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January Brings New Year Opportunity To Penny Stocks; Cryptocurrency Enters The Mix

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Penny stocks under performed other investments at the end of 2017 as most speculative capital poured into cryptocurrency and blockchain offerings. The new year brings new opportunity to weak performers, however, and a handful of cryptocurrency and blockchain players have entered the mix of the January Top 10 Penny Stocks to Watch, according to Investopedia.

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Sierra Oncology delivered the strongest showing on the December top 10 Penny Stocks to Watch list, gaining more than 30% to an 18-month high. Sierra Oncology was among five previous picks to join the January penny stocks to watch as their technicals portend still higher prices.

The January list includes a trio of perennial laggards that have moved into blockchain technology: Nova Lifestyle, Inc., Long Blockchain Corp. and Nxt-ID, Inc.

January is the most favorable time of the year for small cap stocks as they tend to post their strongest yearly gains in the first quarter due to the tax loss selling that ends on Dec. 31 which allows weak performers to improve. Winners also start the year with strength in January as market players take profits to incur capital gains exposure.

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Source: Yahoo Finance

1. Medical Transcription Billing, Corp. (MTBC)

Medical Transcription Billing Corp., a healthcare information technology company that provides a fully integrated suite of proprietary web-based solutions, held its top position on the stocks to watch list for the second straight month in January. The stock grabbed the top spot in December from the number five spot in November.

The stock went public in July 2014 at $5.00 and suffered an immediate downtrend that continued into the all-time low of 29 cents in April of 2017. The stock improved a few sessions later, topping out at $3.84. The stock bounced off that level in early October, lifting to $5.44 before pulling back in a shallow trading range with support at $2.40.

The company recently reaffirmed its 2017 revenue guidance of $31 to $32 million, representing year-over-year revenue growth of approximately 30%. The recent signing of the largest client in the company’s history positions MTBC for additional revenue growth in 2018.

During the fourth quarter of 2017, the company anticipated record adjusted EBITDA in excess of $1 million for the quarter, along with continued improvement in GAAP net income and positive cash from operations.

Source: Yahoo Finance

2. EVINE Live, Inc. (EVLV)

EVINE Live, Inc., a multiplatform interactive digital commerce company that sells a mix of proprietary, exclusive and name brands directly to consumers via television, online and mobile, moved from the number seven spot in December to the second spot in January.

The stock hit an all-time low at 18 cents in March 2009, then bounced to $8.73 in 2011. The $1.50 level held through a pullback in 2013, then recovered, attracting aggressive selling pressure that ended in a 2015 reversal.

The stock broke support in January 2016, falling to a 6-year low at 41 cents, then recovered a bit, testing a new resistance that has entered its second year. It bounced to 90 cents in August and is testing resistance once again, with a breakout predicting an excellent upside that could test double digits.

A rally over $1.60 would draw strong buying interest, favoring a healthy uptick in the $2.40 September 2016 high.

The company posted third quarter net sales of $150 million, which is less than a 1% decrease year-over-year. Management estimated net sales would have increased 1.0% excluding the estimated $3 million negative sales impact from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma during the quarter.

The company posted a third quarter net loss of $1.1 million, a 71% improvement year-over-year, with earnings per share of ($0.02), a 67% improvement year-over-year, and an adjusted EBITDA of $3.8 million, a 49% improvement year-over-year.

Beauty was the top performing category in the quarter, growing 10% year-over-year. Fashion, home and consumer electronics also increased year-over-year.

The return rate for the quarter was 19.1%; an improvement of 140 basis points year-over-year.

Gross profit as a percentage of sales increased 150 basis points to 38.1% year-over-year, driven primarily by improved rates. Gross profit dollars increased 3% to $57.3 million year-over-year.

Operating expense remained flat at $58 million year-over-year.

Source: Yahoo Finance

3. Sierra Oncology, Inc. (SRRA)

Sierra Oncology, Inc., a clinical stage drug development company focused on advancing next generation DNA damage response (DDR) therapeutics for the treatment of patients with cancer, rose from the fifth place in December to the third spot in January, after rising from tenth place in November.

The company went public near $29 in July of 2015 and began a downtrend that continued through a June 2017 all-time low at $1.10. The stock turned higher in July, hitting the 200-day EMA in October and breaking out shortly after, marking the first time in the stock’s public history it closed above this long-term barrier.

The stock then recovered from its October lows to post a 30% rise to a 17% monthly high. The rally is now filling the June 2016 gap between $6.70 and $2.96, raising odds for healthy upside into the fill price in coming months. The stock’s on balance volume has already reached an all-time high, indicating that price will continue to play catch-up.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2017, the company incurred a net loss of $10 million, compared to a net loss of $15.2 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2016. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2017, Sierra incurred a net loss of $31.4 million, compared to a net loss of $38.6 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2016.

