Large cap serial acquirer�Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (NYSE: VRX) is teaming up with activist investor�Bill Ackman to pursue large cap Botox maker Allergan, Inc (NYSE: AGN), but stocks like Cutera, Inc (NASDAQ: CUTR), Cynosure, Inc (NASDAQ: CYNO), PhotoMedex Inc (NASDAQ: PHMD) and Syneron Medical Ltd (NASDAQ: ELOS)�actually offer investors more exposure to the growing anti aging and aesthetics market (Note: See my recent article: These Small Caps Seek to Treat Your Crow�� Feet and Double Chin (RVNC & KYTH)). To begin with, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has a wide focus on neurology, dermatology and infectious diseases�but acquiring the maker of Botox won�� be its first foray into the aesthetic market�because earlier this year, the company completed its acquisition of Solta Medical Inc (NASDAQ: SLTM) -�a designer, developer, manufacturer and marketer of�energy-based medical device systems for aesthetic applications.�And while�Allergan, Inc may be most well known for Botox, its actually a pretty big�company focused on a diverse range of areas, including ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, dermatology, neuroscience, urology and cosmetics���meaning the following stocks offer investors better exposure to the aesthetics market:
Top 5 Energy Companies To Buy Right Now: Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ACHN)
Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of treatments for infectious diseases. The company focuses on the development of antivirals for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C; and the development of antibacterials for the treatment of resistant bacterial infections. Its drug candidates for the treatment of chronic HCV include ACH-1625, a protease inhibitor, which is in phase IIa clinical trial for the treatment of chronic HCV; ACH-2684, a pangenotypic protease inhibitor, which is in phase I clinical trial for the treatment of chronic HCV infection; and NS5A inhibitors for the treatment of chronic HCV infection, including ACH-2928, which is to enter a phase I clinical trial, as well as various additional NS5A inhibitors in preclinical development. Its pipeline of product candidates also includes ACH-702 and ACH-2881 for drug resistant bacterial infections; elvucitabine for HIV infection; and AC H-1095 for HCV infection. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in New Haven, Connecticut.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHN) is getting destroyed on poor hep-C test results, and shares are down about 50%. Bank of America�Merrill Lynch downgraded it to Underperform from Buy after the news.
- [By Sean Williams]
The latest hepatitis-C nightmare came from Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACHN ) which plunged 24% on the week after the FDA placed a clinical hold on its lead compound, sovaprevir (previously known as ACH-1625) because of a worrisome drug-to-drug interaction noted in early stage trials. According to Achillion's update, sovaprevir, when studied with atazanavir, was associated with elevated ALT enzymes in the liver, although no serious adverse events were documented. Even though the FDA is allowing Achillion to continue studying sovaprevir in its mid-stage trial with ACH-3102, it's just another setback for Achillion which is miles behind Gilead Sciences�and AbbVie�in terms of time it will take to bring a new hepatitis-C therapy to market.
- [By Dan Carroll]
Few biotechs were hit as hard as Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACHN ) this week, however. Achillion makes up around 2% of the weight of the SPDR Biotech ETF, and its 7.5% loss this week was a major reason for the fund's fall. This stock has failed to capitalize on the markets' surge this year, losing 10% year-to-date. The company only recently named a new CEO, lifting its former R&D head and chief science officer to the top job. Achillion's still in the developmental stage of its life and thus produces no revenue, and the company's cash burn makes it seem likely that more share dilution is on its way as the company looks to advance its hepatitis-C pipeline over the coming years. Until Achillion produces some meaningful results from that pipeline, this stock will remain a risky play in an already risky space.
- [By Sean Williams]
In terms of clinical updates, hepatitis-C-focused biotech Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACHN ) announced updated midstage results for its lead compound, ACH-3102, on Tuesday. In trials of genotype-1b treatment naive patients, ACH-3102 plus a ribavirin delivered a 75% success rate in end-of-treatment virologic response. The problem with these results is that not only is Achillion far behind its all-oral peers in terms of development, but its 75% success rate trailed that of Gilead Sciences' Sofosbuvir, which delivered 100% success rates in some of its late-stage trials featuring genotype-1 patients.
Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: OCZ Technology Group Inc(OCZ)
OCZ Technology Group, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes computer components for computing devices and systems worldwide. It primarily offers solid state drives, flash memory storage, memory modules, thermal management solutions, AC/DC switching power supply units, and computer gaming solutions. The company?s products are used in industrial equipment and computer systems; computer and computer gaming solutions; mission critical servers and high end workstations; personal computer (PC) upgrades to extend the useable life of existing PCs; high performance computing and scientific computing; video and music editing; home theatre PCs and digital home convergence products; and digital photography and digital image manipulation computers. OCZ Technology Group, Inc. offers its products to retailers, on-line retailers, original equipment manufacturers, systems integrators, and distributors. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in San Jose, Califo rnia.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Duprey]
The not-so-great and wonderful OCZ
There was no company-specific news that caused solid-state-drive maker OCZ Technology (NASDAQ: OCZ ) to fall almost 8% Wednesday. But an article that appeared on Seeking Alpha �questioning whether the company had six months or less to live before it filed for bankruptcy seemed to coincide with its fall.
Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: Hot Topic Inc.(HOTT)
Hot Topic, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a mall- and Web-based specialty retailer in the United States. The company operates Hot Topic and Torrid store concepts, as well as an e-space music discovery concept, ShockHound. Its Hot Topic stores sell music/pop culture-licensed merchandise, including tee shirts, hats, posters, stickers, patches, postcards, books, novelty accessories, CDs, and DVDs; and music/pop culture-influenced merchandise comprising women?s and men?s apparel and accessories, such as woven and knit tops, skirts, pants, shorts, jackets, shoes, costume jewelry, body jewelry, sunglasses, cosmetics, leather accessories, and gift items for young men and women primarily between the ages of 12 and 22. The company?s Torrid stores sells casual and dressy jeans and pants, fashion and novelty tops, sweaters, skirts, jackets, dresses, hosiery, shoes, intimate apparel, and fashion accessories for various lifestyles for plus-size females primarily betw een the ages of 15 and 29. As of July 30, 2011, it operated 636 Hot Topic stores in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada; 145 Torrid stores; and Internet stores, hottopic.com and torrid.com. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in City of Industry, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Marshall Hargrave]
In May True Religion (TRGL) announced a buyout offer from TowerBrook Capital for $826 million. Also in May, Rue21 decided to sell itself to Apax Partners for $2.2 billion. Before that, in March, Hot Topic (HOTT) announced that Sycamore Partners was buying out it out for $600 million.
Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: EZchip Semiconductor Limited(EZCH)
EZchip, a fabless semiconductor company, engages in the development and marketing of Ethernet network processors for networking equipment. Its products include network processor chips, evaluation boards and network-processor based systems, and development software toolkits. The company offers network processors for use in forming the silicon core of networking equipment, such as switches and routers; and for voice, video and data integration in various applications. Its network processors are single-chip solutions, which enable its customers to design multi-port line cards, such as processing and classification engines, traffic managers, media access controllers, as well as a range of specialized hardware blocks that accelerate various functions. The company offers Evaluation systems which enable customers to test NPU-based systems; and toolkits that assist customers in creating, verifying, and implementing solutions based on its network processors. It provides a library f eaturing data plane code for a range of applications, which include Metro Ethernet protocols, Multi-Protocol Label Switching, IPv4 and IPv6 routing, Access Control Lists, GPON/EPON OLT functionality, Network Address Translation, and Server Load Balancing. The company sells its products directly, and through contract manufacturers and distributors to network equipment vendors. It markets its products in Israel, China, Hong Kong, the Far East, Canada, the United States, and Europe. The company was formerly known as LanOptics Ltd. and changed its name to EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. in July 2008. EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. was founded in 1989 and is based in Yokneam, Israel.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Evan Niu, CFA]
What: Shares of EZchip (NASDAQ: EZCH ) have jumped today by as much as 13% after the company reported first-quarter earnings.
