JCP


By SFace   Follow   Wed, 10 Jul 2013, 8:51am   5,218 views   112 comments
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This is a stock I have been following closely for a long time. Bought when Soros bought and sold before the last earning and made 40% in one month. I have been thinking about them a lot lately and now recommend a strong buy. Here’s a summary of my reasoning and material background.

Who’s long?

Soros and Ackman. A 25% stake held by two of the most respected investor is a good reason for me. Ackman changed my family when (I mom, brothers and close friends, in law) placed a bet on GGP when they announced bankruptcy and promptly went on for a fourty bagger in 4 years using the same reasoning applied by Ackman (real estate was worth too much). If there is a question that asks who is your favorite author, it would be Soros (albeit someone writes on his behalf)

JCP Background (Permanent of Temporary problems)?

JCP has a 100+ year background. 1,100+ department stores scattered throughout the United States and an online store via JCP.com. Over the years, they used their equity to purchase 400+ stores and own the HQ and distribution facilities. The non-owned stores are likely on long term lease with long term options and likely very favorable. In a nutshell, their cost structure is as favorable as any retailer out there. Basically at a market cap of 3.7B, you are getting Penney at less than 4M per department store and $4sale/market cap and an enterprise value above shares (if you count the true market value of real estate that is not marked-up on the balance sheet). The market is pricing Penney like it would be dead (which may or may not be the case). So obviously understanding whether Penney’s problems are permanent vs. temporary is of great interest to me.

The demise of JCP

The great recession impacted everyone including JCP. It hit JCP consumers especially hard unlike Macy’s whose customers are more upscale and wealthy. Unlike the rest that recovered from the recession, JCP sank further and is especially painful given the bull market in 2009-2013.

Long story short, Ackman kicked out Ullman and Ron Johnson was brought on board. Ron brought his own team from Apple and installed his expensive and risky vision and likely created a hostile work environoment bewteen Ullmans and Johnson's people. The strategy employed by JCP should be studied by every business school now in America as it is fascinating. (When I was in college, Dell and IBM was the study case, but now, JCP and BBRY would be my study). The huge difference between Apple retail and JCP retail is about 1M SKU’s and customers that seek the deals. Apple sells Iphone, Ipad, Ibook for the same $599, 1,099 price and sells itself. JCP is a completely different beast. Ron Johnson’s fit was a disaster and under his watch, burned through 1B in capex and burned through another 1B in operating losses and alienated customers. Revenue went from the 17B’s to 12B, practically unheard of in the retail industry to fall that far that fast. SSS was negative 25%. The financial metric was an outright disaster and the PR was a disaster. Further, Johnson got into some legal issues with Martha Stewart and Macy. If there was ever a board you want to be a fly on the wall, JCP was the one to see what the Board asks and how Johnson responded. In March, Johnson out and familiar face Ullman in. Penney was described as a disaster, mess and much worst. Soros buy.

Here was some of JCP’s problems:

•Fair and square pricing in lieu of discounts on top of discounts. This was a bad maneuver. Customers like to feel like they got a deal and there are customers that buy and not look at price tag. In the first category, you lose customers who are trained on feeling like they got a deal, in the second category, you underpriced the product and lost revenue. The retail world sells inventory in full retail price when it is fresh off the shelves and discount it to get rid of it. It is the straightforward and proven way to manage inventory. When you sell 100K different things, that is the only way to go. This is a temporary problem not a perm problem.

•Cap-ex and shop in shop. In all fairness, Johnson was either going to be a hero or a zero. The shop in shop concept is actually well deployed in places like Asia and successful, it gives branded retailers incentive and push to partner with JCP. Ullman already started with the Sephora make-up store and by all accounts, it was successful. Johnson pressed the button to cap-ex the home store, clothing store and children’s store. It’s probably one of the biggest riskiest bet for retail. (huge cap-ex, taking out floor space and sacrifice performance and you have customers that may not accept the new brands). The dumped St. John which was a basic men's category which was a huge mistake.

A lot of the cash burn and SSS was expected. That strategy is yet to be determined. I have been visiting JCP a lot lately in different areas of town and observing traffic and conversion. I went on mother’s day and father’s day to further look at foot traffic and conversions as those are key dates to department stores. It’s been mixed.

