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Utility Stocks To Take Notice Of 2 Good; 1 Bad

Joe Samuel

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Utility Stock Price

Investing in utility stocks is usually a boring event, with the spotlight normally shining on reliable quarterly dividend payments. New developments at SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG) have been anything but mundane. Dominion Energy could be the company’s shining star, but not if the government has its way.

For this reason, investors may be better off putting their money in high-yielding Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) or PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL).

What Does The Future Hold?

SCANAhasn’t really gotten great news. Its project was hit with cost overruns and delays, and this led to a lot of bad press and growing relationship with key stakeholders that became tense. That resulted in SCANA halting nuclear construction altogether.

Without regulatory relief, SCANA could have a difficult time staying viable thanks to the debt related to the now-canceled nuclear plant. It has already been mandated to cut its dividend by 80%. Bigger utility company Dominion Energy has jumped into the outer margins, offering to buy SCANA, but the deal needs approval.

The issue is that some stakeholders are complaining about the deal. So the best outcome is that SCANA gets brought into the fold of Dominion. The worst case is investors will own a very troubled utility that may not survive its nuclear issues.

Some Options

This is where Duke Energy enters stage left. This utility dropped its nuclear plans before they fell apart and took the company with it.  Furthermore, the construction troubles it had at a clean coal plant are now in the rearview mirror. In fact, it has revamped its entire business in recent years, shedding carbon-based retail power assets and foreign operations, picking up a natural gas utility, and growing its reach in renewable power.

It has plans to spend roughly $37 billion across its various businesses between 2018 and 2022. This spending, roughly 90% of which will be on regulated assets, should help it get approval for rate hikes and support the company’s projection of 4% to 6% annual earnings and dividend growth over that span. That’s not exciting, but it’s got a high chance of hitting these targets since the spending is for necessary upgrades and equipment that are not controversial in any way. And with a strong 4.4% yield, investors are getting an above market yield backed by what should be inflation-beating dividend growth.

But there’s more and it deals with currency fluctuations that are likely to wash out over the long term. And the added diversification of the UK assets could be viewed as a net positive as the energy sector continues to evolve — note that oil giants Total and Royal Dutch Shell have been investing in electric assets lately. And those pesky coal plants, well, they need to be replaced over time, which is exactly the type of spending that regulators like to see when considering rate hikes. So far from being a negative, the company’s need to upgrade its asset base should probably be seen as a net positive.

The dividend, meanwhile, should continue to expand, though only in the low single digits. However, over the last decade, annualized distribution growth has basically kept pace with the historical average for inflation growth, ensuring that investors’ buying power hasn’t been eroded. Investors looking to maximize current income should do a deep dive at PPL.

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Biotechnology

Is Palatin Technologies (PTN) A Penny Stock To Buy Or Sell?

Joe Samuel

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Will Shares Of Palatin Technologies (PTN) Head Higher As Biotech Stocks Rally This Month?

Biotech stocks are rallying this month.  Despite the “pop and drop” this sector saw earlier in the year, June has been a big month for biotechnology companies and people investing in this sector. 

IBB ETF chart

In fact, the iShares Trust Biotechnology ETF (IBB) has climbed by more than 8% since the start of June. This sector has been famous for producing volatile returns for investors. Furthermore, biotech penny stocks have increased that potential.

Palatin Technologies (PTN) Is A Biotech Penny Stock To Watch

One of the best performing penny stocks in the biotechnology sector this month has been Palatin Technologies Inc. (PTN). On January 2, this penny stock opened the year at $0.71 and has seen a 2019 high of $1.74. What’s more is that even though PTN stock has consolidated, it has continued to trade above $1.20.

So what’s all the excitement about? Palatin Technologies, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted, receptor-specific peptide therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet medical need and commercial potential.

The company’s main strategy is to develop products and then form marketing collaborations with industry leaders in order to maximize their commercial potential.

