Today's Biggest Stories in Biotech: Galectin Therapeutics Inc, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and Nektar Therapeutics

Top stories in biotech and healthcare today.

Feb 27, 2014 at 9:25AM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Let's take a look at the top stories in biotech and health care this morning -- keep an eye out for Galectin Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GALT), Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MACK), and Nektar Therapuetics (NASDAQ:NKTR)

Galectin presents at NASH workshop
Shares of Galectin Therapeutics are creeping up in premarket this morning ahead of the company's presentation at the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis, or NASH, workshop hosted by JMP Securities. Galectin's CEO Peter Traber is scheduled to serve on the panel's workshop from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST, followed by individual meetings with various management teams working in the field. 

Could this workshop be a big catalyst today? I don't believe so. While investors are certainly looking for a credible reason to believe Galectin will follow in Intercept Pharmaceutical's footsteps, this workshop probably won't yield much insight into the company's ongoing clinical trial. 

Will Merrimack spill the beans today?
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals is also up in premarket morning, with investors hoping to hear more details about the company's ongoing late-stage trial for its experimental pancreatic cancer drug MM-398 after the bell. Specifically, Merrimack is scheduled to release earnings today with a conference call to be held after market close.

Previously, Merrimack delayed the drug's readout because patients were surviving longer than expected, giving investors hope that MM-398 is on track to report positive top line results. Since this announcement, however, management hasn't said much on the matter, instead choosing to focus investors' attention on their other early stage clinical candidates. With a readout expected this April or May, today's conference could provide some key insight into MM-398's development. As such, you might want to keep a close watch on Merrimack today.

Nektar misses on earnings, downgrades follow
Nektar Therapeutics is down over 8% in premarket this morning after missing on both estimated earnings per share and revenues yesterday. Specifically, Nektar missed consensus on earnings per share by $0.24, and on revenues by $18.16 million, fairly substantial misses. This morning MKM Partners downgraded Nektar to Neutral, although the firm's reason(s) weren't immediately disclosed. 

Is this a big deal? In my view, it's not. Nektar is still squarely in the realm of 'developmental biotech', with value being created primarily by the company's clinical pipeline. And this year could be a transformative one for the company in terms of its pipeline. Nektar and its partner AstraZeneca have already filed for regulatory approvals for naloxegol in the U.S., Europe and Canada. And naloxegol could be the first once-daily oral therapy to be approved for opioid-induced constipation.

Nektar also has an impressive array of ongoing late-stage clinical trials that may help to create value for shareholders over the long-term. In short, you may want to dig deeper into Nektar, especially if the stock pulls back substantially today. 

Don't miss The Motley Fool's Top Pick for 2014.
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

George Budwell owns shares of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and Nektar Therapeutics. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

Something big just happened

I don't know about you, but I always pay attention when one of the best growth investors in the world gives me a stock tip. Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner (whose growth-stock newsletter was rated #1 in the world by The Wall Street Journal)* and his brother, Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner, just revealed two brand new stock recommendations moments ago. Together, they've tripled the stock market's return over 12+ years. And while timing isn't everything, the history of Tom and David's stock picks shows that it pays to get in early on their ideas.

Click here to be among the first people to hear about David and Tom's newest stock recommendations.

*"Look Who's on Top Now" appeared in The Wall Street Journal which references Hulbert's rankings of the best performing stock picking newsletters over a 5-year period from 2008-2013.

Compare Brokers