Authors Posts by Joshua Rodriguez

Joshua Rodriguez

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Hey everyone, I'm Joshua Rodriguez. I'm the founder of CNA Finance as well as several other sites. If you'd like to connect with me, follow me on or Twitter! I'd love to see ya there. Also, if you're looking for top quality content for your blog, news outlet, or any other website for that matter, please reach out to me at Info@CNAFin.com! Legal Disclaimer - CNA Finance is NOT an investment advisor. All investment decisions should be well thought out and made with the help of a an investment advisor. For our full legal disclaimer, please scroll to the bottom right of this page.

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Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc SGYP Stock News

Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: SGYP)

Synergy Pharmaceuticals is having a rough time in the market as of late. In fact, the stock’s price has been falling on a nearly daily basis. However, one of Warren Buffet’s biggest lessons is to buy when fear is high, and there’s a strong argument at the moment that while SGYP is weak, it represents some serious horsepower in terms of opportunity.





The SGYP Opportunity Lies In Trulance

When Synergy Pharmaceuticals received FDA approval for Trulance, the stock went wild. However, since then, excitement has died down a bit, and so too has the stock price. This is normal when it comes to first time FDA approvals in these small biotech companies, and historically, it actually represents a strong opportunity.

You see, at the moment, investors are in the wait-and-see mode that they were in shortly after Gilead Sciences got their first FDA approval. Of course, we all know where the company is today! The truth is that if SGYP does what it needs to do with Trulance, it will put itself on a beeline toward major success, and that will send the price skyrocketing.




Analysts Are Betting On Opportunity

Just yesterday, an analyst weighed in on SGYP, betting that the current weakness represents a strong opportunity. That analyst was Timothy Chiang of BTIG. In his note, he reiterated a Buy rating with an $11 price target, pointing to Trulance as the primary reason for his bullish opinion. Here’s what he had to say:

With the US launch of Trulance (3mg plecanatide, for the treatment of chronic constipation) now officially underway, investor focus now turns to the ramp for trulance in the US market. We continue to believe management is up to the task of successfully launching Trulance via its hybrid sales model (utilizing an experienced contract sales force of ~150 – 200 reps), which is expected to target ~27,000 high-prescribing physicians. While we believe formulary access for Trulance could take up to 6 months, we think most insurance plans will put Trulance on a Tier 3 co-pay, with the Co. offering its “savings to go” program as an offset. Our channel checks with several local pharmacies in NYC this morning suggest that this program will enable patients to get access to Trulance at a much lower cost (no more than $25 per Rx). Management also recently highlighted at an investor conference earlier today that a nationwide sampling program is underway. In sum, we expect the launch of Trulance to lead to more patients switching from OTC laxatives to Rx treatments, with Trulance leading to an expansion of the overall Rx market.”

The Bottom Line

The bottom line here is that chances are that SGYP has something big with Trulance. Considering their planned marketing of the treatment, chances are that it will quickly fly off of the shelves. With the stock currently trading far lower than it should (in my opinion), now may be the perfect time to consider adding the stock to your portfolio.

What Do You Think?

Where do you think SGYP is headed moving forward? Join the discussion in the comments below!

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Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc IDRA Stock News

Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IDRA)

Idera Pharmaceuticals is having an incredible day in the market today. The movement in the stock is driven by news that JPM securities has initiated coverage on the stock, and they have a positive view overall. As a result of the news, the stock spiked, causing our partners at Trade Ideas to send the alert. At the moment (10:01), IDRA is trading at $2.28 per share after a gain of $0.19 per share or 8.85% thus far today.





JPM Securities Initiates IDRA Coverage

As mentioned above, the gains that we saw in after-hours and the pre-market are the result of JPM securities making the decision to initiate coverage on the biopharmaceutical company. In a note, JPM Securities Analyst, Michael King said that IDRA is “Capable of generating a host of promising drug candidates,” He went on to explain that he is impressed with the company’s work thus far in the space of immunology, stating that they have shown “impressive clinical activity in combination with checkpoint inhibition in the setting of anti-PD-1 refractory metastatic melanomoa.”




