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Biotech And Industrial Metals Top Penny Stocks To Watch For August

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Leading market benchmarks hit new highs in July, generating interest in small-cap stocks and low-priced securities for August, according to the Investopedia penny stocks to watch for August.

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Suffering sectors like industrial metals and brick-and-mortar retailers also perked up, driving swing traders and bottom feeders into the market. Such developments bode well for penny stocks in the near-term, even though traders have to recognize higher than average risk.

Biotech stocks performed well during the month as major sector funds broke out of basing patterns set in 2015. The strength of biotechs signals the start of secular uptrends that should support rallies at all capitalization levels in the next few months.

Four of this month’s stocks return from the previous two months while the balance are newcomers.

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1. ImmunoGen Inc. (IMGN)

Source: Investopedia

ImmunoGen, Inc. has grown by more than 70% since it joined the penny stock watch list in June, raising odds for double digit growth.

Immunogen, a provider of antibody-drug conjugates for the treatment of cancer, leads the top penny stocks for the second straight month after joining the list in June as the number four top stock to watch.

The stock posted a 12-year high at $20.25 in 2013 and sold off to $5.34 in December 2014. A recovery in 2015 stalled less than a point below the prior peak, creating a decline that continued into an 18-year low at $1.51 in November 2016.

The stock reached a 14-month high above $8.00 in early July. A mid-month pullback dropped the stock into intermediate support at the 50-day EMA, creating a healthy bounce that could now test the prior high, pushing into double digits.

ImmunoGen creates targeted cancer therapeutics. The company’s candidate, mirvetuximab soravtansine, is in a Phase 3 trial for an ovarian cancer, and is in Phase 1b/2 testing in combination regimens for an earlier-stage disease.

The technology is used in Roche’s Kadcyla, in three other clinical-stage ImmunoGen product candidates, and in programs in development by Amgen, Bayer, Biotest, CytomX, Lilly, Novartis, Sanofi and Takeda.

2. RADA Electronic Industries, Ltd. (RADA)

Source: Investopedia

RADA Electronic Industries, Ltd. (RADA), a defense electronics system of advanced electronic systems for airborne and land applications, rose from number 7 in July’s top penny stocks to watch to number two in August.

The stock fell into a multi-decade decline after it joined Nasdaq in the 1990s. It ground out a series of lower highs and lows through January 2016’s all-time 54-cent low. The stock spent 16 months moving sideways in a narrow basing pattern before turning higher in May 2017 and rallying back to 2016 resistance at $1.78. The bullish activity completed a cup and handle breakout pattern that could point to a fast rally into the August 2015 gap between $3.70 and $2.50.

The stock continues to gain strength, targeting the August 2015 gap at $4.24

Revenues totaled $4.7 million in the 2017 first quarter, up 91% compared to revenues of $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Gross profit totaled $1.7 million in the first 2017 quarter of 2017, a gross margin of 35.7%, compared to gross profit of $6,000 (gross margin of 0.2%) in the 2016 first quarter.

Operating income was $0.4 million in the first 2017 quarter compared to an operating loss of $1 million in the 2016 first quarter.

Net income attributable to RADA’s shareholders in the 2017 first quarter was $0.4 million, $0.02 per share, versus a net loss of $1.8 million, or $0.23 per share, in the 2016 first quarter.

3. 22nd Century Group, Inc. (XXII)

Source: Investopedia

22nd Century Group, Inc., a plant biotechnology company that is a provider of tobacco harm reduction and development of proprietary hemp/cannabis strains, rose from the number five spot in July’s top penny stocks to watch to number three in August.

The stock broke out above multi-year resistance near $1.50 in 2013, rallying to a record high a few months later at $6.36. It then began a persistent decline through August 2015 before finding support at 56 cents, followed by a bounce to $1.75.

The stock traded within those boundaries for 22-months, bouncing at support three times and reversing at resistance in equal measure. The price returned to that level a fourth time, improving odds for a breakout that could double the price in the year’s second half.

The stock found support near 70 cents in the second half of the year, testing that level three times ahead of a March 2017 uptick that has now reached ranged resistance. A breakout over $2 should draw strong buying interest favoring a high percentage rally back to its 3-year high.

The stock joined the Russell Microcap Index two months ago, when FTSE Russell reconstituted its U.S. and global equity indexes.

Membership in the Russell Microcap Index signifies automatic inclusion in the value style indexes. FTSE Russell determines membership for its Russell indexes primarily by objective, market-capitalization rankings and style attributes.

