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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Plug Power Inc PLUG Stock News

Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ: PLUG) is off to an incredibly strong start in the market today, and for good reason. The company announced early this morning that it has expanded its agreement with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT). Of course, this led to excitement among investors, pushing the stock upward and prompting an alert from our partners at Trade Ideas. At the moment (8:51), PLUG is trading at $2.40 per share after a gain of $0.28 per share or 13.21% thus far today.





PLUG Expands Agreement With WMT

As mentioned above, Plug Power is off to an incredible start in the pre-market hours this morning after announcing that it has expanded its agreement with Wal-Mart. Today’s new collaborative agreement is designed to include revised terms by which WMT will allow PLUG to access project financing at a lower cost of capital and no restricted cash. As a result, future distribution transactions with WMT will immediately be cash positive.




It is expected that PLUG will provide GenKey hydrogen fueling stations and fuel cell energy solutions to up to 30 additional WMT sites in North America over the next 3 years. 10 of these sites are already under contract and should come to completion by the end of 2017. In a statement, Andy March, CEO at PLUG, had the following to offer…

Our expanding relationship with Walmart validates Plug Power’s advanced capabilities in fuel cell products and systems, allowing the world’s largest retailer to maintain its leading position as an industry innovator… Walmart’s long-term supply agreement is a great example of our strategy in action, as it enables us to improve both our revenue visibility and cost structure, all while allowing our customers to experience improved productivity and operational cost savings. We see a growing market opportunity for our power and fueling station technologies within the material handling segment, as well as new mobility applications worldwide, positioning us for long-term success and shareholder value creation.”

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be keeping a close eye on PLUG. In particular, we’re interested in following the relationship between the company and WMT as this relationship has already become overwhelmingly fruitful. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!

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Stock Market

The performances of the Dow Jones 30, the S&P 500 index and the NASDAQ composite index have all turned south over the past 1 month. Market sentiment has soured on Wall Street, owing to a host of factors, notably central banks propensity towards rate increases. The relationship between interest rates and equities markets is clear: When rates rise, the cost of credit for listed companies increases.





This decreases profitability and has a negative effect on share prices. There are several theories why increasing interest rates are bad for equity markets – notably the higher costs that companies will be passing on to customers, and the increased yields in treasuries and fixed-interest-bearing securities other than equities. When loans become relatively more expensive to corporations, these companies tend to be less profitable, all else being equal.




The Winds of Change Are Blowing in Fast and Furious

The 1-year performance of the Dow Jones remains bullish at 19.63%, while the NASDAQ is up 26.08% over 1 year, and the S&P 500 index is up 15.54%. Across the Atlantic, there is far more reason to celebrate (at least in terms of percentage appreciation of bourses). The CAC40 is up 24.95%, the DAX 30 is up 31.53%, and the FTSE 100 index is up 12.51% over 1 year.

Equities traders have adopted a risk-off approach to markets in recent days. Ever since the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, there is more of an appetite for quantitative tightening than ever before. The recent vote (June 14, 2017) of the MPC reflected a 5-3 majority in favour of maintaining the bank rate at 0.25%. That there were 3 hawks is important. The BOE and central banks around the world including the European Central Bank, Bank of Canada, and the Fed have now shifted course and are looking to raise interest rates to rein in inflation, and help to stabilize economic growth.

Are Market Players Overreacting?

There have been sharp losses in tech stocks, which have been pounded by the risk-off approach. Tech stocks have seen the sharpest selloff in almost 1.5 years. As always with stock markets, it’s not 100% clear what precipitates a mass selloff among traders. For now though, it seems confined largely to NASDAQ-listed tech stocks, while financial stocks are trading at record levels. Fortunately, erratic trading behaviour is the norm for stock markets, and this tends to result in value-driven investments from traders looking for good deals.

Buying on the decline is common with stocks, and it results in rapidly escalating stock appreciations on the bourses. The current CBOE Volatility Index reading is 11.49, down 8.37%. Were it not for the incredible June jobs report figures showing an increase of 220,000 jobs, the volatility Index reading (VIX) would have been much higher. Reports from the Business Insider indicate that many traders were overreacting to speculation about central bank policy vis-à-vis rate hikes.