As a result of his strong opinion on the stock, King initiated coverage on Idera Pharmaceuticals with a rating of market outperform as well as a price target of $8.

What We’ll Be Watching For

Moving forward, the CNA Fiannce team will be watching IDRA incredibly closely. In particular, we’ll be watching the company’s continued work in the field of oncology and we are excited to see the progress the company continues to make. Nonetheless, we’ll be watching closely and bringing you the news as it breaks!

What Do You Think?

Where do you think IDRA is headed moving forward? Join the discussion in the comments below!

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China Southern Airlines Co Ltd (ADR) ZNH Stock News

China Southern Airlines Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: ZNH)

China Southern Airlines should be moving in the market at the moment, but it is not. In fact, the stock is halted at the moment. Our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to inform us of the halt. When they did, we started searching to see what was going on with ZNH.





Why ZNH Is Halted

While we would love to answer this question, it’s something that we simply can’t do at the moment. The halt is a news pending halt. No news has broken so far this morning that would send the stock in either direction. However, there’s one thing that we do know…




Halts are big, in general, they are very big. After all, there’s no reason to stop trading in the middle of the day on a publicly traded stock if nothing is happening. So, while we don’t know what the news is yet, we are expecting to uncover a big story soon.

What We’ll Be Watching For

The CNA Finance team will be watching ZNH incredibly closely in the coming hours and days. In particular, we’re interested in learning why the stock was halted and when the stock will resume. Perhaps more importantly, we’re eager to see if it will resume on an upward or downward trend. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story and bring it to you as it breaks. There is an update below!

What Do You Think?

Where do you think ZNH is headed moving forward? Join the discussion in the comments below!

Update 10:02: While ZNH is still halted, we believe that we have found the reason for the halt. According to recent reports, Alaskan Airlines Group (AAL) is considering purchasing a $200 million stake in South China Airlines. We will continue to follow the story closely and bring you the news as it breaks!

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Uni-Pixel Inc UNXL Stock News

Uni-Pixel Inc (NASDAQ: UNXL)

Uni-Pixel is having an incredibly strong start to the morning this morning after announcing that it has entered into a long-term agreement with a large, U.S. based PC maker. As soon as the news hit, our friends at Trade Ideas alerted us of the massive gains on the stock. At the moment (9:30), UNXL is trading at $0.98 per share after a gain of $0.23 per share or 30.00% thus far today.





UNXL Enters Long Term Agreement With Large PC Maker

As mentioned above, the gains on Uni-Pixel are the result of an announcement that the company has entered into a long-term agreement with a large U.S. PC maker. Who the PC maker is remains a mystery as the company hasn’t disclosed the name of the client. Nonetheless, there are a few things that we do know…

First and foremost, the agreement is with one of the major PC makers in the United States. We also know that the agreement surrounds the supply of XTouch touch screen sensors and that the agreement is on a multiple year basis. UNXL has agreed to reserve manufacturing capacity for the PC maker who in return, will use its best commercial efforts to make the purchases outlined in the rolling forecasts in the agreement.

What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead




Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be watching UNXL incredibly closely. While we don’t know just who the PC maker is that the agreement was entered into with, we do know that the maker is large, meaning that the orders coming through in coming months and years will also likely be large. As a result, we’re excited to follow the company through the evolution of this agreement to see just how it effects the balance sheet. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring you the news as it breaks!

What Do You Think?

Where do you think UNXL is headed moving forward? Join the discussion in the comments below!

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Pernix Therapeutics Inc PTX Stock News

Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PTX)

Let’s keep it real. I am long Pernix stock and, while I may have gotten to the point of where I play hide and seek with the daily share price fluctuations, I am far from throwing in the towel on this company. I’m not stubborn to the point of becoming poor, nor do I enjoy frequent episodes of pain. Rather, I tend to have the ability to cut through the minutia and get to the nitty gritty of the issue at hand, and, as for the issue at PTX, I still see significant upside value in PTX.





