It’s been nearly a year since we last looked at biotechnology company Guided Therapeutics Inc (OTCBB:GTHP) and – at that time, back in January 2017 – the company had just undertaken reverse split. On the back of the split, sentiment was substantially weakened and this was being reflected in its share price.
Our thesis on the stock was relatively simple. This was a biotechnology play that, while it’s already selling its lead asset in major markets, was looking to the US market as the primary revenue driver but that – to that point – had struggled to pick up the regulatory approval from the FDA required to start selling the product in question.
We opined that any progress towards a regulatory approval could justify a speculative punt in anticipation of a successful regulatory submission and that, at the same time, the longer the company went without making any progress the cheaper its shares would get and – by proxy – the deeper the discount available to some eventual regulatory progression
Fast forward nearly twelve months and very little has changed in terms of getting the asset in question to market in the US. The company’s share price, however, has dipped substantially.
At its most recent close, Guided went for a little over $0.02 a share, for a market capitalization of less than $500,000.
For some perspective, revenues during 2016 came in at $605,000. That means that, at current prices, the company is trading below its 2016 annual revenues. Admittedly, this year, revenues have dipped somewhat, with the first three quarters turning out a little less than $150,000 in revenues, but the final quarter is generally a strong one so we could easily see $300,000 logged during the full year 2017.
Especially when you take into consideration that the company scored a big Chinese rights deal earlier this year and – just this month – scored a deal with a Turkish distribution partner that should see fees of up to $3 million hit the company’s numbers over the coming twelve months.
There’s no long-term debt on the books (as of the end of September this year) and short/current debt came in at a little over $3 million, which is far from insurmountable and, as compares to many of its peers, is relatively insubstantial.
In other words, we fully expect this stock to turn around near term.
Of course, to get turned around, the company will need to serve up a catalyst that can help ease negative sentiment and, in turn, reduce the risk it’s asking new shareholders to take on when they pull the trigger on a buy position.
So what could this catalyst be?
Well, management wants to conduct a trial that will support a refiling of the registration application for its lead asset – a noninvasive cervical cancer test called LuViva. The trial is going to take nine months and Guided has said that it can kick off once it secures funding.
Our near-term major catalyst for this study, then, is rooted in the company announcing that it has secured the funding in question. We don’t know what form it will take (if it’s an equity raise, chances are we’ll see the dip deepen further before it recovers) but we know what it’s going to be used for and so – if used appropriately and in turn, if the trial is successful – then any negative near-term impact should be quickly mitigated by longer-term upside potential.
Bottom line – this one has fallen too far and is very much in line for an upside revaluation, with a funding catalyst (followed by a trial initiation) the events to watch out for going forward as supportive of this suggestion.
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Image courtesy of Ed Uthman via Flickr
Disclosure: We have no position in GTHP and have not been compensated for this article.