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GuruFocus Financial Strength Rank measures how strong a company’s financial situation is. It is based on these factors

1. The debt burden that the company has as measured by its Interest coverage (current year).
2. Debt to revenue ratio. The lower, the better
3. Altman Z-score.

A company ranks high with financial strength is likely to withstand any business slowdowns and recessions.

Financial Strength : 6/10

vs
industry
vs
history
Cash to Debt No Debt
VICL's Cash to Debt is ranked higher than
97% of the 841 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 60.34 vs. VICL: No Debt )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Cash to Debt only.
VICL' s 10-Year Cash to Debt Range
Min: 2.33  Med: 33.56 Max: No Debt
Current: No Debt
Equity to Asset 0.91
VICL's Equity to Asset is ranked higher than
85% of the 594 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 0.69 vs. VICL: 0.91 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Equity to Asset only.
VICL' s 10-Year Equity to Asset Range
Min: 0.8  Med: 0.91 Max: 0.97
Current: 0.91
0.8
0.97
Interest Coverage No Debt
VICL's Interest Coverage is ranked higher than
95% of the 375 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 10000.00 vs. VICL: No Debt )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Interest Coverage only.
VICL' s 10-Year Interest Coverage Range
Min: 9999.99  Med: 10000.00 Max: 9999.99
Current: No Debt
F-Score: 5
Z-Score: -2.97
M-Score: -2.90
GuruFocus Profitability Rank ranks how profitable a company is and how likely the company’s business will stay that way. It is based on these factors:

1. Operating Margin
2. Trend of the Operating Margin (5-year average). The company with an uptrend profit margin has a higher rank.
••3. Consistency of the profitability
4. Piotroski F-Score
5. Predictability Rank•

The maximum rank is 10. A rank of 7 or higher means a higher profitability and may stay that way. A rank of 3 or lower indicates that the company has had trouble to make a profit.

Profitability Rank is not directly related to the Financial Strength Rank. But if a company is consistently profitable, its financial strength will be stronger.

Profitability & Growth : 2/10

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industry
vs
history
Operating margin (%) -95.97
VICL's Operating margin (%) is ranked lower than
54% of the 657 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: -69.59 vs. VICL: -95.97 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Operating margin (%) only.
VICL' s 10-Year Operating margin (%) Range
Min: -730.44  Med: -176.04 Max: -26.06
Current: -95.97
-730.44
-26.06
Net-margin (%) -95.17
VICL's Net-margin (%) is ranked lower than
55% of the 657 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: -66.45 vs. VICL: -95.17 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Net-margin (%) only.
VICL' s 10-Year Net-margin (%) Range
Min: -651.2  Med: -143.88 Max: -24.26
Current: -95.17
-651.2
-24.26
ROE (%) -30.92
VICL's ROE (%) is ranked lower than
51% of the 761 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: -29.50 vs. VICL: -30.92 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful ROE (%) only.
VICL' s 10-Year ROE (%) Range
Min: -57.41  Med: -23.96 Max: -6.31
Current: -30.92
-57.41
-6.31
ROA (%) -28.24
VICL's ROA (%) is ranked lower than
52% of the 847 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: -25.57 vs. VICL: -28.24 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful ROA (%) only.
VICL' s 10-Year ROA (%) Range
Min: -49.31  Med: -21.06 Max: -5.82
Current: -28.24
-49.31
-5.82
ROC (Joel Greenblatt) (%) -275.94
VICL's ROC (Joel Greenblatt) (%) is ranked higher than
52% of the 817 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: -333.14 vs. VICL: -275.94 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful ROC (Joel Greenblatt) (%) only.
VICL' s 10-Year ROC (Joel Greenblatt) (%) Range
Min: -632.37  Med: -261.35 Max: -21.67
Current: -275.94
-632.37
-21.67
Revenue Growth (3Y)(%) -26.00
VICL's Revenue Growth (3Y)(%) is ranked lower than
72% of the 404 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 0.30 vs. VICL: -26.00 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Revenue Growth (3Y)(%) only.
VICL' s 10-Year Revenue Growth (3Y)(%) Range
Min: -39.7  Med: -7.00 Max: 28.1
Current: -26
-39.7
28.1
EBITDA Growth (3Y)(%) 28.60
VICL's EBITDA Growth (3Y)(%) is ranked higher than
82% of the 427 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: -3.90 vs. VICL: 28.60 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful EBITDA Growth (3Y)(%) only.
VICL' s 10-Year EBITDA Growth (3Y)(%) Range
Min: -54.7  Med: -0.40 Max: 42.3
Current: 28.6
-54.7
42.3
EPS Growth (3Y)(%) 23.90
VICL's EPS Growth (3Y)(%) is ranked higher than
80% of the 413 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: -7.70 vs. VICL: 23.90 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful EPS Growth (3Y)(%) only.
VICL' s 10-Year EPS Growth (3Y)(%) Range
Min: -52.4  Med: -2.10 Max: 50.2
Current: 23.9
-52.4
50.2
» VICL's 10-Y Financials