22nd Century Group focuses on genetic engineering and plant breeding that allows the increase or decrease of nicotine levels in tobacco plants and cannabinoids levels in cannabis plants. Its primary goal for tobacco is to lessen the harm caused by smoking. The primary goal for cannabis is to develop proprietary hemp/cannabis strains for new medicines and agricultural crops.

4. Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP)

Source: Investopedia

Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP), a provider of clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve challenges in their fuel cell programs, rose from the number 10 spot in the July penny stocks to watch to the number four spot in August.

The stock reached an all-time high at $144.95 in 2000 before falling for more than 12 years, reaching an all-time low at 56 cents. A 2013 uptrend continued through 2014, reaching an 8-year high at $8.38, followed by a correction that returned to 2015 resistance at $3.10.

The recovery wave reached new resistance in April 2017, generating a 3-month symmetrical triangle pattern that could yield an uptrend into the prior high.

Total revenue was $22.7 million in the last quarter, an increase of 39% from growth in both power products and technology solutions.

Gross margin was 42% in the quarter, an improvement of 22 points due to a shift in product mix toward higher margin technology solutions and a heavy duty motive for the China market, including the establishment of a production line in Yunfu, China for the manufacture and assembly of FCvelocity-9SSL fuel cell stacks.

Cash operating costs were $10 million in the quarter, a 6% increase due to higher research and product development expenditures as well as a stronger Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar, since a significant amount of cost is denominated in Canadian dollars.

Low-priced biotech stocks have risen following a long slumber, with steady buying interest likely to continue. This group should offer a variety of profitable penny stock plays during the quiet summer trading season, while low-priced stocks in other sectors move into narrow trading ranges.

5. Trilogy Metals, Inc. (TMQ)

Source: Investopedia

Trilogy Metals Inc., which engages in the development and exploration of mineral properties, joins the top penny stocks to watch list this month at number 5. The Vancouver, Canada-based company went public on the U.S. exchanges in April 2012 at $3.20, beginning an immediate downtrend to an all-time low at 15 cents in January 2016. A recovery wave mounted the 200-day EMA at 60 cents that stalled three months later, yielding a narrow basing pattern into a July 2017 recovery that has reached a 2-year high at $1.22.

A pullback to new support in the 80- to 85-cent price range should mark a low-risk buying opportunity, as the upside that could reach $2.

Trilogy Metals Inc. reported a strong working capital position of $20.1 million in the second quarter, with cash on hand of $14.5 million.

For the three months ending May 31, 2017, the company reported a net loss of $2.4 million compared to a net loss of $1.6 million for the corresponding period in 2016. This variance was primarily due to the size of the field programs at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects in 2017 as well as the timing of the program.

An increase of $840,000 of mineral property expenses occurred during the three months ended May 31, 2017 compared to the three months ended May 31, 2016. In 2017, the field program at Arctic and Bornite began with drilling by early June compared to 2016 where the field program kicked off in early July. This earlier start resulted in an increased mineral property expense during the second quarter of 2017. Additionally, an increased level of ongoing technical studies was occurring during the three months ended May 31, 2017 compared to the corresponding period in 2016.

The company announced a financial partnership with South32 Limited for an option to form a 50/50 joint venture for a minimum investment of $150 million. South32 is required to fund a minimum of $10 million per year for up to three years to keep the option in good standing. The first $10 million has been advanced to the company and will be spent on a 12,000-meter exploration drill program at the Bornite deposit, which is already underway.

6. Antares Pharma, Inc. (ATRS)

Source: Investopedia

Antares Pharma, Inc., which focuses on self-administered parenteral pharmaceutical products, caught fire after suffering an all-time low at 29 cents in January 2009, then delivering a strong uptrend continuing into the July 2012 all-time high at $5.58. The stock then fell in multiple selling waves that ended at a 6-year low in March 2016.

The subsequent recovery has now completed a round trip into the April 2015 high, retracing half of the multi-year decline. The price has consolidated above $3 for the past three months, establishing the final stage of a 2-year cup and handle pattern targeting the multi-year high.

The company recently reported operating and financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017. The company reported revenue of $13.4 million and a net loss per share of $0.02 for the three months ended June 30, 2017.

Revenue for the three months ending June 30, 2017 was $13.4 million, compared to $12.2 million for the comparable period in 2016. For the six months ended June 30, 2017, total revenue was $25.4 million, versus total revenue of $24.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016.

Product sales were $7.3 million for the three months ended June 30, 2017, compared to $8.7 million for the comparable period in 2016, totaling $17.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2017 compared to $19.5 million in the same period of 2016.

The decrease for the period was primarily driven by a reduction in sales of pre-launch auto injector devices for use with Teva’s generic epinephrine product and reduced sumatriptan product shipments to Teva partially offset by increased sales of OTREXUP.