Cash and cash equivalents totaled $107.8 million as of Sept. 30, 2017, compared to $116.7 million as of June 30, 2017, and $109 million as of Dec. 31, 2016. The company believes its existing cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund current operating plans through approximately mid 2019.

As of Sept. 30, 2017, there were 52,268,443 shares of common stock issued and outstanding, and stock options to purchase 7,685,449 shares of common stock issued and outstanding.

Source: Yahoo Finance

4. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, Inc. (LTS)

Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc., a diversified financial services company based in Miami, Fla., moved from the number nine spot in December to the fourth spot in January.

The stock tested a 2007 high at $3.75 in 2013, then broke out, reaching an all-time high at $4.50 in October of 2014. The stock then pulled back in December, finding support at $3.30 before breaking in July 2015, falling into a volatile decline.

Buying activity resumed in September near $1.80 when two 2016 tests at that level completed a triple bottom reversal. The uptrend found resistance at $2.80 in September 2017 and is now challenging the 2014 breakdown level. The strongest accumulation thus far into the decade portends a healthy breakout.

The stock broke out in October and has been crisscrossing resistance near the November 2015 high at $3.28 for the last several weeks. A buying spike above $3.50 should clear this obstacle, opening the door to a test of the 2014 high.

The company recently announced that it has closed its previously announced underwritten registered public offering of $72.5 million aggregate principal amount of 6.50% senior notes due in 2027.

The offering resulted in net proceeds of approximately $69.6 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, but before expenses. The company plans to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

During the three months ending Sept. 30, 2017, total revenue was $322,309 compared to $274,323 in the same period in 2016. Net income was $4,499 compared to a $7,514 loss in 2016. EBITDA was $16,662 compared to $5,564 in 2016.

Source: Yahoo Finance

5. Limelight Networks, Inc. (LLNW)

Limelight Networks, Inc., which operates a content delivery network, fell from the fourth spot in December to the fifth spot in January.

The stock rallied 20% to a 6-year high in mid November before falling back to its late October level. The stock ended a decline at $1.75 in 2008, then bounced to $8.97 in 2010. It returned to support in 2011 before breaking down four years later, dropping to an all-time low at 90 cents in February of 2016.

The stock remounted broken support after the presidential election, beginning an uptrend that has reached a 6-year high at $5.18. The uptick stalled above $6.00 in November, generating a decline that’s just filled the October breakaway gap at $4.50. This action could signal a low-risk buying opportunity, ahead of a bounce that resumes the strong uptrend.

Revenue for the third quarter was $46.1 million, the highest in 19 quarters, up 17% year over year.

GAAP gross margin was 48.4%, the highest in company history. Gross margin expanded by 730 basis points year over year. Cash gross margin of 58.9% was the highest since 2008.

Non-GAAP net income was $2.2 million, the highest third quarter since 2007.

Adjusted EBITDA was $7.4 million, the highest third quarter in company history.

Source: Yahoo Finance

6. Nova Lifestyle, Inc. (NVFY)

Nova Lifestyle, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of modern lifestyle furniture, recently formed I Design Blockchain Technology, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary.
The furniture maker went public at $2.05 in January 2013 and posted an all-time high at $10.35 a year later. The stock then declined in July 2016 to an all-time low at 38-cents, then recovered to $5.15 in October. In the summer of 2017 the stock spiked to yearlong range resistance at $2.75.

On Dec. 11, 2017, the company approved a share buyback program to purchase up to $5 million of its common stock in transactions conducted through a broker or dealer in compliance with Rule 10b-18 promulgated under the Exchange Act. The duration of the program will be one year. The share buyback program will be funded from the company’s cash and future cash provided by operating activities.

In November of 2017, the company issued fourth quarter guidance, noting that it expected to generate revenue of approximately $35 to $36 million and net income of approximately $1 million per month or in the range of $3 million to $3.5 million for the fourth quarter, a multi-fold increase from the same period last year.

Net income per share was expected to be in the range of $0.11 to $0.13 for the quarter, a significant increase over the prior year.

The company noted its growth is based on expanded sales channels, new product offerings and repeat customer orders from Asia and Australia and expanded profit margins across nearly all product lines.

Source: Yahoo Finance

7. Long Blockchain, Corp. (LTEA)

Long Blockchain Corp., formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea, Corp., rallied to $15.00 in February 2015, then sold off, finding support in 2016 near $3.60. In September 2017 it fell to a multi-year low at $1.70 just a few days before its name change triggered a pre-market rally in the mid-teens that tested the prior high.