A Word from the Wise

Cornell H. McMaster of Trade-24 believes that there is no reason to go bearish on equities at this time. “The Fed will begin unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in due course. However, this is likely to be a gradual process. It will not be a sudden and dramatic decision that rocks financial markets. Even with central bank tightening around the world, we are looking at modest rate increases of approximately 25-basis points at a time. Markets will have plenty of opportunity to absorb these rate hikes and make accommodations for them. Any erratic trading activity on bourses should be perceived as an anomaly, not a long-term trend.”

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Sears Holdings Corp SHLD Stock News

Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: SHLD) is having an incredibly strong day in the market today, and for good reason. Early this morning, the company announced a key agreement with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). While the terms of the agreement were not disclosed, it did indeed cause excitement among investors, leading to gains and prompting our partners at Trade Ideas to alert us to the movement. At the moment (10:03), SHLD is trading at $10.41 per share after a gain of $1.73 per share (19.93%) thus far today.





SHLD Gains Big On Deal With AMZN

As mentioned above, Sears Holdings is having an incredibly strong day in the market today after announcing an agreement with Amazon. Under the terms of the agreement, the full line of Kenmore Smart Appliances will be integrated with Amazon Alexa. The deal will help to expand the distribution of Kenmore outside of SHLD branded stores and related online platforms.




According to a press release offered early this morning, Kenmore Smart connected room air conditioners have already been integrated with Alexa and are now available on Amazon.com. While only the room air conditioners are available at the moment, the deal will soon expand to the entire line of Kenmore home appliances in all U.S. Market segments. In a statement, Edward S. Lampert, Chairman and CEO at SHLD, had the following to offer:

We continuously look for opportunities to enhance the reach of our iconic brands to more customers and create additional value from our assets… The launch of Kenmore products on Amazon.com will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the Kenmore brand in the U.S. At the same time, Sears Home Services and our Innovel Solutions unit will benefit from the relationship as more customers experience their quality services for Kenmore products purchased on Amazon.com.”

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be keeping a close eye on SHLD. In particular, we’ll be watching to see how the relationship with Amazon works out, specifically with regard to sales of the Kenmore branded products. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story and bring it to you as it breaks!

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Twilio Inc TWLO Stock News

Twilio Inc (NYSE: TWLO) is having a strong start to the trading session today as the stock spikes toward the top. The gains seem to be the result of rumors that are causing excitement among investors. Of course, our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to alert us to the movement. At the moment (10:05), TWLO is trading at $32.06 per share after a gain of $0.57 per share (1.79%) thus far today.





TWLO Takeover Chatter

As mentioned above, Twilio is having a strong day in the market today after rumors broke early in the session. The rumors suggest that the company will soon be taken over. However, I’d be careful with this one. At the end of the day, it seems nearly impossible to track the origin of the rumors, and they are overwhelmingly vague. They don’t even suggest who the buyer of the company may be.




This brings us to a quick reminder. Keep in mind that rumors take place nearly every day in the market. While rumors do happen nearly every day, takeovers do not. The reality is that most rumors prove to be invalid. In this particular case, chances are not good that a takeover is actually in the works. Considering how vague the rumors are and how difficult it is to track a source down, this is likely invalid! So, if you’re going to make a move on this run, please do so with caution!

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be keeping a close eye on TWLO. In particular, we’re interested to see if a takeover does indeed take place. Of course, if it happens, it would return incredible value to shareholders. Nonetheless, don’t hold your breath. This one doesn’t seem to be realistic.

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AEterna Zentaris AEZS Stock News

AEterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) is having an overwhelmingly strong day in the market today, and for good reason. Not only has the FDA accepted a New Drug Application from the company, it is also the center of a key price target raise. All of this is leading to excitement among investors, causing gains in the stock and prompting our partners at Trade Ideas to alert us to the gains. At the moment (9:34), AEZS is trading at $2.81 per share after a gain of $0.47 per share (20.09%) thus far today.