Financials


Revenue & Net Income
Cash & Debt
Oprt. Cash Flow & Free Cash Flow

» Details

Guru Trades

Q2 2014

VICL Guru Trades in Q2 2014

George Soros 58,179 sh (New)
John Rogers 5,795,210 sh (unchged)
Murray Stahl 84,500 sh (unchged)
» More
Q3 2014

VICL Guru Trades in Q3 2014

John Rogers 5,880,710 sh (+1.48%)
Murray Stahl 84,500 sh (unchged)
George Soros Sold Out
» More
Q4 2014

VICL Guru Trades in Q4 2014

Jim Simons 288,429 sh (New)
John Rogers 6,483,219 sh (+10.25%)
Murray Stahl 84,500 sh (unchged)
John Rogers 6,483,219 sh (unchged)
» More
Q1 2015

VICL Guru Trades in Q1 2015

Jim Simons 866,700 sh (+200.49%)
John Rogers 6,958,945 sh (+7.34%)
Murray Stahl 84,500 sh (unchged)
» More
» Details

Insider Trades

Latest Guru Trades with VICL

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Guru Investment Theses on Vical Inc

John Rogers Comments on Vical - Feb 26, 2014

Vical (VICL)

We typically use these letters to discuss our approach to deep value investing, to outline the case for our favorite stocks, or to comment on trends in the market which we believe will affect our portfolio holdings. This quarter, however, we will share the story of a stock we have held for more than a decade which, at first glance, appears to have "blown up." We want to explain why we have owned it, how our valuation work continues to indicate a bargain within our long-term discipline, and how we will evaluate the company going forward. Most importantly, we want to demonstrate why we think the company is on solid footing and continues to provide a great long-term investment opportunity. On Monday, August 12 th , after announcing that the Phase III trial of its Allovectin compound, a metastatic melanoma therapy, had failed, Vical stock dropped by 57%. Specifically, it did not meet either the primary endpoint of objective response rate or the secondary goal of overall survival. This result obviously disappointed the company, shareholders, and, most of all, cancer patients. Many had hoped this immunotherapy compound would revolutionize treatment for those battling this terrible disease. Although we would have preferred a better outcome on Allovectin, our thesis for Vical was not a simple bet on its success. In our analysis, the company's infectious disease platform – with multiple promising products – was worth well more than the $240 million enterprise value of Vical just prior to the announcement. We continue to believe that is the case. All along, we knew a Phase III failure for Allovectin would lead to a s h or t- term hit to the stock, but we believed in the long-term, Vical was an undervalued infectious disease company. To us, Allovectin represented a free option on a cancer treatment with enormous upside potential. This option proved to be of no value, but our view on the rest of the company has not changed.

Due to the impending binary event surrounding Allovectin, we limited our position size. Indeed, we frequently reduced our weighting in the stock over the years when it traded higher. Just prior to the Allovectin announcement we had a weighting of roughly 3.5%, reflecting our view of extreme long-term undervaluation combined with near-term uncertainty. By comparison, our larger positions tend to be in the range of 5.0% to 6.0%, when we find severe dislocations but greater clarity.

Some History

We first bought Vical shares in late 2002 in our Ariel Micro-Cap Value Product as part of a "basket" of eight micro-cap biotechnology stocks combined to equal one normal position. A sustained market decline had left the industry in shambles, and we were able to buy the small positions in emerging companies for roughly half their net cash. True, we had limited insight into any specific early-stage compound's approval, but we were able to own cheap assets—cash—and invest in science (difficult to value, but potentially quite valuable). As the market recovered in 2003, the stocks moved sharply higher, and we sold all except for Vical. We held Vical and later built it into a normal-sized position in both our Ariel Micro-Cap Value Product and eventually Ariel Discovery Fund. We realized its shares were priced like a one-product, early-stage biotech company.

In reality, Vical's DNA delivery technology platform allowed it to build a deep, well- advanced pipeline of compounds whose potential outcomes are related but not identical. In addition, management did an outstanding job over time of partnering with larger pharmaceutical companies, enabling Vical to conserve cash and minimize dilution.

Products

Success with Allovectin would have led to significant upside, but its failure has no bearing on the likelihood of success for Vical's infectious disease candidates:

ASP00113 (formerly TransVax) – This is a therapeutic vaccine for cytomegalovirus (CMV) in transplant patients. Vical has partnered with Astellas, granting an exclusive license in exchange for up to $130 million in payments and double-digit royalties. Astellas recently launched a Phase III for stem cell transplant, and is expected to begin a Phase II for solid organ transplant later this year.