The stock opened the regular session in single digits and has since pulled back. A Fibonacci grid stretched across the vertical uptick portends a buying opportunity at the 0.786 retracement level close to $3.40. As of Dec. 29, the stock has hovered just below the $5.00 penny stock threshold.

On Jan. 16, the company announced that it was not proceeding with its previously announced public offering of common stock while also announcing that it entered into a letter-of-intent to merge with Stater Blockchain Limited, a technology company focused on developing and deploying globally scalable blockchain technology solutions in the financial markets. Stater’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Stater Global Markets, is a Financial Conduct Authority regulated brokerage that facilitates market access across multiple instruments including spot FX, digital currency futures and contracts.

The letter of intent contemplates an all-stock transaction pursuant to which Long Blockchain Corp. would form a wholly-owned subsidiary which would merge with Stater, with Stater surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. The company anticipates it would remain listed on the Nasdaq Capital Markets following the closing of the transaction.

If the company is able to reach an agreement with Stater and the transaction is consummated, it is expected to complement its recently announced agreement to acquire 1,000 Antminer S9 mining rigs and 1,000 APW3++ PSUs.

Source: Yahoo Finance

8. Nxt-ID, Inc. (NXTD)

Nxt-ID, Inc., which provides a comprehensive platform of technology products and services that enable the Internet of Things (IoT), joined the blockchain bandwagon on Dec. 20, announcing the creation of a cryptocurrency payment platform. The company entered into agreements with institutional investors to purchase an aggregate of approximately $7 million worth of shares of common stock in a registered direct offering.

The company went public at $30 in 2013 and posted an all-time high at $72.50 a month later.

The stock fell to $1.60 in December of 2015, falling even further into November 2017.
A rally and deep pullback followed the company’s blockchain news while a Fibonacci grid stretched across the uptick, indicating a buying opportunity at the 0.786 retracement level near $2.75.

On Dec. 19, 2017, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited and Fit Pay, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of NXT-ID, Inc. announced an agreement to extend contactless payment capabilities to a range of new devices. The agreement enables ANZ cardholders to make secure contactless payments at NFC-enabled point-of-sale locations directly from Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable devices that are integrated with the FitPay payment platform.

Under the agreement, ANZ will participate in FitPay’s token requester program, which enables cardholders to securely add their payment credentials to devices that are integrated with FitPay’s contactless payment platform. The platform uses tokenization, a payment security technology that replaces cardholders’ account information with a unique digital identifier (a “token”), to transact highly secure contactless payments. It allows consumers to pay at near-field communication-enabled point-of-sale terminals with a simple tap.

The collaboration with ANZ includes ensuring that the devices meet ANZ’s technical, usage, security, branding and consumer experience requirements. Manufacturers of 15 IoT and wearable devices are currently integrating with the FitPay Payment Platform. Product announcements from the manufacturers of these devices are anticipated in throughout the next year.

Source: Yahoo Finance

9. Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (VKTX)

Viking Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders, went public at $8.50 in April 2015, topping out at $10.00 a month later. The downtrend found support just under $1,00 in November 2016, yieldinga test in August of 2017 that completed a bullish double bottom reversal.

A September rally lifted the stock into December’s 2-year high at $4.40. The stock has consolidated gains in a narrow trading band and could head higher in January, lifting near broken 2015 range support at $5.70.

The company in December of 2017 announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering of 5.9 million shares of its common stock, including 769,565 shares sold pursuant to the underwriters’ full exercise of their option to purchase additional shares to cover over-allotments, at a public offering price of $2.50 per share, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by Viking.

The gross proceeds from this offering are approximately $14.8 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other estimated offering expenses. The company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for continued development of its VK5211, VK2809 and VK0214 programs and for general research and development, working capital and general corporate purposes.

Source: Yahoo Finance

10. Aptevo Therapeutics, Inc. (APVO)

Aptevo Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing novel oncology and hematology therapeutics, rose to $50 after entering the public exchanges at $8.00 in July 2016, then fell to $1.75 in the first half of 2017. In August, the stock hit an all-time low at $1.15 before staging a recovery in September, reaching a 16-month high at $4.50 in early December. Further growth is expected.

In the 2017 third quarter, the company monetized non-core commercial assets and completed the sale of its three hyperimmune products, WinRho SDF, HepaGam B, and VARIZIG, to Saol Therapeutics for total consideration of up to $74.5 million, raising significant non-dilutive funding to support Aptevo’s ongoing commercial and R&D efforts.