The company also completed a non-dilutive, 5-year debt financing with Hercules Capital, providing Antares the ability to draw up to $35 million, with the first tranche of $25 million funded upon execution of the agreement.

7. Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc. (CVRS)

Source: Investopedia

Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc. topped out near $4.60 in 2015 and began a steep decline in January 2017 when it posted a multi-year low at 40 cents. The stock rebounded on strong volume one month later, marking an uptrend that reached an 18-month high at $2.25 in early July. The stock has been consolidating at new support for the last three weeks, settling on the 50-day EMA while its on-balance volume holds near the rally high. The bullish configuration favors continuing upside that could reach 2015 resistance at $3.

Second quarter revenue was $2.3 million compared to $0.5 million for the same period in the prior year. The increase is due mainly to CorPath GRX Systems and capital upgrade sales.

The company installed three new CorPath GRX Systems in the second quarter, increasing the installed base to 16 systems and the total installed base to 51 systems. The installed base of 16 systems accounted for almost 90% of all CorPath cassettes shipped for revenue in the second quarter.

Gross profit was $58,000 for the second quarter, compared to a loss of $0.6 million for the second quarter of 2016. The cost of revenues for the second quarter continued to include the effect of under-utilization of production facilities as well as the cost of CorPath GRX system upgrades installed pursuant to contractual service arrangements with no corresponding revenue in the period.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $5.9 million, compared to $4.4 million in the second quarter of 2016. The increase is primarily due to higher compensation and travel expenses associated with incremental sales headcount, investment in medical education and international sales initiatives, and incremental non-cash stock-based compensation expense related to the CEO and commercial leadership transitions during 2016.

8. Medical Transcription Billing Corp. (MTBC)

Source: Investopedia

Medical Transcription Billing Corp., a healthcare information technology company that provides proprietary web-based solutions, together with related business services, to healthcare providers practicing in ambulatory care settings, went public at $4.28 in July 2014 and entered a downtrend that continued to the April 2017 all-time low at 29 cents. The stock recovered two sessions later in reaction to positive sales news and topped out at $3.84 in mid-May.

A subsequent pullback has now since reached support at the 200-day EMA near $1.20, with a rally from this level generating buying signals favoring ongoing upside into the second quarter high.

Revenues for second quarter 2017 were $7.8 million, an increase of 49% versus $5.2 million in the same period last year. The increase was mainly due to the MediGain acquisition.

The second quarter 2017 GAAP net loss was $1.7 million, or 22% of revenue, an improvement of $1 million compared to a net loss of $2.7 million in the first quarter 2017. The GAAP net loss in the second quarter 2017 was mostly a result of non-cash amortization and depreciation expenses of $1.5 million.

The second quarter 2017 GAAP operating loss was $1.4 million, or 18% of revenue, which represents an improvement of $1 million or 43% from the $2.4 million operating loss in the prior quarter.

As of June 30, 2017, the company had $5.8 million in cash and a working capital deficiency of approximately $4.1 million.

The company raised gross proceeds of $2.3 million from a registered direct offering of its common stock priced at the market on May 10, 2017. MTBC issued 1 million registered shares of common stock to a healthcare institutional investor at a purchase price of $2.30 per share. Concurrently in a private placement, MTBC issued warrants to purchase up to 2 million shares of its common stock, with an exercise price of $5 per share, which are exercisable through May 15, 2018, and would deliver potential gross proceeds of up to $10 million if exercised.

In addition, the company raised gross proceeds of $7.4 million from the sale of about 295,000 additional shares of its non-convertible Series A Preferred Stock on June 23, 2017.

9. Intrepid Potash, Inc. (IPI)

Source: Investopedia

Intrepid Potash, Inc., the only U.S. producer of muriate of potash, sold off to 2008 support at $13.80 in 2014. Two years later, the stock began a decline that reached an all-time low at 65 cents in March 2016. The stock rose above $1.50 in June before settling in a sideways pattern ahead of a December 2016 breakout that soon stalled at $3.04.

The stock spent the last eight months consolidating its gains and is now testing the rally high. A breakout could generate an uptrend reaching 200-week EMA resistance between $6 and $8.

Intrepid generated a second quarter net loss of $5.9 million, or $0.05 per share, delivering a first half net loss of $19.6 million, or $0.19 per share. This marked an improvement over the net losses of $13.4 million, or $0.18 per share, and $31.8 million or $0.42 per share, in the second quarter and the first half of 2016, respectively.
Improvements in year-over-year net loss per share were driven in part by a gain in outstanding shares from a March 2017 secondary offering.