CyM Vectin – CMV vaccine for prevention of congenital infection. This could potentially be an opportunity of more than $2 billion for adolescent females. Vical is exploring partnerships for development of this promising compound.

Vaxfectin Adjuvant – This mixture is designed to increase immune responses when added to a vaccine. It has value either in Vical programs or as a technology for license or sale.

Herpes Simplex Program – This early stage program uses a Vaxfectin-formulated vaccine against HSV-2. The company expects to initiate a Phase I/II trial in late 2013.

Other

– Vical also has a pandemic influenza rapid response technology, collaborations with Sanofi and Anges in angiogenesis, and two approved animal vaccines.

Given its current price of $1.25/share, the company's enterprise value is a meager $38 million. To value Vical, we look at the company as a collection of assets held in cash ($70 million), product candidates, approved animal vaccines, and intellectual property in the form of its DNA technology platform. The company has one Phase III candidate being fully funded by a major global firm plus a number of potentially valuable assets. Thus we believe the valuation is extraordinarily low; in our opinion the market's reaction to the Allovectin failure was wildly overdone.

For each of the prospective compounds, we estimate the following: market potential, Vical's likely share upon approval, and the probability of success. We then calculate the probability-weighted revenues for each candidate, apply an appropriate price/sales multiple, and discount these values back to the present. Each compound then has a probabilistic present value. To err on the side of conservatism, we do not add in any value for the animal vaccines or for the DNA technology platform itself – thereby assigning no value to any potential future discoveries. Finally, to be extremely conservative, we assume that all cash including any raised from equity offerings or from Astellas will be spent, and we assume a doubling of the share count.

potentially even the sale of the company. Such actions should eliminate the need to raise capital at dilutive prices and therefore preserve and potentially enhance the value we believe exists in Vical. The duration and size of our ownership will depend greatly on how we view these issues. The company has already made significant cost reductions in recent weeks, and we believe that Vijay Samant and the Board of Directors will be focused on proper capital allocation.

Again, we were truly disappointed in the Allovectin results and never enjoy reporting news that hurts your returns. That said, we believe there is a great deal of value in Vical stock, and if correct, we expect to be rewarded for our patience. We will continue to monitor the actions of management and the Board closely and as a major shareholder we will strongly encourage them to act in owners' interests.



From John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio)' Ariel Discovery Fund fourth quarter 2013 commentary.

Check out John Rogers latest stock trades

Ratios

vs
industry
vs
history
P/B 1.19
VICL's P/B is ranked higher than
93% of the 747 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 4.57 vs. VICL: 1.19 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful P/B only.
VICL' s 10-Year P/B Range
Min: 0.79  Med: 2.11 Max: 7.65
Current: 1.19
0.79
7.65
P/S 3.37
VICL's P/S is ranked higher than
81% of the 591 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 11.60 vs. VICL: 3.37 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful P/S only.
VICL' s 10-Year P/S Range
Min: 3.21  Med: 11.38 Max: 52
Current: 3.37
3.21
52
Current Ratio 11.61
VICL's Current Ratio is ranked higher than
79% of the 812 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 4.37 vs. VICL: 11.61 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Current Ratio only.
VICL' s 10-Year Current Ratio Range
Min: 3.91  Med: 11.67 Max: 38.92
Current: 11.61
3.91
38.92
Quick Ratio 11.61
VICL's Quick Ratio is ranked higher than
80% of the 812 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 4.23 vs. VICL: 11.61 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Quick Ratio only.
VICL' s 10-Year Quick Ratio Range
Min: 3.91  Med: 11.67 Max: 38.92
Current: 11.61
3.91
38.92
Days Sales Outstanding 76.42
VICL's Days Sales Outstanding is ranked lower than
61% of the 558 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 60.65 vs. VICL: 76.42 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Days Sales Outstanding only.
VICL' s 10-Year Days Sales Outstanding Range
Min: 28.97  Med: 93.41 Max: 306.97
Current: 76.42
28.97
306.97

