokia's Chennai factory which employs more than 8,000 workers. With several international companies in similar tax disputes with the Indian government, including Vodafone (VOD) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), many eyes are watching this case. The ramifications can be large for both India and Nokia if India decides to play hardball. Nokia will most likely have to adjust its deal with Microsoft and retain ownership of the Chennai plant, which would lead to a sale to another potential buyer, or a possible contracting agreement, while India would be viewed as an unfavorable environment to do business and receive extreme criticism from international governments and businesses. Because of Microsoft's strong presence in India, they may have some influence in persuading India to accept Nokia's offer of $360 million to unfreeze assets. With Nokia requesting its assets to be unfrozen by December 12th, a positive decision from India by then can eliminate investor's worry and spark a buying frenzy.
Nokia's Normandy phone would be a low cost android that follows Amazon's path with the Kindle by adopting a version of Android that has not been approved by Google, meaning some applications and features would be absent from the device. It seems that Normandy and an eventual line up of similar android capable phones were bound to replace the Asha phone line in 2014. Nokia's feature phone division has been consistently losing market share to the recent introduction of low cost android devices, so this was Nokia's form of adapting. While it may be hard for Normandy to stand out in a sea of android clones, Nokia's brand name does hold significant value overseas, which should be able to aid in pulling in a solid customer base.
The continuation of Nokia's phone business would dramatically limit the true revenue potential of their patent portfolio due to cross licensing issues, and if Nokia began selling phones again in 2016, the window would be short-lived for the company to truly monetize off of their essential patents which are utilized in nearly every phone. Nokia's $40+ billion invested patent portfolio will take time to milk, and it may be smart for the company to jump back into the device business as soon as possible since the European Union is intent on opening an antitrust case if the company becomes an aggressive enforcer of their patents and focuses heavily on their standards-essential mobile patents.
The future strategy and potential revenues of Nokia is still not clear, and any negative decision from Indian tax authorities would create selling pressure for the stock and currently poses a risk to the company. But when you couple the potential of a tax dispute resolution with India and a leaked android device that is expected to be released in January of next year, the only move seems to be up. Investors need to remember that while Nokia may be planning to release an android device and 8 inch tablet in the coming months, these devices will no longer be relevant once the deal with Microsoft closes. Just think of it as Nokia going out with a bang, a loud one.

Plug Power Passed Its Inflection Point And Is On The Verge Of Exploding

By The Wall Street Fox → Thursday, December 5, 2013
Plug Power's (PLUG) president and CEO Andy Marsh summed up the company's turnaround efforts perfectly when he said in mid November, "We are like a phoenix rising. Ever since the Air Liquide investment we have been taking off." O
ne just has to look at the company's stock price to see what he's talking about.
Plug Power received the investment from Air Liquide when shares were trading near $0.12 in early May. Since then, the stock has returned nearly 700%. While the above chart may look daunting for prospective investors who want to gain exposure to Plug Power's promising future, the chart below shouldn't.
Plug Power has come a long way since its IPO in 1999, and is finally ready to explode back onto the map of Wall Street investors. The more than decade long downward spiral of Plug's shares seems to be at a halt, and the recent business updates from the fuel cell provider act as validation that not only Plug Power, but the fuel cell industry as a whole is ready for a rebound.
Confirmation of this turnaround was given to investors on the morning of December 4th, when Plug Power held an analyst event, conducted a conference call, and announced more than stellar sales expectations for the last month of the year. The company is expecting a "blowout" quarter to wrap up the year, and this shouldn't be its last. Shares rocketed more than 60% higher in early morning trading, hitting a high of $1.41, and finally settling at $1.28 for the day. Shares were up nearly 5% at $1.33 in after hours trading.
Plug Power has appreciated nearly 100% since I first highlighted the company in mid October. The short, mid, and long-term business prospects of Plug Power has never been better, and with a current market capitalization of approximately $140 million, shares are still highly undervalued. I'm still holding onto my core position, and view any selloff as a buying opportunity, here's why.
Rapid Recovery
CEO Andy Marsh laid it out plain and simple for investors during this week's conference call, the company expects to book $30-$40 million in revenues for the 4th quarter, if not more. Compare that to $1 million in revenues for the first 5 months of 2013, $11 million from May 15th to October 8th, and $17.8 million from October 8th to December 4th. This is impressive growth for a company that was on the verge of bankruptcy earlier this year. The company expects to break even this quarter, and post profitability during the first half of 2014, for the first time ever in its 16-year long existence.
