March 12, 2019 11:10pm

However, “quadruple witching” is coming on the third Friday (3/15) of the month as contracts for stock-index futures, stock-index options, individual stock options and individual stock futures all expire.

Q4 and FY18 results: Verastem Oncology (VSTM) and Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (BLCM)

Pre-open indications: 7 HITs and 1 MISS (sold into strength for a profit)

Cowen Healthcare conference continues for third day


Review the snapshot of the daily ‘workings” of the sector composite of cell and gene therapy companies.

That’s why my “quantamental” blend of styles; must become the “tool” for investors and traders to portfolio enrichment.


Markets and indexes:

  • The Dow closed down -98.22 points or -0.38% to 25,554.66
  • The S&P closed up +8.22 points or +0.30% to 2,791.52
  • The NASDAQ was up +32.97 points or +0.44% to 7,591.03



Four (4) positive closes in a row …

The broader stock market rose after the release of key inflation data. The S&P 500 closed 0.3% higher led by gains in the health care sector.

  • The U.S. consumer price index rose 0.2% in February, matching expectations. The so-called core CPI, which strips out food and energy, fell short of estimates by gaining just 0.1%.


Pre-open post, “momentum to the upside returns; Q4 and FY18 LPS (loss-per-share) earnings continue as volatility worries continue. Cowen Healthcare conference in Boston, Ma rolls.”


Be prepared … quadruple witching days witness heavy trading volume. One of the primary reasons for this is because trades on underlying securities are automatically executed on options expiring in the money and expiring futures contracts. Under certain circumstances, positions are opened for the purpose of executing these trades, but derivative-based traders seeking to avoid principal-based transactions must take action to prevent open positions in their portfolios from expiring.


The advance/decline line scenario of 45 covered companies:  

  • The open was positive with the A/DL to 23/17 and 5 flats;
  • The mid-day was positive with an A/DL of 29/12 and 4 flats;
  • The close was positive with an A/DL of 30/13 and 2 flats;


Pre-open indications: 7 HITs and 1 MISS

  • Cellectis SA (CLLS) closed up +$0.35 – miss;
  • bluebird bio (BLUE) closed down -$0.81 – hit;
  • CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) closed up +$0.37 – hit;
  • Editas Medicine (EDIT) closed up +$0.42 – hit;
  • Intellia therapeutics (NTLA) closed up +$0.25 – hit;
  •  Stemline Therapeutics (STML) closed up +$1.86 – hit;
  • ReNeuron (RENE.L) closed down -$8.00 – hit;
  • Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) closed down -$0.05 – hit;


Q4 and FY18 results:

Verastem Oncology (VSTM)  

  • A Q4 loss of $11.7 M or $0.37 per share versus “street” estimate of a loss of $0.54 compares to loss of $0.43 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items. This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of 31.48%.
  • VSTM posted revenues of $1.21 M for Q4 missing the consensus of $5.6 M. This compares to zero revenues a year ago.
  • For FY18, VSTM reported that its loss widened to $72.4 M, or $1.37 per share. Revenue was reported as $26.7 M.
  • A cash position of $249.7 M and a runway until 2020
  • In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, the company's shares hit $3.24. A year ago, they were trading at $3.55. VSTM shares have lost about 11.6% since the beginning of the year.


Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (BLCM)

  • BLCM reported a Q4 net loss of $27.2 M or -$0.63 per share compared to a net loss of $21.9 M and $98 M or -$2.44 for FY18, compared to a net loss of $91.8 M for FY17.
  • Bellicum reported cash, restricted cash and investments totaling $98 M and a runway until the end of 2019


Tonight’s percentage (%) indicators: 

  • Range of the 30 upside was +0.10% (AXGN) to +16.83% (STML) while the 13 downside ranged from -0.03% (KOOL) to -11.65% (BSTG).

Volume stat: 

  • 8 out of the 30 upside had higher (than the 3 month average) volume
  • 2 out of the 13 downside experienced greater volume (than the 3 month average)


The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology (IBB) indicator:

  • Tuesday was up +0.82% after NOT indicating;
  • Monday was up +2.14% after indicating a NEGATIVE -0.49% in the pre-market;
  • Friday was down -0.49% after NOT indicating;
  • Thursday was down -0.66% after NOT indicating;
  • Wednesday was down -3.13% after NOT indicating;
  • Last Tuesday was down -0.52% after NOT indicating;


March sessions:

Tuesday closed POSITIVE with 13 decliners, 30 advancers and 2 flats;

Monday closed POSITIVE with 7 decliners, 37 advancers and 1 flat;

Friday closed POSITIVE with 20 decliners, 22 advancers and 3 flats;

Thursday closed POSITIVE with 14 decliners, 29 advancers and 2 flats;

Wednesday closed NEGATIVE with 39 decliners, 5 advancers and 1 flat;

Tuesday (3/4) closed POSITIVE with 17 decliners, 23 advancers and 5 flats;

Monday (3/1) closed NEGATIVE with 24 decliners, 18 advancers and 3 flats;

Friday (3/1) closed POSITIVE with 11 decliners, 32 advancers and 2 flats;


Opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change, and not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, nor investment advice.

Whether information or intelligence is good, bad or somewhere in between; I put into context what is relevant and useful for investors.  All investments are subject to risks. Investors should consider investment objectives.

Henry McCusker, the editor and publisher of RegMed Investors does not hold or have positions in securities referred to in this publication.