Two Bets on Bentley

07/04/2003 12:00 am EST

Focus:

James Oberweis

President, Oberweis Asset Management, Inc.

"We remain very optimistic that small-cap growth stocks will outperform the broader market over the next several years," says Jim Oberweis, editor of The Oberweis Report. "The cyclical dominance of small companies vs. large caps tends to last several years, not just a quarter or two." Ian Wyatt, editor of The Growth Report , is also a fan of small caps, in particular the small-cap specialty drug sector. Both advisors have added the same drug company to their portfolios.

"Bentley Pharmaceuticals (BNT ASE) is a US-based specialty pharmaceutical company focused on advanced drug delivery. It is working towards improving the absorption of a wide range of drugs and peptides through proprietary drug delivery technologies, which it intends to commercialize in the US and other major markets by licensing to other pharmaceutical companies. Bentley also manufactures branded and generic drugs in Europe for the treatment of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, and infectious diseases through its subsidiaries. The company currently has strategic alliances regarding their drug delivery technologies with Pfizer and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, and is in preliminary discussions with a number of other drug companies to form additional alliances. Revenues in the most recent first quarter ended March 31 rose 63% to $15 million from $9.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share grew to $.08 vs. $.01 in the same quarter last year. Earnings for the latest 12 months were up 288%."

The stock is also in the model portfolio at The Growth Report. Says editor Ian Wyatt, "Bentley recently reported positive results from a trial of their testosterone replacement. The drug, used for testosterone deficiency, utilizes Bentley’s patented drug delivery system.  Auxilium Pharmaceuticals received regulatory approval to market the gel in the United Kingdom. Auxilium is now working to receive approval for marketing Testim throughout the EU. In addition, Bentley has agreed to purchase a patent from MacroChem, for antifungal nail lacquers. We continue to see significant upside potential for BNT and maintain our buy rating."

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