Consolidated gross margin advanced to $3.7 million and $0.8 million in the second quarter and the first half of 2017, respectively, against the prior year. Improvements were due to lower cost solar potash production and higher average net realized potash pricing that offset lower average net realized sales prices for the product, Trio.

Cash provided by operating activities rose year-over-year to $9.7 million and $11.5 million for the second quarter and the first half of 2017, respectively. Increased cash flow was due to strong spring demand, increased potash prices, and the elimination of costlier conventionally mined potash from the production profile.

10. Tantech Holdings, Ltd. (TANH)

Source: Investopedia

Tantech Holdings, Ltd., a manufacturer bamboo-based charcoal products for industrial energy applications and household cooking, heating, purification, agricultural and cleaning uses, went public at $6.00 in March 2015 and began an uptrend that topped out at $33.97 five months later. In the next three months, the stock relinquished more than 90% of its value. Bears maintained control into the April 2017 all-time low at $1, followed by a recovery that reached a 10-month high in July.

Pricing has tested resistance at the September 2016 breakdown through the October 2015 low, with a buying surge setting the stage for upside in the $6 range.

For the six months ended December 31, 2016, revenues were $24.88 million and net earnings were $2.77 million, according to a June 2017 financial report.

Gross margins widened from 25.02% to 30.33% compared to the same period last year, with EBITDA operating margins 18.28% compared to 18.64% the prior year. Year-on-year change in operating cash flow was 32.02%, about the same as the change in earnings.

Penny stocks require investors to make some guesses about the future. Very few such stocks have a sufficient track record to indicate they will prosper. At the same time, the stocks on this list are in significant industries and have the potential to be vital players in those industries.

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New York-Based TokenBnk Launches Crypto Savings Account

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The blockchain ecosystem is budding with innovation. TokenBnk has added its name to the list of most interesting blockchain startups when it launched a decentralized application that functions very much like a traditional savings account.

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Traditional Finance Meets Cryptocurrency

New York-based TokenBnk is the world’s first Ethereum-based savings account. The general idea behind TokenBnk is that you can deposit tokens into your Savings Contract (instead of a savings account) and earn rewards in the same token you hold. It operates very much like a traditional bank account, only for cryptocurrency. That’s kinda what we’re all about here at Hacked.

To illustrate how the platform works, suppose you receive 1,000 TBK as a reward and hold 500 of them in ether and 500 in OmiseGo. You will receive the same proportion of tokens back into your Savings Contract, thereby boosting your position size.

To withdraw ether from your savings account, you must pay a predetermined fee using the platform’s native TBK token. The fee is distributed as an award throughout the network via smart contract. The amount network participants receive is proportional to the percentage of the Total Network Value they represent.

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The Launch

TokenBnk emerged-by-stealth on or about Thursday, much to the surprise of the author, who has been anticipating this project for quite some time. The release was accompanied by an 11-page whitepaper and plans for a Nov. 30 token launch.

The protocol is being audited as we speak before beta testing goes live. TokenBnk will launch via mobile app some time in Q1 2018, followed by a full platform launch later in the year.

The development team behind TBK is impressive, with the main website listing 14 young men who can’t be more than 35 years old. The team hails from some of America’s most prestigious universities, such as Stanford, Princeton, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon and NYU. Private sector experience is also exemplified with stints at Amazon, AngelList and J.P. Morgan. (We’re glad the former JPM employees at TokenBnk didn’t drink from the same Kool-Aid as Jamie Dimon.)

TokenBnk CEO Shayne Coplan makes a strong case for his platform, especially for those of us keen on investing in cryptos over the long term.

“Currently, most long term holders leave their tokens in their Ethereum wallet, but why do that if you can yield automated regular returns by storing them on the blockchain as part of the TokenBnk network?” Coplan told Hacked. “The idea of holding fiat currency long term and earning no ROI is considered foolish, and it will be no different for cryptocurrencies.”

Coplan was part of the ETH presale back in 2014. With ether prices recently surging past $300, most market participants probably regret trading it right off the bat.

“In hindsight, the buy and hold strategy massively outperformed even the most successful of traders,” Coplan adds. “With the new wave of tokens arriving in the market over the next few years, hopefully TokenBnk can help token holders avoid making that same mistake.”

Ether trails only bitcoin in the race for market cap and is widely considered one of the most promising cryptos from a development point of view.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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Blockchain, Insurance and the Crisis of Trust

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Blockchain has been described as the modern-day cure for many ailments facing industry. For insurers, the ledger technology can change the way businesses process claims, share data and prevent fraud.

