Tuesday, December 29, 2009

12/29/09 Midday Report: Consumers more confused than Alan Greenspan in a housing bubble

Data came out today showing a rise in consumer confidence for the second consecutive month, despite consumers rating their current situation as the worst since February 1983 (and to give you an idea about how long ago February 1983 was, Tennessee Williams was alive for most of the month, Case had yet to mix his chocolate with Shiller's peanut butter,  Beat It was released as a single (and Michael Jackson was still black, and alive), and Hilary Scott was born and thus had yet to expertly fellate her first johnson).  That's right, in the same report today, the consumer's expectations of wages and jobs fell to 26 year lows while consumer confidence rose.  So it all makes perfect sense.  Consumer confidence is rising, while falling to new lows at the same fucking time.  Somewhere Kafka is happily sitting up in his grave and applauding while Zeno Cosini has his last cigarette.

Speaking of Case-Shiller, home prices in 20 cities rose for the 5th consecutive month, or they were flat, depending which news source you read of the exact same fucking data.  And seriously, for you reporters out here, you're not reporting on the existential feeling of Antoine de Saint Exupery or the exact location of a quantum particle (and for the record, under my balls would be an acceptable enough guess) so how hard is it get the one number fact correct?  Luckily, a third news source clears up any confusion by stating that home prices were up, but when adjusted for seasonality, they were flat.  Who knew that one needed to hire someone from NAFA (where I am told they party until their valuation allowances reverse) just to read a simple news story.

In stock news, a Money McBags favorite, RICK continues rise (and it is from more than the table dance) while a Money McBags watchlist company, CRTX, gets some momentum.  CRTX is a roll-up drug maker/supplier focused on the respiratory market who went public through a reverse merger last year.  Since that time they have acquired the rights to a number of drugs while revamping their sales force and selling controlling interest in themselves to Italian pharma company Chiesi (in return for the rights to market one of Chiesi's drugs in the US and a lifetime supply of parmesan cheese).  While trying to piece this company together, CRTX has seen their top selling drugs face increasing competition from generics (which they admit is happening and say is not unplanned, hence the acquisition of other drugs) and has disappointed the street (though only one analyst covers them and that analyst has been consistently too high, thus tripping quant funds' models when numbers come in low).  The point is, this company could easily do $115MM of revenue in 2010 (maybe $130MM at the top end) and has a current market cap of around $145MM.  Drug companies at a minimum should tade at 2x earnings, and more likely 3x to 4x.  So if this company can just execute and fend off lost drug sales through their new drugs (Curosurf and Factive) while purchasing another underutilized drug or two, the stock could easily double from here.  It definitely bears watching, as does the majestic Gracie Glam.

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