Overall, I’m a believer in the strategy. Once the home store are all in business, the Disney stores comes in for back to school and all the shops are in place for the critical holiday season, JCP may be in business and I would not be surprise they can get back from 12B – 17B. It takes 6 months of planning to deliver results as decisions are made now for the critical holiday month and JCP is as focused as it has ever been in 100 years. lol A good friend of mine works at Levi’s and they are pleased with the Levis store at JCP and am working hard to increase traffic there specifically. More so than selling more jeans to Macy's as they have more reasons to see JCP do well than Macy's.

• Win back lost customers: I don’t think consumer hold any grudge against JCP. In the end, JCP is an anchor store on one of the wing. They’ll come as long as the consumer confidence and economic environment is fine and get used to shopping by brand instead of category. bring back what works for the older shoppers and continue to engage the younger shopper it was trying to appeal to. It’s a matter of getting the right product at the right price and become cusomer focused. It’s not terribly new anyway as Macy’s have their branded stores anyway.

• Retail climate. JCP is shielded from Europe and Asia so their health is based solely on the American consumer and betting on the american middle class. Online stores have been eating everyone but I don’t think malls are going away, just need to be righsized. It helps JCP that fair market act are coming on board (possibly) and Obamacare penalty provision are delayed another year. The US tax system,(inluding locally) and policies will be generally supportive of domestic business that hires American workers.

So I’ve convinced myself to buy JCP again (thinks the big issues are temporary). It is a great risk vs. reward play. I really think by back to school and this Christmas, JCP will be clearly trending up again. They have a lot of press lately and I think they have a legit shot once all the stores, marketing, promotions, brands are finally on line at the same time (by back to school). Downside $12 by December and upside $30 if it is clear their turnaround efforts are (not)working and funds will come on board big time.

I am long @ a tad under $17. (Sold for $13 when Ackman was out) Good luck.

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  1. Iwag


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    73   10:20pm Sun 15 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (2)  

    E-man says

    Look at how many friends I have on patnet compared to you.

    Oh fuck! You got me there hahahahahaha

    you have more pat net friends than me, oh woe is me, my life is overrrrr!!!!

    as for the rest of the stuff, i dont believe a single word, sorry. you dont seem to have any investment acumen or skill as proven by this thread.

  2. Hysteresis


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    74   2:20am Mon 16 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    E-man says

    3 guys with woman's attitude. Tsk tsk tsk. I feel sorry for your ladies. They deserve better.

    so you're ignorant and sexist too. not surprising. the women i know are definitely smarter and better investors than you; so i take this as a compliment.

    it's interesting you think losing money by blindly following ackman is the opposite of a woman's attitude. lol. i call it being a sheep that can't think for himself. to each their own!

  3. Iwag


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    75   6:48am Tue 17 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Hysteresis says

    so you're ignorant and sexist too. not surprising. the women i know are definitely smarter and better investors than you; so i take this as a compliment.

    it's interesting you think losing money by blindly following ackman is the opposite of a woman's attitude. lol. i call it being a sheep that can't think for himself. to each their own!

    hahahaha

    this guy is trying to insult women like they are bad investors when he was caught red handed lying about one of his stock buys by goran

    i dont believe a single word he types out, this guys investment accomplishments are as fake as a wooden leg,

  4. FortWayne


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    76   4:33pm Tue 17 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Their Earning Per Share is -7.32

    I don't really know how they make money, I am not in retail. But losing money isn't going to impress many people to buy shares.

  5. Philistine


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    77   3:26pm Mon 23 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  
  6. SoftShell


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    78   4:52pm Mon 23 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Shopping season around the corner. I recommend BUY.
    Philistine says

    Vornado and Pershing Square exiting JCP

    http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/09/19/vorando-to-exit-remaing-stake-j-c-penney/?mod=yahoo_hs

  7. FortWayne


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    79   11:48am Tue 24 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    SoftShell says

    Shopping season around the corner. I recommend BUY.

    Philistine says

    Vornado and Pershing Square exiting JCP

    http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/09/19/vorando-to-exit-remaing-stake-j-c-penney/?mod=yahoo_hs

    Why would you simply not run like hell from their stock?