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Blockchain for Insurance

Fin-tech disruption has played an important role in reshaping the insurance industry. The internet, mobile devices and even data analytics have become indispensable to modern-day insurance providers.  What’s more, the industry full expects this disruption to intensify in coming years.

A survey of financial service providers conducted by PwC found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of insurers identified their own industry as the most likely to undergo significant change as a result of technology. That survey was conducted long before blockchain was even a thing for the average observer.

Fast forward to today, and blockchain is all the rage. Beyond the hype, the ledger technology has radically transformed our perception of record-keeping and trust. As a self-managed system, it can help insurers coordinate claims and boost efficiency without the need for an intermediary.

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Improving Trust

Most people have or at some point will interface with the insurance sector. It is here that they will likely experience the crisis of trust that have caused many to go uninsured. Recent earthquakes in California revealed that only 17% of the state’s homeowners have insurance to cover the natural disaster.

Of course, everyone in the state knows about the San Andreas fault. The choice to go uninsured is a rational one aimed at circumnavigating an industry plagued by a lack of trust. Blockchain isn’t some magic bullet that will fix this problem. But what it can and will provide is transparency.

More transparency can create a more efficient insurance sector by reducing or eliminating all together the need for manual processes. As anyone who has tried to switch healthcare providers knows, manual data entry is prone to huge risks, not to mention fear of losing personal data.  Through blockchain, personal data may be controlled by an individual, but verification is registered on the immutable ledger book.

Blockchain also provides smart contract capability, which can greatly enhance claims processing. By recording and verifying contracts on the ledger, insurers can guarantee that only valid claims are made. For consumers, it also means not having to fill out cumbersome paperwork.

Insurers are also leaning on the blockchain to detect fraud, which drains businesses out of tens of billions of dollars annually. The blockchain’s permanent record provides a decentralized repository insurers can use to verify every customer, policy and transaction. Before the blockchain, this would have required extensive cooperation between various actors.

There’s already a budding community of blockchain companies involved in the insurance industry. Together with other finance companies, they are among the biggest draws of the ICO market. According to CoinSchedule, more than 9% of the total funds raised via ICOs this year have come to finance companies.

When it comes to blockchain, insurance is another sector investors should carefully monitor. It is highly lucrative, but suffers from huge flaws that these new technologies can help fix.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Gizer and Gaze Coin Join Forces to Shape eSports Future

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Global gaming network Gizer has joined forces with VR platform Gaze Coin in a bid to transform the eSports economy.  The companies are expected to boost monetization channels while providing new opportunities for virtual reality-based gaming.

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Partnership Announced

The strategic partnership, which was just announced via Gizer’s Medium channel, appears to be centered on delivering gaming events in virtual and augmented reality. That’s a powerful concept for the rapidly growing eSports segment.

Gizer launched its crowdsale last month amid much fanfare, and has been ranked one of Hacked.com’s best ICOs of the year. The gaming network made headlines last month after it brought on blockchain heavyweight David Drake to its  advisory board. Drake is the Chairman of LDJ Capital and is regarded as an influential blockchain leader.

Gaze Coin’s ICO is coming down the pipeline for Nov. 28. It will be hosted on the Ethereum platform, with a total supply of 100 million tokens.

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Both companies appear to be synchronizing their development roadmaps to deliver games in virtual and augmented reality. Gizer plans to unveil its marketplace in early 2018. That’s around the same time Gaze Coin intends its launch the mixed-reality game Dream Channel, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival this past May.

eSports Industry Is Booming

The eSports ecosystem is growing at a rapid rate, according to various research reports that peg it as a billion-dollar industry over the next two years. Earlier this year, Newzoo said it expects eSports revenues to reach $1.5 billion by 2020, with brand investment doubling over that period.

Clearly, the idea of creating professional leagues out of multiplayer games is gaining in popularity. Given the number of users already playing online, the need for an integrated network that connects all the dots and provides incentives has never been greater. The blockchain can greatly enhance the end user experience by creating a stable infrastructure to handle all transactions. This not only improves the platform, but ensures toxic members are kept at bay. (How many times have you played your favorite EA Sports game only to have to deal with members abusing one another and cheating? The blockchain is a potential remedy.)

Greater community involvement and more opportunity to grow the ecosystem are the other major benefits offered exclusively by the blockchain. And because this environment can be monetized, there’s huge incentive to grow and improve it over time.

In reality, eSports is just one of a myriad of industries currently being developed by the blockchain community. A total of 27 industries have been represented by the ICO universe this year alone, according to CoinSchedule. Gaming and VR token raises have been among the most lucrative, drawing in more than $120 million through the first ten months. That’s roughly 4% of the $3.25 billion in ICO funding raised this  year alone.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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