Don’t call me crazy, and please don’t call me “surely,” but when I take a good, long look at PTX, I see far more potential and intrinsic value in the shares than is currently being represented by the stock price.

From There To Here

For many shareholders, the lingering pain of the 1:10 reverse split still causes some sleepless nights, but, from a strategic standpoint, the r/s provided some much-needed ammunition in times of need, leaving a considerably low share count that can raise significant capital at current or even discounted prices. Far removed from the threat of being delisted, PTX now trades at roughly $3.90 a share, battling back feverishly from the previous month trading lows of $2.74. Additionally, with approximately 9.5 million shares outstanding, PTX has a plethora of options available to them to keep the momentum going, inclusive of favorable court decisions, a stout IP portfolio and a pipeline of franchise quality drugs that can return considerable value shortly. For the number hawks, PTX is scheduled to announce Q4 earnings next Tuesday, so expect that a lot of trading eyes will be focused toward PTX on that day, with perhaps more funneled interest in management’s comments than they have in results from months past.

Yes, I want to hear about growth and continued traction in the currently marketed drugs, but, indeed, investors are looking to understand considerably more about the hardball being played with creditors. Investors want guidance as to the impact of the recent court decisions and the strategic options that are now in play based on the company prevailing in the Zohydro ER ANDA litigation.

For those that were not paying attention, in late February, PTX announced that they had received a favorable opinion in its litigation with Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc. regarding a proposed generic version of Zohydro ER. In a release by PTX, the company stated, “Judge Gregory M. Sleet of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware concluded that Actavis’ proposed generic versions of Zohydro ER infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 9,132,096 (which expires on September 12, 2034) and 6,902,742 (which expires on November 1, 2019) following a trial that took place in October 2016. The Judge has entered an order enjoining Actavis from engaging in the commercial manufacture, use, offer to sell, or sale in the United States, or importation into the United States of Actavis’ Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) product prior to expiration of the two patents. Actavis did not assert invalidity or unenforceability of the patents at trial.”

Not only was the decision a potential windfall for PTX, but it also served to validate the strength and longevity of the Zohydro ER patent portfolio. It further allows PTX to advance the Zohydro franchise well into the future, without the continued overhang of litigation and uncertain legal opinions. For investors, the decision acted as a pressure valve release, and the stock has been on an ascent ever since. The patents are strong, and the litigation appears to be ending. Both patents are listed in the FDA’s “Orange Book” for Zohydro ER and are licensed to Pernix by Recro Gainesville LLC. Recro and another generic pharmaceutical manufacturer, Alvogen Malta Operations Ltd., filed a stipulation of dismissal last year ending a patent infringement lawsuit Recro filed against Alvogen concerning its proposed generic version of Zohydro ER. Thus, for the time being, we, the shareholders and PTX, are free at last.

Some Good, Some…Not So Good

Those that have kids know that way too often after a child has one of these strong belly laugh attacks, it is quite frequently followed with a voracious cry. I’m not sure why we were created in that fashion, but perhaps it’s because our maker wanted to make sure we knew that there was balance in life.

Such was the case at PTX when investors were told that the company had lost its arbitration case. On February 3, 2016, PTX announced that “On January 31, 2017, the arbitration tribunal issued opinions in favor of GSK, awarding it damages and fees in the amount of approximately $35 million, plus interest (estimated to be approximately $2 to $5 million). The tribunal also denied Pernix’s claim that GSK breached its obligations under the supply agreement. Pernix has already paid to GSK, or into an escrow account, an aggregate of $16.5 million, which will offset the total award. Pernix is reviewing the opinions, including the amount of interest, and intends to work with GSK to conclude the matter.

As of February 1, 2017, Pernix’s unaudited cash balance was approximately $26 million, after making the scheduled payment of interest and principal in respect of its Treximet secured notes on such date.”