  8. evilmonkeyboy


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    80   11:31pm Fri 27 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Damn, down 13% today to $9.05 a share!

  9. thomaswong.1986


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    81   1:16am Sat 28 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    E-man says

    Some people on patnet wanted to pay me 4% commission to help them buy properties at the courthouse steps. Some met me personally and wanted to JV with me on flips. One on here is currently investing with me. I have referred clients to iwog for his attorney service. I have offered plenty of real estate and mortgage advice offline to other patnet users. You can call me any name you want, but patnet users are smarter than that, and they can figure out who the loser is.

    well... that would be the our new economy in a nutshell...

  10. SoftShell


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    82   6:07am Sat 28 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Shopping season around the corner. I recommend BUY.

  11. evilmonkeyboy


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    83   8:39am Sat 28 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    You made that same recommendation on Monday when the stock was 30% higher.
    SoftShell says

    Shopping season around the corner. I recommend BUY.

  12. SoftShell


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    84   4:20pm Sat 28 Sep 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    so you are getting it at a 30% discount.
    quit bitching.

    evilmonkeyboy says

    You made that same recommendation on Monday when the stock was 30% higher.

    SoftShell says

    Shopping season around the corner. I recommend BUY.

  13. evilmonkeyboy


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    85   8:44pm Wed 2 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Looks like we just got another 4% discount since last week.
    SoftShell says

    so you are getting it at a 30% discount.

    quit bitching.

    evilmonkeyboy says

    You made that same recommendation on Monday when the stock was 30% higher.

    SoftShell says

    Shopping season around the corner. I recommend BUY.

  14. SoftShell


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    86   8:50pm Wed 2 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    You are just dollar cost averaging....

    evilmonkeyboy says

    Looks like we just got another 4% discount since last week.

    SoftShell says

    so you are getting it at a 30% discount.

    quit bitching.

    evilmonkeyboy says

    You made that same recommendation on Monday when the stock was 30% higher.

    SoftShell says

    Shopping season around the corner. I recommend BUY.

  15. evilmonkeyboy


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    87   4:42pm Sun 6 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    $7.86 as of Friday... SoftShell, am I correct in assuming that you are pot committed to this stock at this point?
    SoftShell says

    You are just dollar cost averaging....

    evilmonkeyboy says

    Looks like we just got another 4% discount since last week.

    SoftShell says

    so you are getting it at a 30% discount.

    quit bitching.

    evilmonkeyboy says

    You made that same recommendation on Monday when the stock was 30% higher.

    SoftShell says

    Shopping season around the corner. I recommend BUY.

  16. SoftShell


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    88   9:36pm Sun 6 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    I don't smoke weed.

  17. SFace


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    89   9:51am Thu 17 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    what a disaster call. The key is to cut bait. Fortunately that was in August when I went to the home store and all the shiny kitchen toys were way too expensive for the JCP customer.

  18. SoftShell


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    90   10:07am Thu 17 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    not really. if you followed the op's advice you would have cut out at 15ish...

    SFace says

    what a disaster call. The key is to cut bait. Fortunately that was in August when I went to the home store and all the shiny kitchen toys were way too expensive for the JCP customer.

  19. Iwag


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    91   5:09pm Thu 24 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    i just read this thread from the beginning and goran really destroyed sface and e-man badly roflmao

  20. Iwag


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    92   1:58pm Fri 25 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    and sface and e-man both deleted some of their post from earlier to hide their shame

  21. B.A.C.A.H.


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    93   2:18pm Fri 25 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Whaddidu think SFace meant, anyway?

    "S" is for save.

    Save Face.

    Now you know.

  22. SoftShell


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    94   2:35pm Fri 25 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Must be why he has never responded to any of ApocolyspeFuck's posts...

    B.A.C.A.H. says

    Whaddidu think SFace meant, anyway?

    "S" is for save.

    Save Face.

    Now you know

  23. zzyzzx


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    95   7:22am Thu 16 Jan 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Down to $6.65/sh on news of 2000 people layoff and 33 stores closing.

    It's all Obama's fault!!!