The company expects to do more than $70 million in revenue for 2014, at gross margins of 25%. The recurring revenues from service will act as a financial cushion for the company in the short term, and truly drive revenues in the long term as more and more customer's sign service contracts. Marsh is very excited about Plug Power moving forward (12/4 business update):
I have to tell you, as I -- our service was a big problem for me a year ago. Today it is a huge opportunity. 
I'd just like to remind everybody of our goal next year. I'm feeling really good about our goals. And I got to tell you, it's a different feel about the company than it was in the last December at this time.
I have been here 5 years, and I got to tell you, I go home, I would say in my first year I was learning the business and I was comfortable. Now I really know the business, and I've never been more comfortable because this is a business that is about to explode. I'm just so pleased to be part of such team.
Hockey Stick Growth
Plug Power has a strong relationship with its existing customers, and the key here is Plug only has a few thousand forklifts deployed to date (~4,000), which is far less than the combined 250,000 forklifts deployed by their different customers. The GenDrive forklift is durable, effective, and efficient, and is helping large companies with distribution centers maximize profits and reduce costs.
It seems like Plug Power's Fortune 500 companies are ready to pull the trigger and fully commit to Plug Power forklifts and their hydrogen turnkey service, which provides recurring revenues for the company. A typical turnkey deal that the company provides would generate $8 to $12 million in revenue.
Here's the potential one specific customer can offer to Plug Power. Kroger (KR) operates more than 40 distribution centers, and Plug now expects to provide 2 to 3 sites per year with 200 to 300 GenDrive units. This represents approximately $6 to $10 million in revenue per distribution site, meaning Plug Power has the potential to generate anywhere from $12 to $30 million in annual revenue from one customer, out of 24 total customers (and counting). It seems clear that Plug will have to soon beef up its work force to support the strong demand of the company's products (though Marsh explained that the current workforce can handle up to $100 million in annual revenue). With multiple deals waiting to be announced later this month, it seems like $70 million in revenue for 2014 is a conservative estimate.
Plug Power's strategy of horizontally expanding their core products is starting to bear fruit, after receiving government funding for their Transportation Refrigeration Unit (TRU) GenDrive, and range extenders for ground vehicles, such as FedEx trucks, and airport utility vehicles. The company is preparing to deploy 15 ground vehicles to FedEx next year. Plug Power is attempting to penetrate these massive markets, and they are succeeding. The company has received strong interest from current customers for their TRU units, and has also launched a trial run of their fuel cell TRU with SYSCO in Long Island. More TRU units will be deployed next year. Most investors may not realize the significance the TRU market presents to Plug, but Marsh explained it accurately during the business update:
The transport refrigeration unit market could potentially be larger than our material handling market. The value it brings to our customers is logistics simplification.
Plug Power's engineering team will complete their work on the current GenDrive units by 2014, which will allow them to develop new and innovative products which can lead to substantial growth for the company's bottom line in the future. The growth potential behind Plug Power is massive, and the company, nor the industry, can be ignored anymore.
Upcoming Announcements
The company has a number of positive announcements to make by the end of the year, and in the beginning of 2014, which may help sustain Plug's positive momentum. The company plans to announce either one or two large, multi site deals by the end of the month.
If the company's share price can hold above $1.00 for nine more consecutive days, then the company will avoid the much-dreaded reverse split and gain compliance with NASDAQ on listing requirements. This will only add to the positive momentum of Plug's share price.
The company is expected to add two to three new auto manufacturers as customers by the first quarter of 2014. Auto manufacturers, such as BMW and Mercedes, have found Plug's GenDrive units to be extremely advantageous for them and their overall operations, due to the constant, heavy lifting required by forklifts at auto manufacturing plants.
Marsh from business update:
And I would expect that as the company brings more and more good news to the market over the next 3 to 4 weeks, it will have a positive effect on our stock price.
There is more to come form Plug, and any announcement of more deals, the addition of new customers (Amazon seems likely), or the development of a JV to expand into Asia and other countries should help boost this company's share price, and to reaffirm for investors that the fuel cell industry is indeed making a comeback.