On that day, the sun was definitely not shining on my face. But, balance reared its beautiful face and by the time February ended, the sun was not only shining back on my face but the company’s primary cash cow, Zyhodro ER was fully back in play.

Such is life; you win some, you lose some. But, by the time February came to a close, PTX, at least in my opinion, is in a better place than at the start of the year. Removed are the storm clouds of legal uncertainty. And, with a clear path for Zyhodro ER, PTX can cut a deal on the remaining $18.5 million owed and concentrate on rebuilding the PTX brand and continue to deliver product traction and better financial results.

Where To Now

PTX is not alone in the quest to be reincarnated as a beautiful stock. There are more than a handful of other drug stocks that have a similar story, Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI), and Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA), just to name a few. And, like PTX, both Infinity and Portola have rallied back hard since the beginning of 2017. As for Valeant, the market, and Congress, still needs a poster child, and they seem to have monopolized that position, for now, sliding over 50% lower since the beginning of the year. Seeing that there can still be some good in the bad, though, gives me hope. And, if there were a way to siphon and share some of that good karma away from Infinity and Portola, I would.

Maybe I am just an eternal optimist, but I no longer obsess about past PTX transgression and focus even less on waiting for new skeletons to materialize from PTX attic. Heck, PTX is its own concern, not a subsidiary of the Bates Motel. Investors, myself included, may finally be able to take a breath of fresh air and give PTX management the time necessary to fully right this ship and create shareholder value.

If they want to spook the creditors, I’m all for it, sell a couple of million shares when needed, shore up the balance sheet and let the predators understand that the value in PTX is there for the taking, but at prices far more than the current value. The Gordon Gecko, Blue Star Airline approach to conquer and divide is so totally 1980’s. Scrapping the pieces of a viable company is old school mentality. Investors today understand that while in extreme cases of distress, perhaps breaking up small pieces and salvaging them at pennies on the dollar makes sense. But, there can’t be an argument made that doing the same at PTX makes sense.




PTX has a franchise drug in place, a well fortified IP portfolio, and a decent cash balance that can carry the company forward during the next round of investor “fake news” and general market turmoil. PTX management are not new kids on the block, and they will ultimately deliver back shareholder value, and rightfully so since that’s what they get paid to do. While high double-digit share prices may very well be a thing of the past, once management clearly proves that the company is indeed tracking in the right direction and churning all the pistons, then it is not unimaginable to believe that share prices won’t be printed at considerably higher prices than where they are today.

I can take criticism, and I can take a loss. But, just because I can handle it does not mean that I deserve it. I’m not the only believer in a PTX turnaround, and by the way the share price has been acting during the past month, many investors are also alive and well in the PTX long camp. When stocks tick higher, retail investors are typically the last to know why, it’s for that reason that investors should keep a close eye on volatility and understand that erratic stock behavior isn’t necessarily a bad sign, rather it’s often a sign of significant news to come.

Admitting the problem is the first step in any recovery process. PTX management has admitted to having a problem long ago. Since then, they have been working on a solution and from an investor’s point of view, appear to be making significant progress. For me, I can’t abandon a work in progress, and as long as I believe that PTX is working diligently on a favorable solution and has a long-term vision for the company, hanging tight may be worth my while.

In the meantime, I’ll stay long and stay patient, and if the stock continues to get beaten around, all I can say at that point is, “please sir, may I have another.”

Disclosure: This article was written by Kenny Soulstring, and it reflects my own opinions and unique articulation. This article is not intended to offer investing advice, guarantee 100% accurate predictions or to be interpreted as providing a personal recommendation. What I can guarantee, though, is accurate research, thoughtful analysis and an enthusiasm about any stock that I cover.

I wrote this article myself and it includes my own research and expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from CNA Finance). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional Disclosure: I am long PTX and may purchase additional shares within the next 72 hours.