  24. Iwag


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    96   1:31pm Thu 16 Jan 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    lol can we call this one of the worst investment calls of all time on pat net?

    i remember when sface was arguing tooth and nail how the holiday shopping season would save penneys, then he deleted his post of course when goran called him out on that

  25. SoftShell


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    97   1:38pm Thu 16 Jan 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    No, the worst call was all the bets made on zimmerman being found guilty...

    Iwag says

    lol can we call this one of the worst investment calls of all time on pat net?

    i remember when sface was arguing tooth and nail how the holiday shopping season would save penneys, then he deleted his post of course when goran called him out on that

  26. zzyzzx


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    98   5:44pm Thu 16 Jan 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    As long as we are mentioning retailers, Best Buy stock took a dump as well. $26.83/sh Down 10.74(28.59%), with a 52wk Range of 13.83 - 44.66

  27. FortWayne


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    99   12:54pm Fri 17 Jan 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Iwag says

    lol can we call this one of the worst investment calls of all time on pat net?

    i remember when sface was arguing tooth and nail how the holiday shopping season would save penneys, then he deleted his post of course when goran called him out on that

    SFAce is notorious for giving real bad investment advice.

  28. E-man


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    100   11:16pm Fri 24 Jan 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    FortWayne says

    SFAce is notorious for giving real bad investment advice.

    SFace gives a lot of sound advice on here. Like anything in life, there are some hiccups along the way. It proves that he's human and is subject to bad decision making sometimes.

    You sir, time and time again, have been telling people on here not to buy houses at the bottom of the housing market. You have caused potential buyers millions of dollars combined with your unsound advice. Why haven't you apologized Patnet potential buyers for your unsound advice? Before you criticize other people, take a look at yourself in the mirror first.

  29. SFace


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    101   9:42am Sat 25 Jan 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    FortWayne says

    Iwag says

    lol can we call this one of the worst investment calls of all time on pat net?

    i remember when sface was arguing tooth and nail how the holiday shopping season would save penneys, then he deleted his post of course when goran called him out on that

    SFAce is notorious for giving real bad investment advice.

    Im not that stubborn, sold went Ackman went out and saw the disasterous home store and furniture. File it under stupid thing that will never be repeated.

    Whether I am right or not, I only say things to the best as I understand them and try to help. Being negative, funny does not add value.

  30. Iwag


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    102   7:55am Tue 28 Jan 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (2)  

    sface i think you are probably a swell guy but you probably should stop giving stock advice to people, its making you look like an asshole

  31. zzyzzx


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    103   6:09pm Fri 14 Feb 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/soros-exits-j-c-penney-003011791.html
    Soros exits J.C.Penney

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Soros Fund Management, one of the hedge fund industry's most closely watched investors, exited J.C. Penney and trimmed its stake in Herbalife late last year, marking a notable shift in course only months after buying into the companies.

    The New York-based firm, which ranked as J.C. Penney's second biggest investor, sold 19.98 million shares during the last three months of 2013, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. It also cut its stake in Herbalife, where it was the fifth biggest investor.

    J.C. Penney and Herbalife spent most of last year in the spotlight, with the retailer's stock price losing half its value as an ambitious overhaul fizzled and the nutrition and weight loss company surging 139 percent in the wake of a dramatic faceoff between some of the world's biggest investors.

    So when Soros bought 17.4 million J.C. Penney shares in April, not long after Ron Johnson was ousted as chief executive officer, investors cheered and pushed the share price up.

    But as the company's once-ambitious turnaround plans lost steam and a former CEO returned to the helm, its biggest investor, William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management, abruptly exited in August. The share price kept tumbling and has lost 68 percent in the last 12 months.

    While Soros was a steady J.C. Penney supporter through the end of the third quarter, the firm evidently changed its mind in the last months of 2013.

    It had company in the form of other prominent managers who also exited. Richard Perry, whose Perry Corp owned 10 million shares, sold out, and Kyle Bass's Hayman Capital liquidated its 5.6 million shares. David Tepper's Appaloosa Management sold all of its 737,800 shares.

  32. Iwag


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    104   9:04am Tue 25 Feb 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    lol

    why did sface delete his post arguing about how jc penney was going to come back during the shopping season?

