Short Sellers Increase Bets in Major Biotechs

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The short interest data are out for the August 15 settlement date. Companies within the biotech industry are considered a riskier group of stocks, with big potential upside and big potential downside. In fact, a cure or incredible new breakthrough in cancer or Alzheimer’s disease will be worth more than any risks from Brexit or political rhetoric from the campaign trail.

FDA rulings can make or break the biotech sector, and short sellers and mega-bulls often go to war against each other in these companies. After all, if a single failed clinical trial can mean disaster for a stock, then some short sellers can argue for a stock implosion down the road.

24/7 Wall St. has reviewed the top biotech companies, without focusing on speculative companies. The August 15 short interest data have been compared with the previous report, and short interest moves were mixed across these selected biotech stocks.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest increase to 8.10 million shares from the previous level of 7.61 million. Shares closed most recently at $170.84, in a 52-week trading range of $130.09 to $176.64.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) had its short interest retreat slightly to 2.53 million shares from the previous 2.56 million. The stock closed Wednesday at $309.33, within a 52-week range of $223.02 to $333.65.

Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) short interest for this settlement date increased to 6.09 million shares from the previous 5.87 million. Shares closed most recently at $110.60, in a 52-week range of $93.05 to $128.39.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its short interest decline to 17.37 million shares from 20.82 million in the previous period. Shares closed Wednesday at $80.50, in a 52-week trading range of $77.92 to $113.31.

MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) saw its short interest increase to 87.82 million shares. The previous reading was 83.29 million. Shares closed most recently at $0.87, in a 52-week trading range of $0.64 to $4.07.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) short interest rise to 6.03 million, compared to the previous level of 5.73 million. Shares closed most recently at $132.12, in a 52-week range of $110.56 to $193.45.