The company also amended the terms of a credit agreement with MidCap Financial allowing Aptevo to retain a $20 million investment by MidCap, further extending Aptevo’s cash runway.

Aptevo also signed a collaboration agreement with Alligator Bioscience to jointly develop and advance a bispecific antibody candidate, ALG.APV-527, with a novel mechanism of action targeting 4-1BB and 5T4, a tumor antigen widely overexpressed in a number of different types of cancer.

The company demonstrated the versatility of the ADAPTIR platform with the development of ALG.APV-527, which targets a co-stimulatory receptor found on activated T cells, illustrating the capability of the ADAPTIR platform to generate immunotherapeutic antibodies with different mechanisms of immune system engagement.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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3.9 stars on average, based on 8 rated postsLester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.




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Penny Stocks

December Penny Stocks To Watch: Investors Await January Effect

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Investor interest in penny stocks slackened in November as blue chip and mega-cap stocks grabbed most speculative capital, lifting leading benchmarks to market highs, according to Investopedia.com. Investors focused on big tech and other sectors expected to benefit from tax reform and deregulatory legislation. Careful stock picking still paid off despite the headwinds, as a small group of low-priced issues reached multi-year highs.

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Looking ahead, the January effect will bring the most favorable investment season of the year, with bullish effects expected for the latter part of December. Past trends indicate the season holds promise for top performers that suffered in the prior year.

The bottom half of November’s penny stocks to watch took the first five spots on December’s list, with newcomers filling out the bottom half.

Limelight Networks rallied 20% to a 6-year high in mid-November before falling back to its late October level, while many young biotechs recovered from October, notably Sierra Oncology Inc., which posted a 30% rise to a 17% monthly high.

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Source: Investopedia

1. Medical Transcription Billing Corp. (MTBC)

Medical Transcription Billing Corp., a healthcare information technology company that provides a fully integrated suite of proprietary web-based solutions, returned from the number five spot in November to take the top December spot.

The stock went public in July 2014 at $5.00 and suffered an immediate downtrend that continued into the April 2017 all-time low at 29 cents. The stock improved a few sessions later, topping out at $3.84.

The stock bounced off that level in early October, lifting to $5.44 and pulling back in a shallow trading range with support at $2.40. A breakout through the range top could build momentum buying interest that could lift the stock.

The company recently reaffirmed its 2017 revenue guidance of $31 to $32 million, representing year-over-year revenue growth of approximately 30%. The recent signing of the largest client in the history positions MTBC for additional revenue growth in 2018.

During fourth quarter 2017, the company anticipates reporting record adjusted EBITDA in excess of $1 million for the quarter, together with continued improvement in GAAP net income and positive cash from operations.

Source: Investopedia

2. Mannkind Corp. (MNKD)

Mannkind, which focuses on the development and commercialization of inhaled therapeutic products for patients with diseases such as diabetes and pulmonary arterial hypertension, rose from the number six spot in November to number two in December. The stock entered a shallow but persistent downtrend in 2004, posting a series of lower highs into 2015. Then the bottom dropped out, dumping the stock through 2012 support at $8.00 into a May 2017 all-time low at 67 cents.

The stock built a 3-month basing pattern above that price level and took off in a new uptrend that hit a 17-month high at $6.96 on Oct. 10. The stock has since been pulling back and could reach strong support between $2.20 and $2.50, offering a low-risk trade entry ahead of a high bounce.

For the third quarter of 2017, net revenue for the company’s flagship product, Afrezza, grew 28% to $2 million in net revenue compared to the second quarter of 2017.
As of September 30, 2017, the amount of Afrezza shipped to the wholesale and retail channels, but not yet recognized as revenue, was $3.0 million, an increase of $0.4 million from June 30, 2017.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2017, total net revenue of $7.2 million was comprised of $4.7 million of Afrezza net sales, $1.7 million from the net sales of surplus bulk insulin to a third party, $0.6 million from the sale of certain oncology intellectual property, and $0.2 million from collaboration net revenue.

Source: Investopedia

3. Kingold Jewelry, Inc. (KGJI)

Kingold Jewelry, Inc., one of China’s leading designers and manufacturers of 24-karat gold jewelry, ornaments, and investment-oriented products, moved from November’s number seven spot to the third spot in December.

The stock posted an all-time high at $11.95 in 2010, then fell into a decline that ended at 88 cents in 2011. The stock broke that support level in the second half of 2015, falling to an all-time low at 49 cents, then turned higher in a recovery wave. This launched March 2016 buying signals, delivering an advance to a 4-year high at $2.84 in August 2016.

