Will lightening strike twice for Axovant?

Earlier this week, Axovant Sciences, a company that few people have probably heard of, announced that it was hiring the bio-pharma equivalent of a rock star as its new CEO. David Hung may not have the same name recognition of, say, Beyonce or Bono. But when it comes to turning small companies into big paydays, he seems to have the right experience. At least that’s what Axovant shareholders appear to be hoping for, based on the fact that the company’s stock has surged nearly 30% since Hung’s appointment was announced on Monday. Trading volume, which was typically well below 500,000 shares, reached 7.5 million on Tuesday, before calming slightly to 1.6 million on Wednesday. That’s because last September, Hung managed to sell his former company, Medivation, Inc. to Pfizer for around $14 billion. Hung, who had founded the company and served as its CEO, personally walked away with Continue reading "Will lightening strike twice for Axovant?"

Failed Obamacare Repeal Creates Uncertainty For Corporations

If there’s anything corporations hate more than change and competition, it’s uncertainty. But facing the unknown is exactly where thousands of companies find themselves now that the Trump Administration seems to have abandoned its efforts to repeal The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, known better as “Obamacare.” The signature policy achievement of the Obama Administration has been the subject of endless political debate over its effectiveness pretty much since it was proposed and passed. We’re not interested in rehashing the politics here. But no matter how one feels about Obamacare, it’s been clear to us here at Footnoted that companies from a wide spectrum of industries have been anxious about the repeal efforts as well as the lack of clarity about what would come next. Indeed, since the start of this year, and through the recent 10-K filing season, it became rare to read a filing that didn’t include
ChartGo (2)
Continue reading "Failed Obamacare Repeal Creates Uncertainty For Corporations"

2016 was the year of autonomous vehicles

The day most people use autonomous vehicles to zip around likely remains many years in the future. But 2016 saw the public profile of self-driving cars and trucks start to crescendo amid high-profile tests that offered a taste of a robotic future. Beyond just hype, this frenzy of activity forced a growing number of publicly-traded companies to start reckoning with the  potential impact of this new technology. As such, the number of filings in 2016 that referenced “autonomous vehicles” surged dramatically. That wave has continued to rise during the first two months of 2017 as companies from a growing range of industries think that the prospect of self-driving vehicles is serious enough that they need to make some kind of disclosure to investors. In 2016, Footnoted counted 128 filings that made some kind of reference to “autonomous vehicles.” That was up from just 37 in 2015, and 23 in 2014. Continue reading "2016 was the year of autonomous vehicles"

Election results have gun makers feeling blue

The unexpected results of the presidential election delivered good news and bad news for the gun industry. In the months leading up to the November election, it seems gun owners clearly thought Hillary Clinton would win. As a result, they were driving up sales of firearms, a common occurrence when they believe there is an increased risk of anti-gun legislation. But with the victory of Donald Trump, apparently gun owners’ minds were put as ease. As a result, firearm sales have dropped sharply. In a recent 8-K, Sturm Ruger & Company Inc. included a transcript of its earnings call on Feb. 23.  Chris Killoy, Sturm’s president and CEO, said the year had been going great until November. Revenues for 2016 were $664.3 million, up from $551.1 million in 2015. Across the country, the number of background checks performed by the National Incident Criminal Background Check System, jumped 10% Continue reading "Election results have gun makers feeling blue"

PG&E’s Filing Of Misery

It might be tough to find any company that offered a gloomier set of disclosures than the list of fires, explosions, and legal problems found in PG&E’s latest annual report. None of this seems to be bothering investors. The stock closed on Wednesday at $64.76, which appears to be an all-time high. Still, consider these disclosures in the 10-K the company filed on Feb. 16. First up: The company noted that it was sentenced back on January 26 to five years of corporate probation for its role in the 2010 explosion of a natural gas pipeline that exploded and killed eight people in San Bruno, Calif. The sentence includes a five year oversight period by a third party and a $3 million fine. Next, the company explained that it was still facing an inquiry from federal regulators as to whether it should be “suspended or debarred from entering into federal procurement and non-procurement Continue reading "PG&E’s Filing Of Misery"

On Intuitive Surgical’s trifecta of events

The massive geopolitical shifts recently have us watching filings closely to see how companies are reacting to the new Trump administration. While the meaning of this new reality is still coming into focus, there may be no better example of how companies face a growing list of question marks than high-flying Intuitive Surgical. In a 10-K filed on Monday, the company added extensive disclosures about how it could be hit by a triple whammy: Changes to NAFTA, an overhaul or repeal of Obamacare, and the United Kingdom’s decision to pull out of the European Union. Intuitive is one of Silicon Valley’s biggest, if somewhat quiet, successes. The robotic surgical company quietly debuted on the stock exchange on June 16, 2000, closing at a split-adjusted $18.25 per share. Last Friday, its stock closed at $702.13 per share. As it expands its surgical tools into more types of surgery, it’s Continue reading "On Intuitive Surgical’s trifecta of events"

2016: The year in filings

Every year in January, we like to step back and take a look at the world that was in terms of filings. The number of filings made to the SEC was only modestly higher than in 2015: 670,831 compared with 662,936 for 2015, or 1.1% higher. Those numbers still pale in comparison to the 750,000 filed in 2007, or the year before the last stock market bubble burst. Given the current political climate, and the urge to repeal Dodd-Frank (see H.R. 78), it will be interesting to see if those numbers change at all in 2017. About 1/3 of those filings were insider-trading related (which we don’t pay as close attention to, but people like Asif Suria, among others do). We asked the folks at Sentieo to run the numbers on the filings that we do pay close attention to: 10Ks, 10Qs, 8Ks and proxies. Continue reading "2016: The year in filings"