Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Qiagen's Acquisition Of Artus

There's more consolidation in the life science supplier companies. Today, Qiagen announced that they were acquiring Artus for $39 million in cash. Artus is a leader in the molecular diagnostics arena, they are an OEM supplier to many of the big diagnostic firms such as Abbott. This acquisition is slightly dilutive to earnings in 2005 and $0.01 to 0.02 accretive to earnings in 2006. It's not a big acquisition, but it is a nice fit for Qiagen.
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In case your wondering what Qiagen does... Well they manufacture these columns packed with a resin, which specifically binds to nucleic acids (DNA, RNA). If you perform any type of molecular diagnostic testing, you need to isolate DNA from the sample. You will use Qiagen's plasmid purification kits to perform this procedure.

Qiagen stock declined today, there's a lot of skeptical analyst out there. Anyways, here's a take from one analyst: Analyst Mike Booth at Canaccord Capital's London office reacted positively to the transaction and reiterated a "buy" recommendation on Qiagen, with a target price of 11 euros. "It appears to complement Qiagen's core expertise in sample preparation and handling, and it augments the company's ability to penetrate further into higher-margin businesses such as molecular diagnostics," he wrote in a research note. (BioWorld Today June 1, 2005)

Note: I have a position in Qiagen. I purchased this stock in 1996 as soon as it came public and have held on since. If you take a look at the charts, you will see that I've experienced the ups and the downs.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Just Chilling Out / Real Money

I've been very busy with work, so no time to follow the market. I'm feeling market withdrawal right now! In the mean time, I picked up Cramer's book. It's actually not bad, he's got some good trading strategies / disciplines. There are so many books on investing / trading, most are simply junk. Cramer's book is actually a keeper...

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Genentech... Another Win!

It sounds like I'm repeating myself once again, but Genentech has another winner. This time it's Lucentis, a drug for wet aged-related macular degeneration. The drug actually improved vision in their phase 3 trials, which was a positive surprise. Most people were just expecting the drug to preserve vision. This is very bad for Eye Tech (EYET), check out the stock in after hours (down 27%)... ugggly! I keep kicking myself for not picking up more Genentech in the 50s. Oh well... no point in looking back.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Biotech Article From The Street.Com

The Street.Com had a nice little write up on biotech investing. Here's the link if you want to check it out:


Sunday, May 15, 2005

Back To The Future (5 Year Goal)

I just dug up an old personal finance report. The following balance sheet was created in 2000, while in grad school. My goal at that time was to attain a net worth of ~ $500,000 in five years (2005). Well, did I accomplish the goal?? We'll see at the end of this year...

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Friday, May 13, 2005

American Express Financial Planner

So today, I went to the "free" financial consultation with an American Express financial planner. What was supposed to be a 45 minutes consultation, turned into an hour and a half sales pitch. This planner was a relative newbie, he's been doing this for only two years. If I was seriously looking for a financial planner, I would look for someone with a lot more experience. Everything he said was so scripted. Was all this worth a $50 American Express gift check? I guess so... Just glad it's over!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Biotech Rally Continues

It's nice to see the biotech sector holding up in a down market. All of the major biotechs posted nice gains today. As you know, I'm heavily overweight in this sector and it's nice to see it pay off on days like this. I tend to stay away from the more speculative names (no sales or earnings). For most people, the best way to invest in this industry is through a sector fund such the one's from Fidelity or exchange traded funds such as the BBH and IBB.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Last Earnings Report (Fisher Scientific)

Fisher Scientific (FSH) is the last company in my portfolio to report Q1 earnings. They reported in-line numbers after the bell. They're one of the big players in supplying consumable products for biotech & pharma research. This company is trading at ~15X this years earnings with expected growth rate of ~17% for the next couple of years. This company is worth keeping an eye on. I only have a small position in this company. Not yet ready to make a big commitment...

On a different note... Nice move in the biotech sector today. ASCO (the big oncology conference) begins later this week. Keep an eye on the biotech stocks. There's going to be news leaks on the upcoming ASCO presentations. This always happens...

Saturday, May 07, 2005

$50 to See an American Express Financial Advisor

Last week, I received an Email offer for a financial consultation from American Express and in return I'll receive a $50 American Express check for hearing them out. I decided to take them up on the offer. I'll basically listen to a 45 minutes sales pitch. The appointment is this coming Thursday, so we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Genzyme Breaking Out

What happened to Genzyme (GENZ)? I went up $2.69 to close at a new high of $62.71, a 4.40% gain, on big volume. I can't figure out the reason for this move. The only press release today was some Synvisc news, which shouldn't have affected the stock price. Yesterday, they announced an acquisition of Bone Care International (BCII). This is a good strategic deal, but it will only be slightly accretive to earnings in 2006. The acquisition news was already reflected in yesterdays stock price. I'm not complaining since this is my largest position. But something's up...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Finally Made a Trade

Well, today I sold Las Vegas Sands (LVS). I managed to get some shares back in December at the IPO price of $29. I should have taken my profits when it was higher, but you just can't look back. Yesterday's earnings report didn't give me a good fuzzy feeling. After listening to the conference call, I just didn't have the conviction to hold on. They're still trying to get a good handle on the Macau market. Macau will be intensely competitive when Wynn and MGM enter the market. I didn't have much in LVS, but I'll take a 20% gain over a ~5 month period anytime.

I'll start looking for some new ideas...