The stock carved a higher low into March 2017 and is now testing multi-year resistance, with a breakout above the 2016 high favoring upside that could reach $7.00.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2017, the company sold a total of 30.1 metric tons of gold, of which branded production was 14.6 metric tons, representing 48.6% of total gold sold, and customized production was 15.5 metric tons, representing 51.4% of total gold sold in the third quarter of 2017.

In the third quarter of 2016, the company sold a total of 20.6 metric tons, of which branded production was 10 metric tons, or 48.3% of the total gold sold, and customized production was 10.6 metric tons, or 51.7% of total gold sold.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2017, the company sold a total of 72.2 metric tons of gold, of which branded production was 34.7 metric tons, representing 48.1% of total gold sold, and customized production was 37.5 metric tons, representing 51.9% of total gold sold for the period.

In the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2016, the company sold a total of 55.7 metric tons, of which branded production was 28.6 metric tons, or 51.4% of the total gold sold, and customized production was 27.1 metric tons, or 48.6% of total gold sold.

Source: Investopedia

4. Limelight Networks, Inc. (LLNW)

Limelight Networks, Inc., which operates a content delivery network, rallied 20% to a 6-year high in mid-November before falling back to its late October level. The stock ended a decline at $1.75 in 2008, then bounced to $8.97 in 2010. It returned to support in 2011 before breaking down four years later, dropping to an all-time low at 90 cents in February 2016.

The stock remounted broken support after the presidential election, beginning an uptrend that has reached a 6-year high of $5.18. The October breakout above the June 2015 high at $4.43 will likely get tested in the coming weeks, with a pullback as low as $3.50, offering a buying opportunity ahead of a trend advance near the 2010 high around $9.00.

Revenue for the third quarter was $46.1 million, the highest in 19 quarters, up 17% year over year.

GAAP gross margin was 48.4%, the highest in company history.

Gross margin expanded by 730 basis points year over year. Cash gross margin of 58.9% was the highest since 2008.

Non-GAAP net income was $2.2 million, the highest third quarter since 2007.

Adjusted EBITDA was $7.4 million, the highest third quarter in company history.

Source: Investopedia

5. Sierra Oncology, Inc. (SRRA)

Sierra Oncology, Inc., a clinical stage drug development company focused on advancing next generation DNA damage response (DDR) therapeutics for the treatment of patients with cancer, rose from tenth place in November to fifth in December.

The stock recovered from its October lows to post a 30% rise to a 17% monthly high.

The company went public near $29 in July 2015 and began a downtrend that continued through a June 2017 all-time low at $1.10. The stock turned higher in July, hitting the 200-day EMA in October and breaking out shortly after, marking the first time in the stock’s public history it closed above this long-term barrier.

An extended testing period could follow, with pullbacks to new support between $1.75 and $2.00, offering low-risk buying opportunities ahead of penetration into the unfilled June 2016 gap between $3.00 and $6.20.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2017, Sierra incurred a net loss of $10.0 million compared to a net loss of $15.2 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2016. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2017, Sierra incurred a net loss of $31.4 million compared to a net loss of $38.6 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2016.

Cash and cash equivalents totaled $107.8 million as of Sept. 30, 2017, compared to $116.7 million as of June 30, 2017, and $109.0 million as of Dec. 31, 2016. The company believes its existing cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund current operating plans through approximately mid-2019.

At Sept. 30, 2017, there were 52,268,443 shares of common stock issued and outstanding, and stock options to purchase 7,685,449 shares of common stock issued and outstanding.

Source: Investopedia

6. Central European Media Enterprises, Inc. (CETV)

CETV, a media and entertainment company operating businesses in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania and the Slovak Republic, ended a multi-year uptrend at $126.53 in 2007 and sold off at $4.67 during the 2008 economic collapse.

The stock bounced into the upper 30s at the start of the millennial decade, then suffered a downtrend that broke support at the prior low in 2013.

In March 2017, the stock rallied, then stalled at 4-year resistance in April, yielding six months of testing breaking out in November looking to reach the 2013 high at $6.65.

In the third quarter, net revenues increased 11% at actual rates and 5% at constant rates to $119.4 million. Operating income rose 40% at actual rates and 35% at constant rates.

Unlevered free cash flow for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2017 increased 14%.

Proceeds from the sale of company operations in Croatia and Slovenia, which is expected to close by the end of 2017 or early 2018, will be used to repay debt, and this is expected to decrease the current cost of borrowing by an additional 150 basis points to 4.5%.7.