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Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ACHN Stock News

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHN)

Achillion Pharmaceuticals is having a strong start in the pre-market hours today, and for good reason. The commpany has been issued a patent. As a result, the stock is soaring, and as soon as the gains started, our partners at Trade Ideas alerted us of the movement. At the moment (8:34), ACHN is trading at $4.00 per share after a gain of $0.16 per share or 4.17% thus far today.





ACHN Awarded Patent

As mentioned above, Achillion Pharmaceuticals is having a strong time in the market after being awarded a patent. The patent surrounds compositions of matter for compounds that inhibit complement factor D activity. This is a key mediator in the complement alternative pathway, also known as AP. In a statement, Millind Deshpande, Ph.D., President and CEO at ACHN had the following to offer with regard to the patent…

Achillion’s aim is to establish a broad patent portfolio for its complement program. With the granted of this first patent we are pleased that the USPTO has confirmed that Achillion possesses a multitude of patentable complement factor D inhibitors… As a leader in AP biology, we are proud to have been the first to clinically demonstrate, in healthy volunteers, the ability to suppress AP activity following oral dosing of our complement factor D inhibitor, ACH-4471. The receipt of this patent, along with the number of additional patent applications under review by the USPTO, strengthens our position as a leader in factor D inhibitors for the potential treatment of AP-mediated diseases, such as C3G, PNH and geographic atrophy.”




What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be watching ACHN incredibly closely. In particular, we’re interested in following the company’s ongoing work with regard to ACH-4471. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring you the updates as they break.

What Do You Think?

Where do you think ACHN is headed moving forward?

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ING Group NV ADR ING Stock News

ING Group NV (ADR) (NYSE: ING)

ING Group is having an incredibly rough time in the pre-market trading hours, and for good reason. The company disclosed a criminal probe into their activities. Shortly after the disclosure, our partners at Trade Ideas alerted us to the declines. Currently (8:33), ING is trading at $14.79 per share after a loss of $0.68 per share or 4.40% thus far today.




What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

CNA Finance will be watching ING Group incredibly closely moving forward. At the moment, there are no details as to why the criminal probe is taking place. However, there are rumors of substantial repercussions to come. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to watch the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!

What Do You Think?

Where do you think ING is headed moving forward? Join the discussion in the comments below!

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Sears Holdings Corp SHLD Stock News

Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: SHLD)

Sears Holdings Corp is having an incredibly rough time in the market this morning, as fears of bankruptcy are causing an investor sales frenzy. Early this morning, our partners at Trade Ideas alerted us to large declines on the stock. At the moment (8:15), SHLD is trading at $7.80 per share after a loss of $1.30 per share (14.29%) thus far today.





SHLD May Be Filing Bankruptcy

The big issue that is driving Sears Holdings (the parent company of Sears and K-Mart) downward is the fact that the company publicly said that it has fears of going bankrupt. In fact, in a recent filing, the following quote came in loud and clear to investors:

substantial doubt exists related to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

At the end of the day, SHLD publicly said that it was in fear of going bankrupt, and that’s going to concern investors. This is exactly why the stock is taking a dive in the pre-market this morning.




Why Is Bankruptcy A Concern?

Ultimately, SHLD explained that the reason it doubts its ability to continue in operations is based on years of losses as sales continue to decline. Considering current factors, the company fears that it will not be able to pick sales back up, nor raise more money from the public. Unfortunately, lenders have decided to stop loaning the company money. In particular, Edward Lampert, the largest shareholder, CEO, and hedge-fund manager, said that he would stop loaning the company money as well. With an inability to raise funds and an inability to increase sales, the company may be destined for bankruptcy.

What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be keeping a close eye on SHLD. In particular, we’re interested in following the company’s next moves and hoping that they will be able to increase sales. However, as things sit, bankruptcy is on the table, and considering the statements made, it’s the most probable outcome. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring you the news as it breaks!

What Do You Think?

Where do you think SHLD is headed moving forward? Join the discussion in the comments below!

Update 12:34: Sears Holdings CEO says the company is still focused on long-term profitability in light of recent bankruptcy concerns.