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The recent excitement seems to have started in April after the company reported positive top-line results of its oral clinical study of PL-8177. The treatment is designed to address ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases.

“The main objective of the study was to demonstrate release of polymer-bound PL-8177 in the lower gastrointestinal tract after oral administration. Top line data showed favorable pharmacokinetics, and demonstrated PL-8177 was released in the lower gastrointestinal tract, supporting oral administration of PL-8177 using the delayed release polymer formulation.”

New Milestones From Palatine Technologies (PTN) Triggers New Highs

After hitting new highs on May 17th after posting quarterly earnings, shares of PTN stock have consolidated. Regardless, the company continues to progress. Earlier this month the company obtained orphan drug designation for PL-8177. Yes, this is the same one that I talked about above when the company received positive topline results earlier in the year.

Why is orphan drug designation important? This is a good question especially if you’re newer to biotech penny stocks or biopharmaceutical stocks, in general. In the exact words of the FDA:

“The Orphan Drug Act (ODA) provides for granting special status to a drug or biological product to treat a rare disease or condition upon request of a sponsor. This status is referred to as orphan designation (or sometimes “orphanstatus”).”

Essentially it gives companies incentives above and beyond competitors. These incentives include a partial tax credit for clinical trial expenditures, waived user fees, and eligibility for 7 years of marketing exclusivity. The obvious response would be favorable, which has been seen in the market over the past few trading sessions.

Dr. Carl Spana, President and Chief Executive Officer of Palatin Technologies, said in a press release, “Unlike corticosteroids, immunosuppressive agents, and biological therapies targeting specific cytokines or receptors, melanocortin receptor 1 peptides work to resolve chronic inflammations and restore normal immune function. We look forward to initiating clinical trials with PL-8177 for non-infectious uveitis, a high medical need disease with limited treatment options.”

But Here’s Why Palatin Might Be Set For More Excitement

It’s all about sex drive. You read that right. And something that hasn’t really been fully publicized is this “big FDA date.” You see on June 23rd, the application for Vyleesi (bremelanotide), a drug developed by Palatin and licensed to AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG) will be up for review by the FDA as a New Drug.

Vyleesi is a novel melanocortin 4 receptor agonist under evaluation for restoring a natural sexual desire in premenopausal women with HSDD. Think of this like female Viagra. Will this become the sexiest biotech penny stock this month or will stock traders get blue balled?

Like This Article? Check Out: Small Cap Biotech Stocks See Boost From Large Cap M&A

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Biotechnology

Healthcare Penny Stocks To Watch: Driven Deliveries Inc. (DRVD), Biocept Inc. (BIOC), Cesca Therapeutics Inc. (KOOL), PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (PHAS)

Joe Samuel

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Healthcare penny stocks tend to be the largest movers among other penny stocks. This is mainly due to the amount of news they release. For example, any development in treatment becomes a news catalyst, which happens more often than other news.

Driven Deliveries Inc. (DRVD)

Driven Deliveries Inc. (DRVD) is primarily a technology company so why include it with other healthcare penny stocks? It is included because of what Driven’s technology is capable of, delivering medical and recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana legality is sweeping across the US which is only expanding the future demand for the services Driven provides.

More studies are beginning to show the positive effects of marijuana in relation to stress and pain relief. These studies make Driven’s recent announcement way more important. Driven revealed a partnership with Pure Ratios, a company selling 96-hour pain relief CBD and THC patches. This product is the only of its kind as it bypasses the digestive process and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

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Christian Schenk, CEO of Driven, stated, “We believe that our best-in-class delivery platform coupled with Pure Ratio’s proven popular brands will provide a strong synergistic relationship between the companies.  We look forward to expanding our customer base while increasing revenue and enhancing our overall brand recognition.  Management has already identified several similar popular brands that it intends to add to our platform in the near future.”