Plug Power experienced a massive spike in volume on Wednesday, and the company has plenty to prove now that more investors have taken notice. The risks associated with any small cap stock still apply here, but the event of a reverse stock split, which was expected by many just last week, seems to be out of the question. In my last article, I highlighted that a 100% increase in share price would be reasonable for Plug Power; this turned out to be an extremely conservative figure. Plug Power still has multi-bagger potential at current levels of $1.33, and based off of the potential revenue from Kroger alone, Plug power has the long term ability to become a billion dollar company.
The fuel cell industry has ample room for growth, and investors can gain exposure not only from Plug Power, but from Plug's stack provider, Ballard Power Systems (BLDP). Fuel Cell Energy (FCEL) is another player in the industry.The confidence behind CEO Andy Marsh and the excitement behind Plug Power has picked up considerably since Plug Power provided an update in October of this year, along with the share price. While Plug Power will be subject to the everday metrics of trading and profit taking, I believe we may see a swift increase in Plug's share price as more and more large site deals are announced. Prospective investors should monitor the stock closely and view any pullback as a buying oppurtunity. The future looks bright for this beaten down stock.
Information was sourced from 12/04 CC.

3 Chinese Companies That Have Legitimate Operations And The Potential To Rise

By The Wall Street Fox → Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The compelling attraction of investing in a country that sports a booming population and spectacular growth rates has been clouded by constant fear of fraud and investment scams. Many public Chinese companies have been uncovered as complete scams, with company buildings and plants either being abandoned, or not producing anything at all. The most recent company subject to fraud allegations was NQ Mobile (NQ), after this MuddyWaters report was released last month. NQ Mobile's market value was cut in half and has yet to recover.
American investors have already lost billions of dollars to these fraudulent companies, and the prevalence of fraud in Chinese stocks has skyrocketed ever since American investors diverted their money into Chinese companies during the 2009 financial crisis. The Chinese government has repeatedly refused to work with SEC officials to curb the excessive amount of scams, which means it's up to the individual investor to do their own due diligence and uncover potential gems that are indeed fraudulent free. Although I did not step on a plane and directly visit the operations of the companies mentioned below, I strongly believe that they represent solid Chinese companies that are not involved in any fraudulent activities and have true exposure to the explosive growth of the Chinese market.
Gain Exposure to the Chinese Housing Market
IFM Investments (CTC) was founded in 2000 and provides real estate services throughout China; the company is headquartered in Beijing and employs approximately 13,000 people. IFM operates four different segments, including company-owned brokerage services, franchise services, mortgage management services, and primary & commercial services. The company has exclusive rights to use and franchise the popular estate brand, Century 21.
The company reported revenue of $119 million in 2012, and had approximately $26 million in cash as of September 30, 2013. The company's cash per share stands at $1.73, and their book value per share is $3.46. With shares currently trading at $2.00, and a market cap of only $30 million, the company seems undervalued. The company is in a turnaround mode, after cutting their losses from more than $50 million in 2011, to $8.5 million in 2012. The company posted a profit of $1.2 million for the first quarter of 2013, but posted a loss totaling $7.9 million for Q2 and Q3 of 2013. The company expects to recognize $1.6 million in revenue related to completed projects for Q4 of 2013, and an additional $7.5 million for Q1 of 2014.
The company recently hired Steve Ye as CFO. Ye is focused on introducing cost cutting measures, streamlining operations of the business, and increasing their investor relations efforts. PwC is the company's auditor, and many of the company's directors and management have held senior level roles in publicly listed US companies. A solid balance sheet, strong management, and coverage of the entire Chinese housing market make shares extremely attractive at current prices.
Gain Exposure to the Chinese Advertising Market
Tiger Media (IDI) is a micro cap advertising company headquartered in Shanghai that was once the subject of fraud when it operated under the name of SearchMedia Holdings. Then, the company had a different core business, and different management running the company. Since changing their name, business, and management, Tiger Media is on a clear path to profitability and it's only a matter of time before their growing LCD advertising network covers all tier I and II cities.
((A)) The company has shed nearly 10% since my article was released in mid September.
((B)) In the middle of October, shares rallied, following the strong price action by VisionMedia and other Chinese media stocks. Tiger's shares broke through $2.00 intraday on October 17th.
((C)) The company released less than stellar quarterly results, announced that their CFO had resigned, and canceled their quarterly conference call.
((D)) Tiger Media lowered the exercise price of their existing warrants to $1.25, from $2.50. The warrants expire at the end of December.
According to CEO Peter Tan, the departure of Steve Ye simply seems to be a career move, and nothing else (revenues of $100+ million at CTC, compared to beginning phases of new business at Tiger Media). Tiger Media's balance sheet makes it the most risky investment out of the three mentioned in this article (only $2.6 million in cash).
