Stem Cells Sell


An article in the business section of today's "New York Times"talks about tighter travel budgets resulting in lower attendance at some big destination conferences. Many meetings have also been canceled not so much due to money, but appearances—especially for companies that got TARP dollars.

But here at the 4th Annual Stem Cell Summit I'm told attendance is up. By about 50 percent, no less, over last year.

All day long privately-held and publicly-traded companies are presenting to around 250 investors.

The meeting may be drawing greater interest because of widespread media reports that President Obama will soon lift the federal funding ban on new embryonic stem cell research. In fact, in anticipation of a Democrat winning last year, stem cell stocks overall were up five percent.

The veteran financial analyst, Robin Young, who owns the company that puts on the summit, says the stem cell market and stem cell market caps are poised to soar.

He forecasts stem cell revenue will climb from $62 million last year to $8.2 billion by 2018. And he believes that growth will spur stem cell stock market caps from a total of $1.7 billion last year to between $22 billion and $49 billion over the next 10 years.

But Young cautions it won't be a straight line up. There's been a stem cell bubble before and he expects at least a couple more. He recommends investors with a long-term horizon buy a basket of stem cell stocks, many of which he calls "cheap" right now.

I'm not going to mention them all here because some of them are super small. But among the ones I've reported on recently and have highlighted in my coverage today are Geron, Celgene , Osiris and Cytori.

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