IN PASSING . . .

A representative from the funeral home called today.

“Mr. Nolan?” she asked.

“No; Mr. Tobias,” I said, explaining who I was, conveying the sad news to her (which, of course, being from the funeral home, she already knew; but I didn’t know who was calling).

“Oh, of course. Sorry. Mr. Tobias.”

Turned out, she was calling to see whether we were satisfied. Very nice. But I do think one thing they might add to their checklist is not, when calling, to ask for the deceased.

CBRX

Although up 12% since Friday’s suggestion, it may not be too late to take a flier on this one – albeit only with money you can truly afford to lose. Guru writes: “So last week a different firm, K-V Pharmaceutical, got approval for an injected form of progesterone for pre-term birth. Specifically for women who have already had one pre-term child and who are, thus, at risk for a second one. They estimate this population at 140,000. They are launching the drug March 15 and will be charging $1,500 per injection, estimating 15-20 injections (per the conference call that just ended) for an estimated list price of $22,500 to $30,000. Of course, there will be mandatory Medicaid discounts, but they believe the price is justified by the estimated cost of a preterm delivery ($51,000). Their data do NOT show a benefit to the infant in terms of reduced morbidity or mortality.”

What has this to do with CBRX?

Guru continues:

“Our CBRX assumptions assume approval for women with ‘short cervix,’ a population that ranges from 430,000 to 1.2 million in number; and a course of therapy of $2000. (Yes, less than a tenth what K-V is charging and a 50% increase to the current price of the CBRX version of progesterone now on the market.) Once approved, WPI – CBRX’s marketing partner – will withdraw the CBRX version of progestersone (given topically, no shots, not painful, given right to the cervix, so less chance of systemic complications) and reintroduce it for this ‘short cervix’ indication. The chart I sent you shows the numbers at $2000/course of therapy. The analysis shows how the product is easily justified at $5000/course of therapy – so you can more than double the numbers there. Not sure where the actual price will be, but you can do the math and make your own guess on where CBRX could be with higher pricing. Way up from here. Oh, and CBRX/WPI have data showing statistically significant benefit to infant morbidity (a huge source of the cost).”

Remember: The odds may be good for this bet, but there is no guarantee it will work out.

KEEPING SCORE

Have you ever wondered how these various suggestions over the years actually do? I have. So I’ve hired someone to read the past 3,699 columns and pull out all the suggested buys and sells and try to make sense of what would have happened if you had, for example, put $1,000 into each.

It’s not such an easy thing to do, for at least two reasons. (One is mechanical: what if he misses dividends or stock splits or something else for which the stock price should have been adjusted? One is more subjective: how do you weight a strong suggestion versus a weak one? How should you count repeated suggestions – add $1,000 for each one? Just stick with the first $1,000?)

And there is a third reason: he likes me (I think), and I am paying him. Consciously or, more likely, subconsciously, on close calls he may give me the benefit of the doubt.

So even when he completes the task, we won’t really know anything exactly. But we may at least have a sense of what ballpark we’re in.

Not that it will make any difference to the actual results you may have achieved, buying FMD and Google puts. (Google puts? you suggested Google puts?*)

*Yes, when the stock was $144. But only to Republicans.

 

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