Source: Investopedia

7. EVINE Live, Inc. (EVLV)

EVINE Live, Inc., a multiplatform interactive digital commerce company that offers a mix of proprietary, exclusive and name brands directly to consumers via television, online and mobile, hit an all-time low at 18 cents in March 2009, then bounced to $8.73 in 2011. The $1.50 level held through a pullback into 2013, then tested at the recovery high that attracted aggressive selling pressure that ended in a 2015 reversal.

The stock broke support in January 2016, falling to a 6-year low at 41 cents, then recovered a bit, testing a new resistance that has entered its second year. A rally over $1.60 would draw strong buying interest, favoring a healthy uptick into the $2.40 September 2016 high.

The company posted third quarter net sales of $150 million, which is less than a 1% decrease year-over-year. Management estimated net sales would have increased 1.0% when excluding the estimated $3 million negative sales impact from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma during the quarter.

The company posted a net loss of $1.1 million, a 71% improvement year-over-year, earnings per share of ($0.02), a 67% improvement year-over-year, and an Adjusted EBITDA of $3.8 million, a 49% improvement year-over-year.

Beauty was the top performing category in the quarter, growing 10% year-over-year. Fashion, home and consumer electronics also increased year-over-year.

The return rate for the quarter was 19.1%; an improvement of 140 basis points year-over-year.

Gross profit as a percentage of sales increased 150 basis points to 38.1% year-over-year, driven primarily by improved rates. Gross profit dollars increased 3% to $57.3 million year-over-year.

Operating expense remained flat at $58 million year-over-year.

Source: Investopedia

8. United Microelectronics, Corp. ADS (UMC)

United Microelectronics, Corp. ADS, which manufactures semiconductors in Taiwan, broke 5-year support at $4.00 in 2007, then sold off to $1.47 during the 2008 economic collapse. A recovery in 2010 ended at new resistance, beginning a decline in 2008 that fell to a low at 5 cents in August 2015.

The stock then recovered, reaching resistance at $2.77 in September 2017. The stock has spent nearly three months consolidating at that level, raising odds for a breakout that could find 10-year resistance at $4.00.

State Street Corp. boosted its stake in UMC by 6.1% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent SEC filing. The institutional investor owned 2,744,618 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock after purchasing an additional 156,717 shares during the quarter. State Street Corp owned about 0.11% of UMC worth $6,698,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Source: Investopedia

9. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, Inc. (LTS)

Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc., a diversified financial services company based in Miami, Fla., tested a 2007 high at $3.75 in 2013, then broke out, reaching an all-time high at $4.50 in October 2014. The stock then pulled back into December, finding support at $3.30 before breaking in July 2015, falling into a volatile decline.

Buying activity resumed in September near $1.80 when two 2016 tests at that level completed a triple bottom reversal. The uptrend found resistance at $2.80 in September 2017 and is now challenging the 2014 breakdown level. The strongest accumulation thus far in the decade portends a healthy breakout.

The company recently announced that it has closed its previously announced underwritten registered public offering of $72.5 million aggregate principal amount of 6.50% senior notes due 2027.

The offering resulted in net proceeds of approximately $69.6 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, but before expenses. The company plans to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

During the three months ending Sept. 30, 2017, total revenue was $322,309 compared to $274,323 in the same period in 2016. Net income was $4,499 compared to a $7,514 loss in 2016. EBITDA was $16,662 compared to $5,564 in 2016.

Source: Investopedia

10. UQM Technologies, Inc. (UQM)

UQM Technologies, Inc., a developer of alternative energy technologies, hit an 8-year high at $7.45 in 2009, then entered a downtrend that bottomed out at 42 cents in January 2017. The stock began strongly in May, posting a series of new highs into the fourth quarter.

The stock has since reached resistance at the 2015 high at $1.30, nearly completing a breakout pattern that could support an upside into the 2014 high at $3.45. The stock’s balance volume reached the highest level since 2015 recently.

The company has announced it will be a 25% partner in a joint venture with China National Heavy Duty Truck Group Co. Ltd. and Sinotruk Global Village Investment Limited, a Hong Kong based limited liability company owned by CNHTC, with an option to increase its ownership to 33% after the first year of operation.

The initial total capital of the joint venture will be $24 million, with UQM contributing $6 million in three installments over the next year.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2017, total revenue was $2.8 million compared to $1.0 million in the third quarter last year, an increase of 169%. Net loss for the third quarter was $543,000, or $0.01 per common share. This compares to a net loss of $2.4 million, or $0.05 per common share, for the same period last year.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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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.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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3.9 stars on average, based on 8 rated postsLester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.