So what: Revenue in the first quarter totaled $15.3 million, topping the Street's forecast of $15.1 million. Non-GAAP net income per share came in at $0.23, which was right on target with expectations.
- [By Lisa Levin]
EZchip Semiconductor (NASDAQ: EZCH) shares climbed 5.80% to $23.53. The volume of EZchip Semiconductor shares traded was 635% higher than normal. EZchip Semiconductor's PEG ratio is 1.57.
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
EZchip Semiconductor (NASDAQ: EZCH) was also up, gaining 7.16 percent to $24.11 after a Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced a new product that would not threaten the company as previously thought. Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ: CY) were down 16.05 percent to $9.91 after the company lowered its Q3 forecast.
Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: InterDigital Inc.(IDCC)
Interdigital, Inc. engages in the design and development of digital wireless technology solutions. The company offers technology solutions for use in digital cellular and wireless products and networks, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and IEEE 802-related products and networks. It holds patents related to the fundamental technologies that enable wireless communications. The company licenses its patents to equipment producers that manufacture, use, and sell digital cellular and IEEE 802-related products; and licenses or sells mobile broadband modem solutions, including modem IP, know-how, and reference platforms to mobile device manufacturers, semiconductor companies, and other equipment producers that manufacture, use, and sell digital cellular products. InterDigital?s solutions are incorporated in various products comprising mobile devices, such as cellular phones, tablets, notebook computers, and wireless personal digital assistants; wireless infrastructure equipment, such as base stations; and components, dongles, and modules for wireless devices. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Holly LaFon]
The most disappointing investment in the portfolio for 2013 was InterDigital (IDCC). This stock declined approximately 28% during the year, despite posting roughly 25% operating margins. Our thesis on IDCC is that the company should benefit from its wireless technology patents as more smartphones and mobile tablets are connected to the in ternet. IDCC creates wireless technology, applies for patents for the technology it creates, and then licenses its technology to manufacturers who produce the aforementioned products. In the past, Nokia, Samsung, Apple, LG, and many other manufacturers hav e licensed the company's technology to use in their products and paid IDCC royalties.
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Wireless digital company Interdigital Inc.(IDCC) lost its patent-infringement case against a group of companies, including Nokia Oyj and Huawei Technologies Co., Bloomberg News reported. Shares dropped 11% to $28.50 premarket.
Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: Panera Bread Company(PNRA)
Panera Bread Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises retail bakery-cafes in the United States and Canada. Its bakery-cafes offer fresh baked goods, sandwiches, soups, salads, custom roasted coffees, and other complementary products, as well as provide catering services. The company also manufactures and supplies dough and other products to company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafes. As of March 29, 2011, it owned and franchised 1,467 bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co., and Paradise Bakery & Cafe names. The company was founded in 1981 and is based in St. Louis, Missouri.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) has gained 1.6% to $425.84 after it was upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley, while Panera Bread (PNRA) has fallen 1.7% to $161.25 after the investment bank downgraded it to Equal Weight from Overweight.
- [By William White]
Ron Shaich, CEO of Panera Bread (PNRA), will live on a food-stamp budget of $4.50 a day for food for one week.
Shaich is living on the food-stamp budget as part of the SNAP challenge. SNAP is the system that replaced food stamps. Shaich started the challenge on Saturday and is documenting his challenge on LinkedIn (LNKD). Shaich took his $31.50, the average weekly budget for someone on SNAP, to a grocery store and bought�cereal, pasta, lentils, chickpeas and some vegetables. He noted that it was a barren shopping cart and that he didn’t know if he would be able to sustain himself on the budget. Shiach spent�$25.95 on the food he bought that day, which leaves him with $5.55 to buy food with for the rest of the week, reports Daily Finance.