Monday, December 15 2014 terry.nemeth@Telus.com Companies featured in the current edition of the newsletter: ENZ Stocks tumbled dramatically as the energy sector continued to decline, bringing a spectacular ending to the week despite a range of good economic reports being released. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 678 points or 3.8% over the course of the week, and closed on Friday up only 4.2% for the year at 17,280. The Nasdaq shed 127 points or 2.7% and closed up 11.4% on the year at 4,653. The S&P 500 dropped 73 points or 3.5% and finished the week at 2,002, up 8.3% for the year. The Russell 2000 is back in the red for the year after losing 30 points or 2.5% last week. At 1,152, the small cap index is down 0.9% for the year.
The US Treasury budget deficit was down to $56.8 billion this November, compared with a deficit of $135.2 billion in the year ago quarter. Initial claims fell a bit to 294,000 for the week of December 6th, down from 297,000 the week before. Continuing claims jumped unexpectedly to 2.514 million in the last full week of November from 2.372 million the week before. Retail sales increased 0.7% in November after rising 0.5% in October, revised up from 0.3%. Even excluding motor vehicles, retail sales increased 0.5% in November after rising 0.4% in October. Sales were expected to increase given November�s positive employment and wage numbers, and lower spending on gas due to falling oil and gas prices helped boost sales in other areas. Producer prices fell 0.2% in November, reversing the 0.2% increase in October. Excluding the more volatile food and energy prices, core producer prices were flat in November. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 93.8 in the first reading for December, up from 88.8 in the final reading from November.
Costco continues to show strong growth, outpacing its competitor Sam�s Club in same store traffic despite having a higher membership fee. The company�s profits jumped 17% year over year to $496 million, or $1.12 per share, up from $425 million or $0.96 per share.
No conferences of note will take place this week.
Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ), a pioneer in molecular diagnostics, released its first quarter 2015 financial results on Tuesday, December 9th after the close. Highlights from their quarter included a 3% year over year revenue increase, an increase in gross margins at Enzo Clinical Labs of 10% and at Enzo Life Sciences of 13% year over year. The company�s operating income overall was nearly flat from the year before despite significantly higher legal expenses due to costs of Enzo�s ongoing patent cases. The net loss for the quarter was $3.7 million, or $0.08 per share, compared with $2.8 million or $0.07 in the year ago quarter.
In the conference call, Barry Weiner, Enzo President,reminded investors that the company has been working to streamline operations and improve margins. The company has shifted its focus at Enzo Life Sciences to fewer products, choosing those with higher margins as royalty income declines. Enzo Clinical Labs is focusing on molecular diagnostic testing and increased efficiencies in the unit, which led to a 6% year over year increase in revenues to a record $15.8 million, helping it to post breakeven net income compared to a $0.9 million loss in the year ago quarter.
Enzo�s management has been steering the company in a new direction, aiming to provide more shareholder value while continuing to move forward with its pipeline of groundbreaking molecular diagnostic technologies. The elimination of programs with thin margins and a redoubled effort to bring to market the company�s AmpiProbe� platform technology should propel the company into the New Year with a renewed focus and vigor. This technology aims to bring a more cost effective molecular diagnostic system to market which would be highly valued by clinicians given the current efforts by insurers to scale back reimbursements. ENZ finished the week up $0.03 despite overall downward market pressure and closed on Friday at $4.59.
A profile, description, or other mention of a company in the newsletter is neither an offer nor solicitation to buy or sell any securities mentioned. While we believe all sources of information to be factual and reliable, in no way do we represent or guarantee the accuracy thereof, nor the statements made herein.THE READER SHOULD VERIFY ALL CLAIMS AND DO ITS OWN DUE DILIGENCE BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY SECURITIES MENTIONED. This publication accepts compensation from companies that it features. This newsletter should not be regarded as an independent publication. Our editors may, from time to time, acquire positions in the companies that they cover. This could represent a conflict of interest. The CEOcast newsletter shall be under no obligation to inform readers about its trading activities. CEOcast`s editors reserve the right to buy or sell shares in these companies at any time. The following companies, featured in this newsletter, have compensated CEOcast: Enzo Biochem five thousand dollars cash per month.
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