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Biotech

Biotech Dominates July Penny Stock Picks

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July brings new opportunities to trade penny stocks, according to the Investopedia top 10 penny stocks to watch. Biotechnology stocks in particular are poised for a breakout. Biotechnology funds broke out of the long-term basing pattern in June, forcing rotational buying pressure, which bodes well for the low-priced sub-sector, with many penny stocks ready to hit multi-year highs.

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At the same time, the tech sector is getting sold with equal force in a profit-taking exercise that could deliver a period of under-performance for the sector’s lower-priced issues.

June’s biotechnology picks drew strong buying interest, led by ImmunoGen, Inc.’s 48% advance to a 52-week high. Small China stocks also posted strength, as China Commercial Credit, Inc. gained close to 35%. China Commercial Credit and June’s three biotech picks return to the July top penny stock list, joined by six new penny stocks.

1. ImmunoGen Inc. (IMGN)

Source: Investopedia

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ImmunoGen, a provider of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer, jumped from number four in June to the top spot in July.

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.

Buyers took over in 2017, generating an uptick that reversed at the 2014 resistance approximately three weeks ago. In June, the stock broke out and made the top 10 list for the first time. It could end up in the $8.00 to $10.00 price zone.

ImmunoGen creates targeted cancer therapeutics using its proprietary ADC technology. 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 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. China Commercial Credit, Inc. (CCCR)

Source: Investopedia

China Commercial Credit Inc. (CCCR), which provides business loans and loan guarantee services to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), farmers and individuals in China’s Jiangsu Province, jumped from number five in June to second place in July.

The company went public on the U.S. exchanges at $6.50 in August 2013.

The stock experienced a downtrend that bottomed out at 25 cents in February 2016 and began an upward trend that stalled at $3.20 in September. The stock hit a higher low in March 2017 before recovering, testing the 2016 high. A breakout should bring broad buying interest that could support a continued upside that could double the price by year’s end.

The company was founded in 2008 and provides business loans and loan guarantee services to small-to-medium enterprises, farmers and individuals in China’s Jiangsu Province.

3. CymaBay Therapeutics, Inc. (CBAY)

Source: Investopedia

CymaBay Therapeutics Inc. (CBAY), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies to treat specialty and orphan diseases, returns from the June list, where it ranked number 9. The stock rallied to an all-time high at $13.78 in February 2015, then suffered a steep downtrend that continued into the first quarter of 2016. The stock then dropped to an all-time low at 82 cents before bouncing to $3.04 in April, a yearly high, ahead of a pullback that continued into the November low at $1.15.

The stock broke above the 2016 high in February 2017, reaching a two-year high at $4.81.

Net loss for the 2017 first quarter was $5.4 million, or ($0.20) per diluted share, compared to $6.8 million, or ($0.29) per diluted share in the first quarter of 2016. Net loss in the 2017 first quarter was $1.4 million lower compared to the prior year period, primarily due to the recognition of collaboration revenue in 2017.

The rally has now reached a two-year high, attracting buying interest that could move into double digits.

4. Peiris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PIRS)

Source: Investopedia

Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc., a, clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to providing solutions for oncology, respiratory disease and other therapeutic areas, moved from June’s 7th spot to July’s 4th spot. The stock launched on the OTC market in 2014, trading between $2.00 and $4.25 before falling to $1.26 in January 2016. It ground sideways through November, then tested the first-quarter low ahead of a January 2017 breakaway gap that has drawn steady buying interest. The rally gathered momentum in early May after announcing a partnership with AstraZeneca PLC and is currently testing the 2015 high, the all-time high.

The company’s product includes immuno-oncology multi-specifics tailored for the tumor microenvironment, an inhaled Anticalin protein to treat uncontrolled asthma as well as a half-life-optimized Anticalin protein to treat anemia. Anticalin proteins, proprietary to Pieris, are a class of therapeutics validated in the clinic and partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. Anticalin is a registered trademark of Pieris.

5. 22nd Century Group, Inc. (XXII)

Source: Investopedia

22nd Century Group, Inc. (XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is a provider of tobacco harm reduction and development of proprietary hemp/cannabis strains, broke out above multi-year resistance near $1.50 in 2013, rallying to a record high a few months later at $6.36. The stock then began a persistent decline through August 2015 before finding support at 56 cents, followed by a bounce to $1.75.

The stock has 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.

22nd Century Group is a plant biotechnology company focused on genetic engineering and plant breeding that allows the increase or decrease of the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants. The company’s main goal in tobacco is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. The main goal in cannabis is to develop proprietary hemp/cannabis strains for new medicines and agricultural crops.