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Moleculin Biotech Inc MBRX Stock News

Moleculin Biotech Inc (NASDAQ: MBRX)

Moleculin Biotech is having a great start to the day in the pre-market hours after receiving Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA. Our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to alert us of gains on the stock a short while ago, and we’re glad they did. At the moment (7:35), MBRX is trading at $1.07 per share after a gain of $0.15 per share (14.02%) thus far today. So, what’s the deal? Why is the stock gaining? Here’s the scoop…





What’s Going On With MBRX?

Truth be told, this one took a little time to dig up. Unfortunately, none of the news agencies seem to be covering the news on Moleculin Biotech, and surprisingly, given the good news we’ll share in a second here, the company has not yet launched a press release. Nonetheless, we were able to find the reason for the gains on the United States Food and Drug Administration website.

The news is that MBRX has been granted Orphan Drug Designation for its lead candidate. The candidate, liposomal annamycin, is designed for the treatment of myeloid leukemia and has been granted the designation given the overwhelming need for a treatment in this debilitating and life-threatening condition.




What Does Orphan Drug Designation Mean For Moleculin Biotech?

Orphan Drug Designation is a designation that is given to medications designed to treat rare diseases. The designation means that MBRX will have an easier time getting the treatment through the approval process. It also means that the company will have better tools for protecting its intellectual property associated with the treatment. All in all, Orphan Drug Designation is overwhelmingly positive news that will be a benefit to both the company and its shareholders.

What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be following MBRX incredibly closely. In particular, we’re interested in watching the process of ongoing work associated with liposomal annamycin. Considering the Orphan Drug Designation, things seem to be going swimmingly at the moment and will likely stay on this track. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring you the news as it breaks!

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TransDigm Group Incorporated TDG Stock News

TransDigm Group Incorporated (NYSE: TDG)

TransDigm Group is having an overwhelmingly rough day in the market today. Early this morning, the stock opened the day slightly in the green before going on a slow and steady decline. However, minutes ago, things went from bad to horrible as the stock started to plummet following news that an investigation may be coming the company’s way. Below, we’ll talk about what we’re seeing from the stock, why, and what we’ll be watching with regard to TDG ahead.





What We’re Seeing From TDG

As mentioned above, TransDigm Group isn’t having the best of days in the market today by any means. In fact, after starting the day slightly in the green, the stock quickly fell to the red and stayed on a slow, yet steady decline. Then, just minutes ago, our partners at Trade Ideas informed us that things had gone from bad to worse as the stock started to dive. At the moment (2:24), TDG is trading at $218.00 per share after falling $19.94 per share or 8.38% thus far today.

Why The Stock Is Falling

As soon as the CNA Finance team was alerted of the downward movement, we started digging to see why the stock was falling. It wasn’t hard to find the story. In a letter to the acting Inspector General of the US Department of Defense, an investigation was recently requested by Congress Representative Ro Khanna. The first paragraph of the letter sums it all up pretty well. Here’s what it says with regard to an investigation into TDG…




Dear Mr. Fine:

I write to request that your office open an investigation into TransDigm Group for potential waste, fraud, and abuse in the defense industrial base. As a matter of the House Committee on Armed Services, I am particularly interested in and have been carefully monitoring reports related to defense procurement. Such reports suggest that TransDigm Group has been operating as a hidden monopolist by (i) engaging in a series of unreasonable price increases of products for which it is the only supplier, (ii) disguising its cost structure and identity from Pentagon procurement officers, and (iii) unreasonably hiking prices to benefit shareholders and executives.”

What We’ll Be Wathcing For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be watching TDG incredibly closely. In particular, we’re interested in learning more about the investigation that’s likely going to take place associated with the company’s dealings with the United States Government. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to watch the story closely and bring you the news as it breaks!

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Thought Leader Discussions

Gevo, Inc. GEVO Stock News

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Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO) Before we get into this interview, I'd like to extend a special thanks to my friend Joey who both set up the...