  33. Iwag


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    105   9:04am Tue 25 Feb 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    SG&A are fixed, It works both way, if you can improve gross margins with the same fixed costs, the cash flow turns around easilly. That's why momentum is huge and we have seen negative momentum. Q2 is likley YOY decline, but Q3 and Q4 their big season will comp positive.

    good call! haha

  34. BayAreaObserver


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    106   2:17pm Tue 11 Mar 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Why Citigroup Thinks J.C. Penney Is a Buy Now

    Citigroup raised J.C. Penney to Buy from Neutral, and the price target was raised to $11 from $7.50 in the call. That puts the implied upside at 30% from the $8.42 prior closing price.

    Keep in mind that the upgrade may not be the only positive call out there. Standard & Poor’s just raised the corporate credit rating recently. Wells Fargo also recently raised its rating to Market Perform from a prior Underperform rating. Still, Sterne Agee maintained its Neutral rating but said that it could not even get to a $3 valuation, based on fears of a capital raise.

    J.C. Penney shares were up almost 8% at $9.09 in active trading Tuesday morning. This is close to double from the 52-week low of $4.90, yet it is still down more than half from the $19.63 high over the past year.

    http://247wallst.com/retail/2014/03/11/why-citigroup-thinks-j-c-penney-is-a-buy-now/

  35. SFace


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    107   2:24pm Tue 11 Mar 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    JCP with MU is just going back to basics. (whatever they did in 2011.)

    Just wanted to inventory all my stock recommendation in 2013 because certain...:

    http://patrick.net/forum/?p=1227427
    July 25 Facebook $34
    March 11, Facebook $72
    Return 110%

    http://patrick.net/forum/?p=1226812
    July 10, JCP $17.08
    March 10, JCP: $8.65
    Return -50%

    http://patrick.net/forum/?p=1229079
    Sep 6, 2013 Apple $498
    March 11, Apple w/dividends $542
    Return 9%

    http://patrick.net/forum/?p=1224989
    May 21, 2013 Diamond Foods $17
    March 11, 2014 $30
    Return 75%

    10K each in the above 4 would have yielded about 36% positive return in aggregate for peiods May 21 - Sep 6th 2013. Index was around 15-18% when S&P was around 1,650 in the summer. JCP was obviously a bad call. Apple was not a good call. learn from mistakes.

    No one has a 100% record, if you are, either you are god or you never made a mistake in your life or even tried.

    2014 is a tougher year, any thoughts for considertion?

    I am looking at Potash, Transocean, Yahoo, Sodastream, Newmont, and the homebuilder sector. Heck, citigroup looks like a great buy and stash. Fannie Mae was one I let slipped away, damnit.

  36. mell


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    108   2:51pm Tue 11 Mar 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Biotech is where it's been at.

  37. CL


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    109   3:47pm Tue 11 Mar 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    SFace says

    Fannie Mae was one I let slipped away, damnit.

    I sold TSLA at $29.

  38. New Renter


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    110   4:06pm Tue 11 Mar 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    mell says

    Biotech is where it's been at.

    HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

  39. mell


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    111   5:42pm Tue 11 Mar 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    mell says

    Biotech is where it's been at.

    HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

    Maybe not employment wise, but stock-wise for sure. Best stocks to invest in for early retirement are small-cap biotechs - if you can handle the risk. Parse the phase 1 and preclinical data and partnership affinity and if you like it jump into phase 2 and 3 trials (Phase 2 have the best risk-reward ratio while phase 3 return most bang for the buck but also fail most often). If you have a medical/microbiology and statistical understanding it's awesome. And you can help small biotechs on their way to develop novel treatments :)

  40. New Renter


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    112   9:59pm Tue 11 Mar 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    mell says

    New Renter says

    mell says

    Biotech is where it's been at.

    HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

    Maybe not employment wise, but stock-wise for sure. Best stocks to invest in for early retirement are small-cap biotechs - if you can handle the risk. Parse the phase 1 and preclinical data and partnership affinity and if you like it jump into phase 2 and 3 trials (Phase 2 have the best risk-reward ratio while phase 3 return most ank for the buck but also fail most often). If you have a medical/microbiology and statistical understanding it's awesome. And you can help small biotechs on their way to develop novel treatments :)

    Stop it, your killing me!

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