In their recent earnings release, CEO Peter Tan stated that their LCD network continues to receive positive responses from a diversified customer base, and that they have entered into an agreement with the Shanghai Film Group to market up to 100 new movie titles on their LCD network. COO Stephen Zhu commented that their LCD business continues to expand, and that they have commenced testing of their Wi-Fi and 3G capable LCD screens with China Unicom (CHU), and are planning to fully deploy the technology by the end of 2013. The interactive O2O (online to offline) presents a significant source of new revenues for Tiger Media, and should begin to materialize in 2014.
The growth story of Tiger Media is still intact, and the future prospects of the company seem stronger than ever now that they plan to fully deploy their O2O technology by the end of 2013. The company is expected to resume their quarterly conference call next quarter, and this should provide a clearer image of the company's utilization rates and their planned expansion into tier I and II cities.
Phillip Frost's position in Tiger Media has not changed since he last purchased approximately 300,000 shares at an average price of $0.81 on July 10th of this year. Frost owns approximately 32% of Tiger Media. Prospective investors should watch to see if shares close below key support of $1.24. If shares break this level, watch support levels of $1.00, and view this as a buying opportunity.
Gain Exposure to the Chinese Pharmaceutical Market
Tianyin Pharmaceutical (TPI) is a profitable small cap company that develops and markets modernized traditional Chinese medicines and other pharmaceutical products. The company has a portfolio of medicines, and their potential blockbuster product, named Gingko Mihuan, is expected to record upwards of $26 million in sales for 2013. The company has 10 drugs selected for the Essential Drug List (EDL) in China.
Since highlighting the company in mid October, the company has released quarterly results, and replaced its auditor. The company's original auditor had failed to renew its license with the SEC, and Tianyin was forced to terminate their relationship with the auditors. Since then, the company has hired Paritz & Company as its auditors. No financial wrongdoing has been found in previous financial reports, and management does not expect to find any.
Many readers questioned the legitimacy of Tianyin in the comment section of my last article. One reader questioned the likelihood that Tianyin actually had 10 drugs that were truly on China's EDL, but these were found and verified. Management has delayed a share repurchase program, and they recently stated that they would commence share repurchases in the beginning of 2014. The company has explained that they want to finish their current CAPEX projects before purchasing more shares, but they have plenty of cash on hand to do both at the same time. This has raised eyebrows for some, but I believe the company is simply trying to control spending and is being cautious. There are plenty of business factors that can affect the allocation given to a share repurchase. As an investor, I'd become suspicious if the company did not go through with their repurchase plan by the first half of 2014, after they complete all of their construction and relocation projects. The company has also been talking about creating a capsule form of their most popular drug to create a new stream of revenue for more than a year, but this has yet to materialize.
Tianyin Pharmaceuticals has $1.02 in cash per share, and a book value above $3.00 per share. The company's growth has been flat in many areas, and revenues recently declined by 8% on a quarterly basis. This is because of pricing pressures from China's new healthcare policies; therefore the company is extremely conservative with their guidance moving forward. Although the company is experiencing pressure from their API business, and new healthcare policies, the company's main drug continues to gain traction in many provinces throughout China, and sales should increase as the drug is added to more EDLs in other provinces. Tianyin has ample room to grow their business. The company has state of the art production facilities that meet the standards of the EU and US, and they are actively exploring options to sell their product in these markets. A capsule form of their most popular drug can also create a significant revenue stream if it's ever created. Investors should keep an eye on management's share repurchase program, and their geographical expansion plans (slated for end of 2014/beg of 2015).
Technically speaking, shares of Tianyin seem to be on the verge of breaking out above a $1.00 after falling from its intraday high of $1.44. Shares are currently trading below the company's cash per share, which make under a $1.00 an attractive entry point for the speculative investor. There is strong support at $0.89.
All risks associated with micro cap stocks apply to the above three companies. There are many headaches and risks associated with Chinese stocks. The stunning feeling of investing your hard earned capital into a fraudulent company has turned thousands of investors away from publicly listed Chinese companies. Many Chinese companies that have strong business prospects, a diverse board of directors, and executive management that has worked and studied in America are trading far below their book value, and sometimes below their cash value per share. Investors who do their own due diligence can identify fraudulent free, undervalued Chinese companies, and I believe the above three companies represent that.