Searching for something less known, and certainly more controversial, I have the ideal Obama stock pick to add to your watchlist, StemCell Inc. (NASDA: STEM) which closed yesterday at $1.90. per share. It is not profitable, spends heavily on Research and Development and is highly speculative. So was ISRG when I got in very early.
The company profile states that STEM "discovers cell-based therapies to treat diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), such as cerebral palsy and Alzheimer's disease, as well as spinal cord injury. It is researching stem cell and progenitor cell (cells that have developed from stem cells) therapies to repair neural tissue damaged by disease and injury, and has discovered markers for CNS stem cells and a way to reproduce them for transplant."
STEM is not a new company, having been listed on the NASDAQ since 1992, but it's work has become all the rage in the past few years. The Bush administration has been opposed to stemcell research, however, California has been supportive of all biotech companies and I believe president elect Obama will be too.
The stock is volatile trading between $0.66 and and $2.28 over the past 52 weeks. The following story highlights some recent findings StemCells, Inc. Announces Preclinical Results Showing its Proprietary Human Neural Stem Cells Can Prevent Vision Loss. Perhaps a good entry point would be somewhere in the middle.
I cannot add this to my Chasing Value list because I honestly do not know how one would value a company that makes no profit, pays no dividend, and has few basic metrics by which to measure it. I can say that buying a little and/or adding it to your watch list is not a huge gamble. I certainly can name plenty of stocks that are bigger risks with less potential than StemCells, Inc.
My sources tell me that the company has strong management and the current pipeline is very promising but this is cutting edge stuff so how is one to know for sure?
Ironically it is people of faith that might be most opposed to this company's work, however, if you are going to invest in STEM that is exactly what you must have -- faith.
Update: Closing price $1.58, down -0.32 (-16.84%)
Sheldon Liber is the CEO of a small private investment company and the principal for design and research at an architecture & planning firm. He writes the columns Chasing Value and Serious Money. Disclosure: I own shares of ISRG.