In this space three weeks ago:

AMRN – about $7.10 a share. “Data could be out in April,” Guru writes, “but for sure second quarter. I’ve checked all the studies and there is a remarkable consistency: its product lowers triglycerides, especially in conjunction with statins, and it lowers LDL (the bad cholesterol). If this trial doesn’t work, it will be the first time. The beauty is that even if it doesn’t work, the stock is still worth comfortably more than 7. I hate to say ‘can’t lose’ because there always seems to be some way, but this looks as close to a can’t lose as I’ve seen since, say, INCY.”

⒀ INCY brought us a triple. “Can’t lose” always scares me. Even so, how could I resist?

The stock closed at $17.10 last night, up 140% in three weeks.

Proving yet again that Guru is often, albeit not always, right.

His current view:

“AMRN met all endpoints. Leerink Swann’s analyst thinks fair value under this scenario is 25. (‘Bottom line: The ANCHOR study of AMR101 in patients with mixed dislipidemia met all primary and secondary endpoints with very solid effect sizes at both the 2g and 4g doses, which was even better than our “big fish in a big ocean” scenario. We reiterate our Outperform rating and raise our 12-month fair value estimate to $25 from $15. This appraisal does not include an M&A premium which we believe could provide significant additional upside.’) Seems like an obvious candidate to be bought out, since Glaxo bought the competing company, Reliant, for $1.7 billion in order to market Lovaza (on track for about $1 billion in sales) and AMRN’s product will now become the first product that lowers triglycerides and lowers LDL cholesterol in patients at all levels of triglyceride (above 500 and 200-500). It could/should reach the high teens/20s in the next few days. We are buying more today [at $14.73].”

☞ I sure didn’t buy more yesterday – but I didn’t sell, either. I put in a good-til-canceled order to sell some shares I hold in in my tax-deferred retirement account at $18-and-change.

John Leeds: “Shortly before Guru recommended this stock, I kept seeing a ‘FISHGURU’ NY license plate on the pier here, where the Spring Hudson River estuary fishing season is well under way. I’d always think of the investing Guru and wonder what, if any, was the connection. Now it seems prescient as AMRN is fish oil. Of course, humans are good at creating patterns where none exist – such as lower taxes for the rich mean a booming economy and everything will just trickle down to the little guy. Send my thanks to Guru. I owe him a buckskin pouch to hold his hoard of gold. The offer is sincere, and the buckskin is made by me (usually from roadkills, though not always.)”

Ryan Troseth: “I really appreciate your Guru updates, advice that little guys normally couldn’t afford. I took some time to analyze his picks over time and found that he has a great success ratio. I feel pretty comfortable jumping in when I see his recommendation (only with play money) and today had fun watching Amarin go through the roof. . . . Separately, I’ve picked up on your interest in stem cell research and the great benefits that we hope develop from it. I wanted to send you some news that comes out of one of the labs I work with at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. As you probably know, Californians voted in 2004 to approve $3 billion for stem cell research. Recently, the professor I work for was able do something pretty amazing: In 11 days he turned regular skin cells into heart cells, which were actually beating! This research isn’t completely new, however the speed in which the cells were transformed is a great improvement. Here’s a link if you are interested.”


Russell Turpin: “Yes, Jefferson wanted the industrious to enjoy the rewards of their efforts, and objected to the leveling of that. But he also worried about excess concentration of wealth. While observing France in 1785, he wrote the following in a letter to Madison:

The property of this country is absolutely concentered in a very few hands, having revenues of from half a million of guineas a year downwards. These employ the flower of the country as servants, some of them having as many as 200 domestics, not labouring. They employ also a great number of manufacturers, and tradesmen, and lastly the class of labouring husbandmen. But after all these comes the most numerous of all the classes, that is, the poor who cannot find work. I asked myself what could be the reason that so many should be permitted to beg who are willing to work, in a country where there is a very considerable proportion of uncultivated lands? These lands are kept idle mostly for the sake of game. It should seem then that it must be because of the enormous wealth of the proprietors which places them above attention to the increase of their revenues by permitting these lands to be laboured. I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind. The descent of property of every kind therefore to all the children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree is a politic measure, and a practicable one. Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right.

“Note the direct call for a progressive income tax! The full letter is here. The modern right-wing wants our founders to be as ideologically minded as they themselves are. They do not realize that the great past thinkers they pretend to admire looked at questions from multiple angles and held in mind the tensions of conflicting goals, without succumbing to the naive notion that there is one right answer, to be scried from what was handed down on high.”

☞ Amen, Russell – whose own blog can be found here.


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