AEZS Receives A Nod From The FDA

As mentioned above, AEterna Zentaris is having an incredibly strong day in the market today after the company received a favorable ruling from the United States Food and Drug Administration. News broke late yesterday that the FDA has accepted the company’s New Drug Application for Macrilen. The decision with regard to whether or not the drug will be approved will likely be made by the PDUFA date of December 30th. In a statement, David Didd, CEO at AEZS, had the following to offer:

We remain confident that the FDA will approve our NDA and, therefore, we are moving forward with our preparations to launch the product in the first quarter of 2018.”




Maxim Group Upgrade

As if the FDA news wasn’t good enough, AEZS also received great news from Maxim Group. The analyst firm increased the price target on the stock from $2.00 per share to $4.00 per share, maintaining their buy rating.

The FDA news was a big part of this upgrade. If Macrilen is approved for growth hormone deficiency in adults, the stock could see some incredible action, as the treatment will provide increased value. The analyst points out that the only test used for AGHD is an insulin tolerance test, but is very difficult to perform and comes with significant risks to the patient. However, Macrilen is a safer test and can be repeated with accuracy multiple times. As a result, the analyst believes that “Macrilen could become the new standard for addressing AGHD and rapidly adopted by physicians.”

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be keeping a close eye on AEZS. In particular, we’re interested in following the NDA to see of Macrilen is indeed approved. If so, it could become the goose that lays the golden egg for the company and its shareholders. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!

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Sarepta Therapeutics Inc SRPT Stock News

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SRPT) is having an overwhelmingly strong start to the trading session today, and for good reason. The company’s muscular dystrophy drug did better than expected, leading to an overwhelmingly strong revenue. Of course, our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to alert us to the gains. At the moment (9:04), SRPT is trading at $40.16 per share after a gain of $6.08 per share (17.84%) thus far today.





SRPT Has An Overwhelmingly Strong Second Quarter

As mentioned above, Sarepta Therapeutics is having an incredibly strong day in the market today after releasing its earnings report for the second quarter. Here’s what we saw from the report:




  • Revenue – Due to better than expected sales of the $300,000 per year drug SRPT created for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, revenue proved to be better than expected. While analysts expected that the company would generate $22.5 million, they actually reported revenue in the amount of $35 million.
  • Forecast – As if having a great quarter wasn’t enough, SRPT also increased its forecast for full year revenue. Previously, it was expected that the company would generate a total of around $95 million throughout the year. However, this number has been increased to the range between $125 million and $130 million.

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will continue to keep a close eye on SRPT. In particular, we’re interested in watching as the company takes advantage of its position as the first company to have a DMD drug approved by the FDA, giving it control of the market for now and likely for years to come. We’ll continue to follow the news closely and bring it to you as it breaks!

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Delcath Systems, Inc. DCTH Stock News

Delcath Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: DCTH) is in the green today for the first time in several trading sessions, and for good reason. A short sale restriction was placed on the stock, at least stopping the manipulation today and allowing for gains. However, now may be the time to get in anyway. Today, we’ll talk about the short sale restriction, what happened yesterday that leads me to believe something big is coming, and what investors should be watching for ahead. In the mean time, a big thanks goes out to Trade Ideas for always being the first to alert us to movement on DCTH. The stock is currently trading at $0.17 per share after a gain of 2.53% thus far today.





DCTH Short Sale Restriction

As mentioned above, today has the potential to be an incredible day for Delcath Systems. One of the big reasons for that is that there is a short sale restriction on the stock that will stay in place all day. That means that the unethical jerks that have been driving the price of this incredible company downward simply won’t be able to do that today, giving the bulls the opportunity to give DCTH the credit it deserves. While this is great news, this isn’t even the big story. Here’s the big story…




Patent Approval, No PR

The big story is the fact that the company has had a patent approved, but still no press release. Before we get into why that’s good news, let’s talk about the patent that was approved. The patent is for a filter that removes small molecule chemotherapy agents from the blood and a process by which this is done. Here’s a brief quote from the patent:

A filter for removing small molecule chemotherapy agents from blood is provided. The filter apparatus comprises a housing with an extraction media comprised of polymer coated carbon cores. Also provided are methods of treating a subject with cancer of an organ or region comprising administering a chemotherapeutic agent to the organ or region, collecting blood laded with chemotherapeutic agent from the isolated organ, filtering the blood laden with chemotherapeutic agent to reduce the chemotherapeutic agent in the blood and returning the blood to the subject.”