Biocept Inc (BIOC)

Biocept Inc (BIOC) is a healthcare company that uses liquid biopsy technology to assess several forms of cancer for physicians. Biocept has their own liquid biopsy platform known as Target SelectorTM which can analyze tumor markers.

Recently, Biocept announced a new Target SelectorTM platform for breast cancer. It is Biocept’s second tumor-specific panel and will help target the second leading cause of death for women. In addition, Biocept’s platform allows medical personnel to evaluate patients with metastatic breast cancer which is usually very difficult. This news has brought strong volume and a 11% pre-market move.

Cesca Therapeutics Inc. (KOOL)

Cesca Therapeutics Inc. (KOOL) is a medical device healthcare company for cell-based therapeutics. Cesca is an affiliate of the BoyaLife Group which is based out of China. Cesca is using its AutoXpress platform to meet the needs regarding cardio, vascular, and immune diseases.

One of Cesca’s subsidiaries, ThermoGenesis, recently received approval for its Next-Gen AXP II System for cord blood processing. The AXP II System allows for the processing and storage of hematopoietic stem call concentrates. Also, multiple cord blood units can be processed in one centrifuge. Thanks to this approval, Cesca’s stock increased by more than 40%.

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (PHAS)

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (PHAS) is a biopharmaceutical company whose primary goal is creating and selling treatments to orphan diseases. Their primary drug is called PB2452 which reverses antiplatelet activity. PB2452 recently received positive preliminary results from Phase 2a clinical trial. These results pushed the stock from $12.19 to $14.08 on June 18th.

“If approved, PB2452 could help address these critical unmet medical needs by enhancing the safety profile of ticagrelor, which has the potential to become the only antiplatelet therapy on the market with a specific reversal agent. We look forward to reporting full results from the Phase 2a trial at an upcoming medical congress.”

John Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of PhaseBio

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Disclaimer: Pursuant to an agreement between MIDAM VENTURES, LLC and a third party, Data Marketing Solutions Inc., Midam was hired for a period from 04/22/2018 – 5/22/2019 to publicly disseminate information about Driven Deliveries Inc. including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter. We were paid $50,000 (CASH) for & were paid “0” shares of restricted common shares. We may buy or sell additional shares of Driven Deliveries Inc. Inc. in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information. Click Here For Full Disclaimer

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Entertainment

The Roller Coaster Ride On Shutterfly (SFLY) Stock

Joe Samuel

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shutterfly acquisition

Shutterfly (SFLY) has been one of the most important companies in the photofinishing industry with the range of services that it offered. Over the past twenty years, the company had been involved in services like digital photo storage, customized merchandise, and print processing among others. However, the company is now all set to make an exit from the business that they have built up over the years by selling it to Apollo Global Management.

Acquisition News

Last week, the company announced that it had accepted the offer that had been made by Apollo and some experts claim that the investors in Shutterfly might not be entirely happy with the final payout.

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Apollo is going to fork out $51 per share for the acquisition and that might not make many investors happy, considering the fact that it is just 1.5% higher than the closing price of the Shutterfly stock on Monday. However, there is another way of looking at it.

The news of a potential acquisition by Apollo had first been reported back on 23 April and it was then that the stock started climbing. If the price prior to that surge is taken into consideration, then the shareholders are looking at a 31% premium on their shares.

What Are Investors Saying?

That being said, the investors still have a lot to be upset about, since Shutterfly stock had been trading at $100 on June 5 last year. However, it is quite clear that the price offered by Apollo is the best deal since no other bidder has come forward with a counteroffer. Apollo will be paying out $2.7 billion for the acquisition.

Shutterfly’s business started showing weaknesses towards the end of last year and the company’s acquisitions at the time did not really make a big dent in the revenues. Although the business has shown weaknesses, it is important to note that Apollo clearly sees a future in the company; otherwise, it would not have forked out $2.7 billion for the company.

While the company will continue to be in business, it has been a pretty harrowing experience for people who had invested in the company.

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