The stock last month joined the Russell Microcap Index, when FTSE Russell reconstituted its U.S. and global equity indexes. Membership in the Russell Microcap Index means automatic inclusion in the appropriate growth and value style indexes. FTSE Russell determines membership for its Russell indexes primarily by objective, market-capitalization rankings and style attributes.

6. Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc. (CVRS)

Source: Investopedia

Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc. (CVRS), a developer of precision vascular robotics, returned to the national market in 2015 following a trading halt, topping out around $4.50 and starting a decline that continued to reach new lows in January 2017 when it bottomed at around 40 cents. Since that time, the price activity has been constructive, with high volume rally bursts moving the stock into 2016 resistance at $1.75. The bullish behavior has created a cup and handle basing pattern that points to an uptrend into the 2015 high following a breakout.

Revenue for the first quarter of 2017 was $0.8 million compared to $1.1 million for the same period in the prior year. The decrease is due mainly to the deferral of system revenue associated with a future obligation to upgrade multiple customer units from the company’s CorPath 200 System to the CorPath GRX System.

The company installed three new CorPath Systems in the first quarter of 2017, increasing its total installed base to 48 CorPath Systems.

Gross loss was $1.1 million for the 2017 first quarter, compared to a gross profit of $0.03 million for the 2016 first quarter. The cost of revenues for the first 2017 quarter continued to include the effect of under-utilization of production facilities and the cost of CorPath GRX System upgrades that installed pursuant to pre-existing contractual arrangements.

The company continues to expect the full year 2017 revenue to be in the range of $13.

7. 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, fell into a multi-decade decline after it joined the Nasdaq in the 1990s. The stock 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.

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.

8. ChromaDex, Corp. (CDXC)

Source: Investopedia

ChromaDex, Corp. (CDXC), a provider of proprietary health, wellness and nutritional ingredients, that creates science-based solutions to dietary supplement, food and beverage, skin care, sports nutrition and pharmaceutical products, went public in April 2016 at $4.70. The stock rallied to an all-time high at $6.18 in May, then fell one month later to $2.46 in a single session, eventually posting a lower December low. It tested that support level in April 2017, then turned sharply higher, now testing 2017 resistance at $3.80. A breakout could point to a significant upside, taking the stock back to last year’s high.

For the first quarter of 2017, ChromaDex reported net sales of $4.4 million, a decrease of 39% compared to the same period of 2016, due mainly to decreased sales in its ingredients business segment, as a result of dropping its largest customer for fiscal year 2016. The ingredients segment created net sales of $2.1 million for Q1 2017, a decline of 55%, compared to the same 2016 period.

The net loss attributable to common stock holders for Q1 2017 was $1.9 million or ($0.05) per share versus a net income of $0.3 million or $0.01 per share for Q1 2016.

In May, the company announced the closing of the $16.4 million second tranche of the strategic investment of up to $25 million led by Hong Kong business leader Li Ka-shing.

Li Ka-shing has invested in many innovative companies in the last decade, including Facebook, Spotify, DeepMind, Siri, Impossible Foods and Modern Meadow. The new investment will support future ChromaDex developments in the global marketplace.

The $16.4 million second tranche follows an initial $3.5 million tranche that closed on April 27, 2017.

9. Safe Bulkers, Inc. (SB)

Source: Investopedia

Safe Bulkers, Inc. (SB), a player in the hot and cold dry bulk shipping sector, topped out at $11.48 in March 2014, then entered a downtrend reaching an all-time low at 30 cents in January 2016. A recovery wave in November stalled at $2.38, followed by sideways action that has completed a small-scale cup and handle breakout pattern. A buying spike over $2.60 can be expected to set the upside into action, supporting a rally that could surpass $5.00.

The company declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share on its 8.00% Series B, Series C and Series D Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares for the period from April 30, 2017 to July 29, 2017.

This is the 16th consecutive cash dividend declared on the company’s Series B Preferred Shares, the 13th cash dividend declared on its Series C Preferred Shares and the 12th cash dividend declared on its Series D Preferred Shares since their respective commencement of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

10. Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP)

Source: Investopedia

Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP) is a provider of clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve challenges in their fuel cell programs. The stock reached an all-time high at $144.95 in 2000 before falling into a downtrend lasting more than 12 years, sending the stock to an all-time low at 56 cents. A 2013 upward trend continued through 2014, hitting an 8-year high at $8.38, followed by a correction that’s now returned to 2015 resistance at $3.10. A breakout could catch fire, pushing the stock to a test of its 2014 high.

Total revenue was $22.7 million in the 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 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.

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3.9 stars on average, based on 8 rated postsLester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.




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