October 11, 2007

Vanda surging this week

Vanda shares, which have struggled for months now, have surged 20% in the past two days. The company presented at the Natixis Bleichroeder Hidden Gems Conference on Monday, and the stock has been riding strong following it. Investors must have liked what President and CEO Dr. Mihael H. Polymeropoulos had to say at the conference. I listened to the conference call and there are a few things I heard that could be the reasoning behind the stock's recent movement.

A good portion of the conference call was spent talking about Vanda's prospects for finding a partner. I have said several times previously that I think a partner would be the best way to unlock the company's true value for shareholders.
In the call, Dr. Polymeropoulos was fairly vague when it came to questions about a partner, but I heard a few things that I liked.
1. "We have made significant progress in our discussions that gives us confidence that we will complete a deal that will put us in a maximum strategy position to negotiate future deals and continue developing compounds."
2. "Perhaps a deal on VEC-162 (could) put us in a very strong position to maximize options of what we could accomplish."
3. "We have quite a few options...we might not need (additional) fundraising."

The conference call was not the best sound quality, so some of Dr. Polymeropoulos' quotes were hard to hear, but I think the gist of things is in these three quotes. First, the company has confidence that they will complete a deal. Now, this could just be 'corporate speak' and the CEO just telling us what we want to hear. But, he hinted to the company being close to a deal for VEC-162 in the second quote I have posted above. I really liked the last quote because it gives me further confidence that a deal will be found. If a deal is not struck, Vanda will need new money, and that will likely dilute shareholder's interests further.

I think there are some positives coming in the future for Vanda, which is why I am a shareholder and have recommended it as a speculative buy in the past. The Street must also think positively of the comments we heard on Monday because of the 20% move in two days. Some real news on the partner issue could have an enormous effect on the stock price.

Disclosure: I own shares in VNDA


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One leap foreward.