Why The Fact That No PR Came Is Possibly A Great Thing!

With a great patent that was just approved yesterday, wouldn’t you think that DCTH would want to tell its investors? Of course they would. So, why haven’t they? Well, it’s likely because they can’t. You see, investors often get upset when a quiet period takes place. They don’t understand why companies don’t want to communicate with them. However, the idea that DCTH doesn’t want to communicate with its investors is likely far from the truth.

At the end of the day, quiet periods generally mean something big is coming. In some cases it could be an earnings report; in others, they may be getting close to a key approval for something important. However, in this particular case, I’m going to speculate that a buyout may be on the table. At the end of the day, if Delcath Systems is working toward a buyout and having these conversations with a perspective buyer, they are not going to communicate. Their lips would be sealed until a decision was made.

The Case For A Buyout Is Strong

The reality is that the case for a buyout is a very easy one to build. At the end of the day, DCTH has a product approved and saving lives in Europe. They have also got a couple of ongoing clinical studies, one for which data is very close to being released. At the same time, the market cap on the company sits right around $90 million. That, my friends, is chump change in the oncology industry.

Knowing this, why wouldn’t a big player want to step in and take control of these assets? Even at a strong premium, the potential of the assets offered is absolutely tremendous.

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be keeping a close eye on DCTH. There’s quite a bit to watch too. First and foremost, we’re looking for a takeover; but even if that doesn’t happen, we’ve still got plenty to be excited about. With multiple studies ongoing, the company could have big news with regard to data on the horizon. Regardless of what the big news is, I firmly believe that something big is coming. Keep your eyes peeled; we’ll do the same and bring the news to you as it breaks!

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Apache Corporation APA Stock News

Apache Corporation (NYSE: APA) was off to a rough day in the market today, but that didn’t last long. In fact, the stock started to spike minutes ago as rumors started to spread. A special thanks goes out to our friends at Trade Ideas for being the first to alert us to the gains. At the moment (10:02), APA is trading at $47.88 per share after a gain of $0.14 per share (0.29%) thus far today.





APA Gains On Takeover Chatter

As mentioned above, Apache Corporation wasn’t off to the best of starts in the market today. In fact, since the open, the stock was trading in the red. That is, until minutes ago, when the stock quickly spiked into the green. Ultimately, the gains can be attributed to takeover rumors that are running surrounding the stock. While the rumors are quite vague, they do suggest that the company will soon be taken over. However, they do not suggest at what price, nor who the buyer might be.




Any time we see these rumors, it’s important to remember that rumors are just that… rumors – most of which prove to be invalid. In this particular case, that’s what we believe we are seeing. There are a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost, if a takeover rumor is true, the rumor insinuates who the buyer is and at what price most of the time.  That’s not the case here. Also, this rumor is nearly impossible to track to its source.

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be keeping a close eye on APA. In particular, we’re going to be watching to see if there is indeed any validity to the rumors that are circling the stock at the moment. While we don’t believe this to be the case, anything can happen in the market. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!

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Chipotle Mexican Grill CMG Stock News

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is having a rough time in the pre-market hours this morning, and for good reason. By now, most of us know that one of the company’s restaurants was shut down yesterday due to severe illnesses being reported in customers after they ate there. While some are touting this as a reason to stay away from the stock, others are calling it a buying opportunity. So, which is the case here? Before we get into it, we’d like to give a special thanks to our partners at Trade Ideas for being the first to alert us to the movement on the stock. At the moment (9:00), CMG is trading at $371.18 per share after a loss of $3.80 per share (1.01%) thus far today.