Valuation & Return

vs
industry
vs
history
Price/Net Cash 1.53
VICL's Price/Net Cash is ranked higher than
95% of the 451 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 8.40 vs. VICL: 1.53 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price/Net Cash only.
VICL' s 10-Year Price/Net Cash Range
Min: 0.44  Med: 3.33 Max: 775
Current: 1.53
0.44
775
Price/Net Current Asset Value 1.30
VICL's Price/Net Current Asset Value is ranked higher than
96% of the 538 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 7.59 vs. VICL: 1.30 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price/Net Current Asset Value only.
VICL' s 10-Year Price/Net Current Asset Value Range
Min: 0.42  Med: 3.05 Max: 13.8
Current: 1.3
0.42
13.8
Price/Tangible Book 1.17
VICL's Price/Tangible Book is ranked higher than
93% of the 687 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 5.90 vs. VICL: 1.17 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price/Tangible Book only.
VICL' s 10-Year Price/Tangible Book Range
Min: 0.4  Med: 2.40 Max: 13.02
Current: 1.17
0.4
13.02
Price/Median PS Value 0.28
VICL's Price/Median PS Value is ranked higher than
93% of the 540 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: 1.19 vs. VICL: 0.28 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price/Median PS Value only.
VICL' s 10-Year Price/Median PS Value Range
Min: 0.36  Med: 1.38 Max: 5.77
Current: 0.28
0.36
5.77
Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) (%) -98.54
VICL's Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) (%) is ranked lower than
96% of the 813 Companies
in the Global Biotechnology industry.

( Industry Median: -5.40 vs. VICL: -98.54 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) (%) only.
VICL' s 10-Year Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) (%) Range
Min: -117.46  Med: 0.60 Max: 0.8
Current: -98.54
-117.46
0.8

Business Description

Industry: Biotechnology » Biotechnology
Compare:NVO, AMGN, GILD, BIIB, CELG » details
Traded in other countries:VCC.Germany,
Vical Inc a Delaware corporation, was incorporated in April 1987. The Company researches and develops biopharmaceutical products based on its patented DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. It has three active or partnered development programs in the area of infectious disease comprising of an ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial of ASP0113 for prevention of cytomegalovirus, or CMV, reactivation in stem cell transplant recipients and an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of ASP0113 for prevention of CMV infection in kidney transplant recipients, both in collaboration with Astellas Pharma Inc., or Astellas; An ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trial using our Vaxfectin-formulated therapeutic vaccine for herpes simplex virus type 2, or HSV-2, a cause of recurrent genital herpes; and a completed preclinical program, with an allowed investigational new drug application, or IND, using our CyMVectin prophylactic vaccine formulated with our proprietary Vaxfectin adjuvant to prevent CMV infection before and during pregnancy. The Company has leveraged its patented technologies through licensing and collaboration arrangements, such as its licensing arrangements with Astellas, AnGes MG, Inc., or AnGes, Aqua Health Ltd. of Canada, or Aqua Health, an affiliate of Novartis Animal Health, and Merial Limited, or Merial, a subsidiary of Sanofi, among other biopharmaceutical companies. In addition, it has licensed complementary technologies from research institutions and biopharmaceutical companies. The Company has also granted non-exclusive, academic licenses to its DNA delivery technology patent estate to 11 research institutions including Stanford, Harvard, Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT. The Company's key discovery to its patented core DNA delivery technology was that muscle tissues can take up polynucleotide genetic material, such as DNA or RNA, directly, without the use of viral components or other delivery vehicles or technologies, and subsequently express the proteins encoded by the genetic material for periods ranging from weeks to more than a year. Its DNA delivery technology is being developed by the company and its partners in two areas of application, such as Infectious Diseases and Veterinary. The Company is aware of several development-stage and established enterprises, including major pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, which are engaged in infectious disease vaccine research and development. These include Sanofi, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, MedImmune, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca, Merck and Pfizer Inc., among others. Roche, Sanofi, AiCuris GmbH & Co. KG in conjunction with Merck, Chimerix, Inc., and others have products or development programs for CMV treatment and prevention. GlaxoSmithKline plc., Genocea Biosciences, Inc., Agenus, Inc. and others have products or development programs for HSV-2 treatment. New gene-based products for v
» More Articles for VICL

Headlines

Articles On GuruFocus.com
Red Hat (RHT) and Five Below (FIVE) Strong Performance Metrics; Vical (VICL) Targets Multi-billion S Mar 26 2015 
John Rogers Comments on Vical Feb 26 2014 
Kids Decide on Dolls or Devices - JAKK, Others 70% Off Sep 17 2013 
comment on VICL Mar 02 2013 
Weekly CFO Buys Highlight: VICL, EXA, UCBA, YORW, MGI Jan 21 2013 
Vical Inc. Insiders Boost Shares after Company’s NASDAQ Listing Gets Upgrade Jan 17 2013 
Two Biotech Stocks to Buy, One to Avoid Jan 09 2012 
Vical Inc. (VICL) CEO Vijay B Samant buys 1,000 Shares Jan 20 2011 
Vical Inc. Reports Operating Results (10-Q) Aug 06 2010 
Vical Inc. Reports Operating Results (10-Q) May 07 2010 

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VICAL INC Files SEC form 8-K, Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders May 26 2015
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