For Those Of You Who Didn’t See The CMG News

As mentioned above, yesterday proved to be a rough day for Chipotle Mexican Grill. That’s because multiple instances of vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach pain, dehydration, and nausea were reported after consumers ate at a CMG restaurant in Virginia.




According to the most recent reports, there have been a total of 8 reports made that indicate that at least 13 people have fallen ill after eating at the restaurant on Friday and Saturday. The symptoms of the illness were those expected of consumers who contract norovirus. Nonetheless, Jim Marden, Executive Director of Food Safety at CMG, says that it is safe to eat at their restaurants. Here’s what he had to say:

We are working with health authorities to understand what the cause may be and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible… The reported symptoms are consistent with norovirus. Norovirus does not come from our food supply, and it is safe to eat at Chipotle.”

Is This A Buying Opportunity?

There’s no doubt that there is a good reason that some are calling this a buying opportunity. After yesterday’s declines, followed by more today, if you wanted to get in on the investment, you’d be getting in at a discount. However, is that really a smart idea? Here’s the argument:

  • Those Who Are For CMG – Those who say that now is a good time to invest in Chipotle Mexican Grill point to the fact that this is an isolated event, so far, and that it will likely be cleared up relatively soon. Therefore, getting in now gives investors a discounted opportunity to get in on future gains.
  • Those Against The Buy – While some believe this is a great buying opportunity, others believe that if you buy now, you’re going to lose. Their argument is simple. It’s possible that the norovirus did indeed come from the CMG food supply. If this is the case, we will see more reports in the days, weeks, and months to come; ultimately dragging the stock further into losses.

So, when answering the buying opportunity question, the best way to answer is that it depends on your tolerance for risk. Are you willing to risk your working capital, knowing that it’s possible that this proves not to be an isolated event? If so, you may be in the running for big gains ahead.

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be keeping a close eye on CMG. In particular, we’re interested in following the news to see if this is indeed an isolated event that will be handled quickly, or if this will soon expand to other restaurants, proving to be a systemic issue. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!

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DryShips Inc. DRYS Stock News

DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS) is having an incredibly rough time in the pre-market hours today, and for good reason. In true DRYS fashion, the company announced yet another reverse stock split, causing fear among investors and driving the price of the stock dramatically down. Of course, our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to alert us to the losses. At the moment (8:38), DRYS is trading at $0.57 per share after a loss of $0.26 per share (31.57%) thus far today.





DRYS Announces Reverse Stock Split

As mentioned above, DryShips is off to an incredibly rough start in the pre-market hours this morning after the company announced yet another reverse stock split. The split will be a 1-for-7 split, meaning that for every 7 shares of the company you own now, you will soon own 1 share with 7 times the value.

The reverse split will take effect starting on July 21st, 2017. When this happens, the amount of shares issued and outstanding will fall dramatically. Currently, there are a total of 36,296,095 shares. However, this figure will be reduced to total shares amounting to about 5.2 million.




You Can’t Say I Didn’t Tell You So

The truth of the matter is that I’ve written about DRYS quite often over the past year or so, and for one simple reason. That reason has been to warn investors of the toxic management, toxic financing, and overall toxic situation over at DRYS.

Unfortunately, George Economou has created an interesting system that opens the pathway for his hand to reach deeper and deeper into the pockets of investors. Today’s news is simply another example of what he has done as the CEO of the company.

Another Warning

Finally, I’d like to offer another warning. At the end of the day, this wasn’t the first stupid move that DRYS has made, and it won’t likely be the last. In fact, following the reverse split, chances are that we will see more toxic financing, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the name Kalani Investments involved in the process. The bottom line here is that you work hard for your money; stop giving it to a company whose shares have fallen 99.9% in just a few simple months. You don’t deserve the losses that DryShips management seems to be shoving down your throat!

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will continue to keep a close eye on DRYS. In particular, we’re interested in following the company’s toxic business practices and doing everything we can to warn investors before they get involved in this losing battle. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you 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...